A recent @TheEconomist article has claimed that we should treat beef like coal to save the planet. We need to reduce emissions where we can, including livestock, but I have a few issues with their story.

Let’s debunk some claims, shall we?
This article is clearly aimed at readers in the U.S. and the West, to reduce beef consumption. But it uses global emissions which don’t do a great job of characterizing the impact livestock in the U.S. has on climate change.
It attributes the “full impact of deforestation to the agriculture that results from it.” We absolutely need to stop deforestation. But American beef consumption doesn't lead to that, in part because of where our beef is typically exported.
The argument goes, if Americans eat less beef, U.S. beef producers will turn to exporting more of their product, which will stop cattle producers in other countries from deforesting their homelands.
The thing is, Americans are eating less beef and producers are exporting more but we’re still seeing deforestation for grazing in parts of the world. It’s significantly more complicated than saying an American forgoing a burger will protect the Amazon.
This article also takes a global cradle-to-grave LCA for animal agriculture, and compares it to tailpipe emissions from transportation. Doesn’t seem like a fair comparison. Does it?
And the fact that “it takes 33 plant calories to produce one calorie of beef,” is misleading at best. Cows mostly eat what humans can’t including roughage on marginal lands and upcycle waste that would normally go to landfills.
Lab grown meats are a far way off from being cost-competitive at $10,000 per lb. They also have a scalability problem.

Issues @JoeFassler @TheCounter has researched and presented in a very good article
My recent white paper with @drsplace outlines a path to climate neutrality for the beef and dairy industries by 2050. An achievable goal that’ll take hard work and innovation.
It’s outlandish to see comparisons of beef to coal. Reducing methane 18-30% can get U.S. dairy and beef to climate neutrality. We need to reduce coal (and other fossil fuels) 100% to get there.

Don't let agenda-driven articles, like this one, fool you.

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More from @GHGGuru

29 Aug

~0.35%. That’s the annual methane reduction needed for agriculture CH4 to be #ClimateNeutral. Reduce ~5% annually, we can neutralize all additional warming from ag CH4 since the '80s. WE CAN DO THIS!

More on @CGIARclimate & @nature_org paper ⬇️ 1/
GWP* vs GWP100 better describes how #methane emissions impact the climate. Using GWP100 overestimates the warming impact of constant CH4 emissions by 3-4 times.

AND GWP100 misses climate benefits with decreasing emissions.

AND undersells warming when CH4 emissions rise.

Why is GWP* important? From the paper: GWP* emphasizes CH4 reductions can only contribute meaningfully to limiting climate change, as long as CO2 hits net-zero.

GWP* shows the true benefits w/ CH4 cuts. Making the work farmers/ranchers are doing to cut CH4 more significant. 3/
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25 Mar
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While it may be true that meat alternatives are seeing a rise in sales, what the @guardian fails to provide is – and this is typical of the plant-based agenda – CONTEXT. Did you know that meat sales are actually at a record high? Up by 20%!… 2/
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This headline for an @latimes column is not only incorrect, but the context within this article lacks any weight to make a real argument supporting the statement. The author says most emissions from agriculture stems from animal ag – that’s inaccurate.… 2/
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4 Feb

Accounting correctly for methane’s short-lived nature isn’t greenwashing, it’s science. This great paper reinforces what we at @UCDavisCLEAR have been saying – agriculture methane warms differently than fossil CO2. 1/
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5 Dec 20
THREAD: Could eliminating meat from our diet be a simple solution to curbing our climate crisis? You may have heard the saying, ‘nothing good comes easy’. Well, yes. It’s not that simple – #climatechange has no easy solutions. My new blog explains. 1/
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As a scientist at the intersection of livestock & the environment, I work to reduce the environmental impact of animal protein for those who choose to eat it. It’s my duty to provide you with facts & resources around this subject so you can make the right decisions for you. 3/
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