Nicholas D. Carter Profile picture
🌲Food system science on land, GHGs & biodiversity 🌎Director of Environmental Science at GCI 🌱Co-creator @plantbased_data 🚩Addressing disinfo 🎙️📑⤵️
Tushar Mehta Profile picture Gen Toop Profile picture 2 subscribed
Nov 10, 2023 14 tweets 6 min read
There’s major implications for climate accountability & equity if this new GWP* methane metric is adopted.

New report by me & @changingmarkets analyzing methane (via GWP*) & manipulation by meat & dairy lobbies.

🧵what if NZ, Tyson, & Fonterra used it?…
Massive increases in farmed animal numbers have led to a 332% increase in methane emissions from them from 1890-2014.

We need to be measuring methane (relative to CO2) with BOTH the warming impact of absolute emissions and the changes in over time.…
Jan 15, 2023 6 tweets 3 min read
Big oil is joining in on the regenerative ranching scam.


Very little would be worse for the environment than if these partnerships are taken seriously and we delay action on the many real solutions.

🧵& receipts: ImageImageImageImage Oil & gas companies are of course throwing funds at anything that claims to drawdown carbon (see: CCS).

But the ability for oil and gas to benefit from the bucolic nonsense of ranching is dangerous. Paul, Carsten, et al. "...
Aug 13, 2022 6 tweets 4 min read
Methane digesters, propped up by the latest US CH4 reduction plan, rewards industrial dairy, beef & pig operations to produce more manure, usually by increasing # of animals farmed, net increasing CH4, & likely land use & resource use.

🧵 on why this is all a terrible plan: Dairy digester in California.  These digesters are expensive, and much like the dairy industry now, largely wouldn't exist without subsidies.

In this case incentives for anaerobic digesters include property tax reductions, corporate tax credits, loan programs, & grant programs.

@ALDF There are now 260 anaerobic digesters operating on America's
Jun 6, 2022 7 tweets 3 min read
"The livestock sector is currently the single major driver of habitat loss and degradation, which is in its turn a leading cause of species decline and extinction worldwide."

Important study + 🧵thread on this main driver of biodiversity loss:… "The production of livestock alters natural habitats not only via land-use change, but also through its outputs of agrochemicals, nutrients, sediments, antibiotics and hormones into natural environments."
Jul 4, 2021 6 tweets 5 min read
Rewilding and allowing native grasses and animals to thrive again has huge ecological benefits. 🧵/1

@WilliamJRipple's et al. measurements as documented in 'Rewilding a Mountain' outlines this well in the semi-arid Hart Mountain antelope refuge in Oregon: ImageImageImageImage In 1990, contrary to pressures by cattle groups, the land conservation stewards here voted to ban cattle grazing based on the science showing its ecological degradation to this riparian land. The result:

/2 ImageImageImageImage
Jun 3, 2021 6 tweets 4 min read
There's huge variability in GHG estimates from animal agriculture.

Groups game the numbers to suit one's confirmation bias. The FAO has engrained corporate interests (Meat Secretariat) and use the lowest estimate (14.5%) and advocacy groups are drawn to the highest (51%+)

🧵 Credit: Martin Mueller What's important is knowing how the numbers are influenced so you can critically analyze it. And in reality, there's uncertainty and a huge amount of data that's missing to truly make an exact figure accurate.

Helpful breakdowns by Martin Mueller:
Dec 7, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
No, methane from cattle are not just part of the natural carbon cycle.

50-75% of all biogenic increases in CH4 since 2007 were from livestock (Wolf, 2017).

CH4 is a short lived gas, but potent, so reducing the # of cattle farmed will quickly reduce its atmospheric impacts.
🧵 Image No, shifting to all grass-fed cattle won't necessarily reduce its footprint because a more fibrous diet, and about 1 year 'longer' life.

The extra land use is rarely factored into the footprint. Even if it's marginal land, there's missed sequestration and biodiversity benefits. Image
Oct 28, 2020 10 tweets 6 min read
Livestock production is often said to be responsible for only 4.2% of total U.S. GHGs. This is an EPA figure so many assume it's accurate.

But this calculation doesn't account for several direct and indirect GHGs, and this narrow metric fails to show the full picture.

THREAD Firstly, the 4.2% figure *does not* include the production of animal feed and forage.

That's like saying the GHGs from trucks are minimal, without mentioning that the emissions from gasoline weren't included in the estimate.

Feed and forage, according the USDA and FAO:
Sep 26, 2020 9 tweets 4 min read
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. There's no reason to exaggerate an anecdote. Just replicate and measure it for its truthfulness.

Which brings me to the thread on my initial thoughts of the new #KissTheGroundMovie now on Netflix. They claim soil is a: Image I don't know how one can spend 7 years on a project like this and not be shown the science that there's measurable limits to carbon that can be sequestered in soils, and it's easily reversible, especially in pastureland:… Image
Sep 17, 2020 5 tweets 3 min read
We should be concerned about soil issues, but these concern me more:

- 68% drop in animal populations since 1970
- Lost C sinks with 42% of pastureland that used to be forest/wooded savannas
- Deforestation in March 2020 jumped 150%
- Unnecessarily large agricultural footprint We continue to exploit and destroy nature at an unprecedented scale.

