Saturday, April 28, 2007

Global warming update: EU targets food supply

From The Sun (UK):
[The] UN said livestock emissions were a bigger threat to the planet than transport.

The MEPs have asked the European Commission to “look again at the livestock question in direct connection with global warming”.

The official EU declaration demands changes to animals’ diets, to capture gas emissions and recycle manure.

They warned: “The livestock sector presents the greatest threat to the planet.” The proposal will be looked at by the 27 member states.

The UN says livestock farming generates 18 per cent of greenhouse gases while transport accounts for 14 per cent. [emphasis added.]

Normally the world-is-going-to-end environmental disaster scenarios, like acid rain, nuclear power, ozone hole, and, up til now, global warming, have all been focussed on power systems. It is not yet clear if taking action against the food supply will have as much emotional appeal.

Acid rain was supposedly caused by coal power plants used for generating electricity. (Later studies showed that rain has historically always been acidic.) Similarly, nuclear power fears were focussed on doomsday accident scenarios that might happen during electrical power generation. The ozone hole was associated with gases used during electrically-powered air conditioning. Global warming covers a wider variety of power systems: everthing that uses fossil fuels. Whether demonizing seemingly "natural" farm animals would have similar appeal remains to be seen.

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