Controversy over new global warming report

A new Worldwatch report claims 50% of all global emissions of greenhouse gases can be attributed to livestock production.

This article attempts to refute the 2006 report Livestock's Long Shadow which blamed livestock production for 18% of all anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases.

What is surprising about Worldwatch's report is its suggestion: Stop eating meat. Don't just reduce consumption, change what you eat from meat products to analogs. They essentially suggest that the most meaningful way we can reduce our global greenhouse output is to go vegetarian.

A few caveats deserve to be mentioned. The analysis has not been peer-reviewed; that is, other scientists and experts have not pored over the data and drawn similar conclusions. According to one leading expert on climate change, Tara Garnett, the data is certainly welcome, particularly the information on methane, but that the data on carbon dioxide emissions from livestock breathing may not be accurate. Further, the conclusion drawn from the methane information may be skewed due to lack of equalization across all industries (i.e. the authors did not apply their statistics equally to all methane-producing sectors).

Karl Burkart over at Mother Nature Network offers some criticisms to the report. While there is no doubt Burkart and Animal Place come from two different philosophies, there is fairness in his criticism.

Of course, the ultimate conclusion is still valid - the reduction or elimination of meat, dairy and egg products from our diet is beneficial to us all. It improves our health, reduces our impact on the environment and, obviously, reduces the suffering and exploitation of other animals.