Climate Change / Livestock

Meat vs. mile: Coverage of livestock, transportation emissions hypes controversy

For the last four years, media outlets such as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Fox News have repeatedly cited a United Nations study which found that livestock production is responsible for about 18 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions—a larger share than comes from all planes, trains, and automobiles combined.

Last week, news outlets revisited those claims, following a talk delivered by Dr. Frank Mitloehner, an animal scientist based at UC Davis, at an American Chemical Society meeting last Monday. Mitloehner criticized the conclusions of a 2006 report from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” The study’s assertion that meat (including eggs, dairy, and other animal protein) production is responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions globally than the transportation industry is certainly untenable, and likely false, he said.

The problem Mitloehner highlighted is that the FAO performed what’s called a full “lifecycle analysis” for the livestock industry.

Read more … (Columbia Journalism Review)

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