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Old 2nd January 2019, 02:13 PM   #321
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
I'm not so sure of the equivalence there. The cow eats the straw that grew the wheat too, but the person does not eat the carrot tops. Or the banana peels. Or the banana tree. And people make methane too. And cows also get fed much of the scraps left over from people food production. Soy bean meal is one thing, left from squeezing the oil out of the soy beans. Cotton seed meal, bone meal, ... Hogs even more so. I wonder what happens to the scraps from the tomato catsup factory?

Then you have crops like alfalfa. It's a "nitrogen fixer" that takes nitrogen from the air and puts it into the dirt, so the next couple seasons make better people food. But the alfalfa is cow food.

No to veganism. There is an optimum level of meat in the food industry. Big Agra knows what it is from their bottom line. Even in India with their sacred cows the people wear leather sandals.
You're just speculating on things without anything to back it up. The authors of the last study I posted ("Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits") describe their methodology at the end of the article. What parts of it are problematic in your opinion?

I agree that the issue is complicated, but I think at the moment most research on the subject points to animal products being non-trivial with regards to climate change.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 03:37 PM   #322
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
You're just speculating on things without anything to back it up. The authors of the last study I posted ("Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits") describe their methodology at the end of the article. What parts of it are problematic in your opinion?

I agree that the issue is complicated, but I think at the moment most research on the subject points to animal products being non-trivial with regards to climate change.
But somebody upthread mentioned 2.6% improvement in AGG. Compared to 80% of fossil fuels burnt in transportation, that is pretty trivial.

Lemme go look for that methodology.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 04:34 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
I agree that the numbers are weird. Maybe it's the protein math?

The below study claims that a pound of beef produces the equivalent of 32.49 pounds of CO2 per pound of beef:

https://www.researchgate.net/publica...nmental_limits

The point is that protein-rich vegetables are still miles ahead of meat when it comes to pound of protein per pound of CO2.
Hmm,methane is a product of the breakdown of cellulose by bacteria. It happens in a cows intestine. It also happens to unused vegetation that rots in the field. Did they allow for that methane in the numbers on veggie production?

Landfills give off methane gas too. I think there is a LOT more un-eaten vegetation in them than there are cow intestines.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 04:50 PM   #324
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But thus far in the discussion the biggest point of contention is the CO2eq of Methane. And not just the 84 x the CO2eq, but then the totals are off by a large factor. Olmstead and I agreed on that back about post #311-315. One pound of meat needs enough feed to make 1050 CO2eq, divide by 84 = 12.5#, which would be the approximate end product of 25# of feed. Not and get sold from the feed lot for $1.46.

And the biggest take away I get form his link https://josephpoore.com/Science%2036...Manuscript.pdf is that feed lot cattle only make half as much "CO2eq" as grass fed. Yeah feed lot!
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Old 3rd January 2019, 06:56 AM   #325
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
True, but not relevant.
How can it be irrelevant? You canít change atmospheric CO2 concertation without changing the amount of sequestered Carbon. Respiration on itís own doesnít do that.
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
If plants grown to feed cows are displacing other slower cycling plants then CO2 levels will rise.
AKA Land use changes. Cutting down more forest to grow crops would release CO2 regardless of whether we raise cattle or not.
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Plants are sequestered carbon.
Not on a meaningful scale they arenít. You are playing into the climate denier trope that ďburning fossil fuels only accounts for 2% of CO2 emissionsĒ. They are wrong for the same reason. Respiration and decay are inherently balanced with plant uptake of CO2 and on their own donít change atmospheric CO2 concentration.
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
ETA: The facts you are presenting only guarantee that is some new equilibrium level of CO2. Your facts don't guarantee that we've yet reached that equilibrium.
Again, any equilibrium would only apply to land use changes. At equilibrium forests hold more CO2 than grasslands, so cutting down forests is an important source if CO2. If you really want to nitpick healthy grazing lands typically sequester more CO2 than croplands, but less than forests.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 07:23 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
However, methane is much more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas (this page claims that it's 84 times more potent and results in 28 times more warming over 100 years: http://www.fao.org/in-action/enteric...-important/en/), and it still has a half-life of 12 years. Even if enteric fermentation doesn't result in a net increase of the gases in the atmosphere, it still creates a new equilibrium of the amount of methane that is present in the atmosphere at any one time, and due to the increasing demand for meat, that amount is rising.
What it means is that Methane concentrations donít grow the way CO2 concentrations do. A source of new CO2 will continue to raise atmospheric CO2 concentrations for centuries while Methane and aerosols reach equilibrium in about a decade and donít change after that. Itís this continuous accumulation that makes CO2 such a big player in the earths climate.

Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post

It does make the math obnoxiously complicated though, and I agree that the numbers in the paper might not be useful for comparison. I wonder if there's any study that considers the warming effects of different sources over 100 years.
See the chart I posted a page or two back. Going forward Methane shrinks to a negligible fraction of radiative forcing.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 08:34 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
How can it be irrelevant? You canít change atmospheric CO2 concertation without changing the amount of sequestered Carbon. Respiration on itís own doesnít do that.
You go 100% wrong right here. Respiration on it's own only does that.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:00 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
You go 100% wrong right here. Respiration on it's own only does that.
Respiration acts on material created though the uptake of CO2. It cannot release more CO2 that this original uptake. Full stop.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 12:34 PM   #329
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Respiration acts on material created though the uptake of CO2. It cannot release more CO2 that this original uptake. Full stop.
True, but not not full stop.
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Old 5th January 2019, 10:04 AM   #330
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Hey Lomiller, what would you use as a methane CO2eq instead of 84x?
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Old 5th January 2019, 10:08 AM   #331
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And so far as burning down forest for pasture land, if we do away with meat, which is a major use of marginal lands (they can't grow vegetables there, humans can't eat straw), won't we have to burn down more forests to get a cow-equivalent amount of veggies?

I also suspect more voo-doo maths in the land use detriment in the study we are discussing.
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Old 7th January 2019, 11:00 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Hey Lomiller, what would you use as a methane CO2eq instead of 84x?
For steady state Iíd use zero. By steady state in this context I mean no increase in beef production. For increasing beef production, it gets more complicated to calculate.

Iíd include 100% of the fossil carbon and land use change attributable to raising livestock. EG If you are pumping water, running farm equipment, producing fertilizer and herbicides/pesticides in order to turn grassland or forest into cropland to support feedlots.
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Old 9th January 2019, 07:20 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
For steady state Iíd use zero. By steady state in this context I mean no increase in beef production. For increasing beef production, it gets more complicated to calculate.

Iíd include 100% of the fossil carbon and land use change attributable to raising livestock. EG If you are pumping water, running farm equipment, producing fertilizer and herbicides/pesticides in order to turn grassland or forest into cropland to support feedlots.
That blows the cow/GHG ship out of the water. And re: burning down the rain forest for feed lands, sure. But the study upthread mentioned crop rotations as land use change too. I didn't get what that was about. I feel that is a place for more voodoo maths.

And so far as turning virgin, native vegetation into feed acreage, won't cutting the use of poor farmland now used for pasturing, require more land use change to grow people veggies? Vegans don't eat hay and grass, as much as we kid them about it.
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Old 11th January 2019, 07:03 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
That blows the cow/GHG ship out of the water.
Not entirely. Intensive farming still produces a lot of CO2 due to land use changes and energy use, and a lot of the food that is produced is still going to feed livestock and yields far less human food than it should. We could emit less CO2 or feed more people if this type of land was used primarily for human food rather than livestock feed.

Iíd argue Pork/Chicken may be a bigger issue than Beef, because AFAIK almost all the feed used could be directly replaced with crops to feed humans. Cows can still eat hay that is still has a place in crop rotation, while I think chicken/pigs are mostly fed grain. Then again we probably eat to much grain based foods as well, what weíd need to add is vegetables that doesnít necessarily grow well everywhere.
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Old 11th January 2019, 05:05 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
...

Iíd argue Pork/Chicken may be a bigger issue than Beef, because AFAIK almost all the feed used could be directly replaced with crops to feed humans. Cows can still eat hay that is still has a place in crop rotation, while I think chicken/pigs are mostly fed grain.

...
My chickens seem to primarily eat earwigs, slaters, termites and cockroaches...

Their eggs are wonderful though!



I understand that humans can also eat earwigs, slaters, termites and cockroaches, but I'll stick with the eggs if that's OK with you.
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