Poor headlines: meat and CO2

I read this in the paper Grauniad; but Chris Mooney provides an on-line link. CM doesn't commit himself to an opinion on it, but I will: its poor, at least in terms of headlines. Read New research indicates that gas-guzzling cars are a much less important factor in climate change than the huge amounts of food devoured by carnivorous 'burger man' (or even Meat Eating Causes Global Warming, ahem) and you get the impression that... meat eating causes GW. But the bottom-line factoid of the story is An average burger man (that is, not the outsize variety) emits the equivalent of 1.5 tonnes more CO2 every year than the standard vegan. By comparison, were you to trade in your conventional gas-guzzler for a state of the art Prius hybrid, your CO2 savings would amount to little more than one tonne per year. This probably tells you more about the smallness of the savings from a Prius. Average annual CO2 emissions are something like 10t most of which is fossil fuels not food, so however you look at it diet isn't the *major* cause. However, even though the article sez "Stop eating meat" is unlikely to be the favourite slogan of the new Stop Climate Chaos coalition. Even "eat less meat" might not go down too well... I'm not sure why it does (disclaimer: I'm a vegetarian, but not a vegan). The UK is struggling to emit less CO2. If we could save 10% just by a minor change in diet, why not...

[All this vaguely relates to an earlier post of mine, GW, methane and vegetarianism: http://www.earthsave.org/globalwarming.htm]


James Annan said...

Before you award yourself too many smug points for vegetarianism, consider what your boss thinks of your family size :-)

William M. Connolley said...

Oh good grief. I was rather hoping no-one would notice that... I woke up this morning to him on R4.

EliRabett said...

You can have my ration if he asks.

Anonymous said...

Assuming that group photo reflects true color, William's offspring would of course qualify for the Redhead Exemption. :)

William M. Connolley said...

Sorry Steve, she's brown with maybe a bit of... yes you guessed it: blonde.

Norma said...

picture of zoroastrianism
Declaration of Heaven on Earth!
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Please chant this prayer to recieve heaven on earth:
picture of zoroastrianism
Dearest, greatest, holiest!
Please give us all, the full heaven on earth!
I thank you, & I worship you.
picture of zoroastrianism

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)