In this file:
· More fake news on GHG
· Drop beef and save millions of lives, slash emissions: WEF
More fake news on GHG
Sensationalism seems to take priority over journalism, and in this instance, CNN thought it appropriate to disparage an entire industry.
Dr. Nevil Speer, Feedstuffs
Jan 05, 2019
“An Overlooked Cause of Global Warming: Beef” Sorry @cnn – have to call BS (pun intended) on that fake news story. Maybe you can check facts with experts @GHGGuru @drsplace and run a real story.
That was my response on twitter to a CNN story running on the Jacksonville airport TV screens. The experts I referenced are Drs. Frank Mitloehner (University of California-Davis) and Sara Place (National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn). Thankfully, my daughter caught the story and drew my attention to it, otherwise I would have missed it: “Dad, you have to see this!”
Because of time constraints, I didn’t get to watch the entire story. But I didn’t need to - the footer I quoted in my tweet was all I needed to understand what’s going on. That premise is just plain wrong.
Once we got home, I decided to dig a little and found the transcript online. CNN’s teaser for the story goes like this: “…a popular American TV ad once touted beef as the phrase, "It's what's for dinner"; but now the beef industry is facing new pressures around climate change, which seems to be accelerating. We explore that ahead.”
The segment features CNN journalist Nick Paton Walsh who, “traveled to Texas, the world’s beef capital, to investigate a major and often overlooked cause of greenhouse gases.” None of us are privy to the decision-making process around how these stories are developed, but that doesn’t matter. It’s the end-product that matters and the transcript only served to confirm my suspicion. The story is full of misinformation.
First, as noted earlier, the very premise of the story is flawed. The U.S. produces about 15% of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Meanwhile, EPA accounting designates agriculture as 9% of U.S. GHG emissions and notes that livestock are responsible for “almost one-third” of agriculture’s total GHG output. CNN couldn’t even do the basic math.
Based on those percentages, animal agriculture in the U.S. is responsible for about 3% of 15% of the world’s total GHG emissions. In other words, that means U.S. livestock are contributing less than one-half-of-one-percent to the world total. Clearly, CNN didn’t want to grapple with facts or perspective – it would negate their tagline that beef is a “cause of global warming.”
CNN’s distortions didn’t end there. For example, Walsh adds some drama: “…the endless acres here seem haunted by the corn that went before.” The story then claims, “Nearly 100 million acres of corn are planted, grown, fertilized, processed and transported around America, the biggest producer in the world.” Apparently, he wants us to believe that nearly 100-million acres are unnecessarily and wastefully committed to just feeding cattle.
He gets it wrong. The 10-year planted corn acreage average hovers around 91 million acres. Moreover, roughly 45% of that acreage is utilized to produce ethanol (the 10-year average) – compared to just 43.5% being committed to the feed/residual category (which includes feed for ALL livestock AND companion animals). Once again, lazy journalism.
What really bothers me, though, are the broader issues revolving around this story. Most notably, it’s ironic a story about beef and climate change is headlining in the airport. Airports are bustling places that epitomize mobility. Transportation as a whole accounts for 28% of U.S. GHG output – over nine times bigger than the livestock industry.
All that aside, this is now the third consecutive column I’ve written about climate change as it relates to mainstream media. Sensationalism seems to take priority over journalism, and in this instance, CNN thought it appropriate to disparage an entire industry...
Drop beef and save millions of lives, slash emissions: WEF
By Jorge Guerreo, Japan Today
Jan. 4, 2019
GENEVA | Switching from beef to alternative proteins could save millions of lives and dramatically slash greenhouse gas emissions, the World Economic Forum said Thursday.
New research conducted by the Oxford Martin School for WEF showed that efforts to replace meat and especially beef could provide huge benefits for human health and the environment.
The organization, famous for the plush gathering of the world's rich, famous and influential at the luxury Swiss ski resort of Davos each January, said 2.4 percent of global diet-related deaths could be avoided by moving away from beef.
And for wealthier countries, a full five percent of such deaths could be avoided, according to the school's white paper "Alternative proteins".
"The most positive effects are found in wealthier countries, where beef consumption is high and where there is a particular benefit of consuming more fibre," it found.
The paper did not provide figures on how many people are estimated to die annually from diet-related causes, nor what diseases or conditions were included in that category, but WEF maintained that switching from meat "could prevent millions of unnecessary deaths per year."
It also pointed out that demand for meat is projected to keep growing even as the global population is predicted to swell to 10 billion around the middle of this century.
"It will be impossible to sustainably satisfy the world's future demand for meat," WEF managing director Dominic Waughray said in the statement.
He stressed that "innovation in products, improvements in how we produce beef, pork and chicken, and an effort on the part of the consumer to embrace a more diverse diet," could make it possible to improve global health, even without giving up meat altogether.
The report analyzed 13 sources of protein, including beef, pork and chicken, along with fruits and vegetables such as beans, processed non-animal substitutes like tofu, and novel products including insects.
It found that switching from meat to alternative proteins could have both a negative and a positive effect on nutrient intake, but that overall, increasing consumption of alternatives offered health improvements.
Beans, mycoprotein and peas offered the biggest health boost, with the possibility to reduce mortality rates by up to seven percent, it found.
The white paper also highlighted 2010 data showing that beef production alone accounts for a quarter of all food-related greenhouse gas emissions...