See the 2020 Living Planet Report, one of the most comprehensive assessments of global biodiversity available and was complied by 134 experts from around the world.…
Sep 7, 2020 5 tweets 3 min read
THREAD - New study further shows major climate change mitigation opportunities in minimizing agriculture's footprint.

The best way to do that is a production & consumption shift to plant foods like lentils, beans, & nuts.

Must read new paper out today:… Image Significant shifts to plant-based diets by 2050 could lead to ​sequestration of 332–547 Gt CO2.

That's equivalent to 9-16 years of global fossil fuel CO2 emissions!

It's not an either/or situation, we need to do BOTH. But this solution can't be ignored.…
Aug 20, 2020 9 tweets 5 min read
THREAD on recent "evidence" based dig at soy milk by @SusFoodTrust.

Didn't plan on responding but media is blowing it up. The claim that soy milk is worse than dairy milk is apparently based on:

"published current evidence, based on peer reviewed journals"

Let's unpack that. Note the 2 authors, we'll come back to that.

1. A switch to an animal free farming system would use LESS arable land.
2. Only 6% of soy grown goes to human food
3. Tropical deforestation for soy is largely for pigs and chickens in EU and China, not for human consumption.
Aug 6, 2020 10 tweets 4 min read
Last year the @UNEP declared we have to cut GHG emissions 8% every year. Briefly, we achieved that aim this spring. But it took a pandemic to accomplish that goal.

Surely it won't take recessions year upon year for a decade?

The key to the riddle of the 8% problem is land.🧵/10 Only two activities changed drastically during the pandemic: transportation & land use. The former, which accounts for 20% of *fossil* CO2 emissions, fell by half during the worst stages of the global lockdown due to canceled commutes and travel, but it has quickly recovered. /2
Jul 14, 2020 11 tweets 6 min read
THREAD: Truly regenerative agriculture needs to consider aspects beyond just soil. It should include what regenerates biodiversity, increases carbon sequestration, frees up land for rewilding, regenerates our health, and lowers risk of zoonoses. (1/11). While the science shows regenerative grazing improves soil vs. typical grazing, it ignores the alternative, non-agricultural land uses: restoring forest/peatland/wetland, increasing biodiversity, or even solar farming. (2/11).…
Jul 5, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
An ethos of science is to prove oneself wrong and not cling to beliefs or one's own conclusions.

Changing opinions based on new evidence is so important, yet not valued in society, certainly not in politics.

*Short Thread* So often large meta-analyses are met with anecdotal, regional or personal, claims 'debunking' them. Share this pyramid ranking quality of evidence and likelihood of bias.

This is discussed well here:… @Plant_proof Image
May 5, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Big Livestock bailouts are happening in the US, Canada, and elsewhere, all disguised as funding for food security or jobs.

It doesn't even have to be about farming/eating animals or not. This is pure corporate handouts, failing to proactively build a better future. /1 But what about all the jobs they create? Well it's further being exposed how horrible the working conditions are.

Bringing in foreign workers, to be paid less, is even more unethical. /2…
Mar 24, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
Another great study detailing how the GHGs from animal agriculture in the US are significantly underestimated.

Animal methane emissions should be 39-90% higher according to the latest top-down atmospheric measurements. (1/5)
By @MattHighKick Image Shifting the US back to exclusively grass-fed beef production would require up to 270% more land if Americans did not reduce their consumption.

Although pastoral beef would reduce cropland use, this would be more than compensated for by the need for additional pastureland. (2/5)
Mar 12, 2020 7 tweets 4 min read
From oats to ancient grains, the movement to transition to sustainable plant-based farming is upon us. There are increasing opportunities for farmers to shift to more environmentally and economically beneficial practices. 1/7

My latest for @Sentient_Media… Overall, pulses increase good microbes and soil organic matter, and because of their nitrogen-fixing abilities, help convert soil into a carbon sink with little need for synthetic fertilizer.

They are at the heart of true regenerative agriculture. 2/7… Image
Jan 31, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read
Soy is the most widely grown crop in the world. What's driving continued growth and what are the environmental impacts?

A thread on the connections between soy, land use change, livestock feed, and ways forward. New report by @FCRNetwork:… Image Only 6% of global soy output is used for human consumption. 81% of soy processing is in the form of cake. 99% of that goes to farmed animals.

The footprint of soy (deforestation, land use change, etc.) is by far an issue related to animal agriculture. Image
Jan 4, 2020 5 tweets 3 min read
For every 100 calories of grain fed to farmed animals, you only get:

🥛 40 calories of milk
🥚 22 calories of eggs
🐔 12 calories of chicken
🐖 10 calories of pork
🐄 3 calories of beef

This is an extravagantly inefficient way to feed the world.… The protein conversion efficiencies is just as troubling: Image
Dec 16, 2019 4 tweets 2 min read
What's the rebuttal you hear the most as it relates to animal agriculture having a significant impact on climate change & the environment? Grazing regenerates land? No, it's not that simple: