Sixteen Kilos of GHG  For One Kilo of Beef

Sixteen Kilos of  CO2
        For One Kilo of Beef           Click to enlarge

Excerpts from a segment on Horizons. Michael Mosley seeks to establish the truth about meat. Every year humans raise and eat 65 billion animals, nine animals for every person on the globe. We are eating twice as much meat as we were 50 years ago, but it comes at a price. The average British citizen consumes 80 kilos of meat every year and 120 kilos is eaten in the USA. China who once consumed four kilos of beef per head per year are now averaging 55 kilos. What is the environmental impact if we want to eat meat? Is there a way to do so without destroying the planet? 300 million cattle are slaughtered every year, 1.4 billion pigs, one billion sheep and goats, 5 million horses, two million camels, 3.5 million ducks and


turkeys and 60 billion chickens. for this there are serious environmental issues, the amount of earth resources devoted to raising these vast numbers of animals is both controversial and difficult to measure. Fortunately the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation have put together some very comprehensive reports on the scale of the livestock industry. The grazing areas account for more than a quarter of the earth’s ice free areas. A third of the earth’s total land mass is given over to the animal we either eat or milk…that is 70% more of land than a century ago. With meat production set to double in the next few decades we could rapidly run out of space. It is not just cattle and the land they occupy but keeping such large number of animals has much less obvious effects on the environment.

The average cow produces the same effect on the global warming as an average family car. There are 1.5 million cows today, as a result cattle have become a major threat to the global climate.   The methane emitted from cattle is equivalent 2.8 billion tons of CO2, managing the manure creates another 700 million tons and the effect of clearing forests for grazing also contributes 700 million tons. Crop production to feed these animals creates 2.6 Billion Gigatons of CO2 and transporting produces a further 100 million tons.

Geoff Gough Attending Climate Conference in Seoul

Geoff Gough Attending Climate Conference in Seoul

The total impact according to the UN is estimated around 14.5% of all man made gas emissions, the same amount produced by the entire world’s cars, planes, trains and boats put together.

Manningham Council have cancelled plans to mandate wind turbines and solar panels on top of high rise apartments and are unable to provide a site for a Yarra Valley Water sewer mine to recycle water for laundry and toilet flushing which was part of the Doncaster Hill low CO2 development “green” policy.

It will be interesting to read Geoff Gough’s report when he returns from the Seoul conference on global warming and to discover whether there was any discussion on what effect livestock has on climate.



  1. Gatewood says:

    It is a double whammy. First we remove the trees that suck up the CO2, which they say is a greenhouse gas (GHG), to make way for methane GHG generators in the form of cattle.
    God has cared for the trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools” …John Muir


  2. Synstrat says:

    GHG emissions are accounted for in the country in which they are produced. However, in manufacturing heavy countries such as China and Korea, many of the GHG emissions result from products that are shipped for consumption to developed countries. Therefore, if emission accounting were to be performed by consumption, the developed world would have an even larger share of GHG emissions and global warming contributions.

  3. Notawoodie says:

    It is all a massive con to obtain funding just like when they conned us into believing the ice age theory back in the 70’s and 80’s. What clinched it for me was when Tim Flannery, the previous Australian spokesman for the Global Warming “Industry”, ran amok and caused all these desalination plants to be built while dams were overflowing and floods were sweeping houses away.

    1. Hocking says:

      They are milking it. Every now and then, to keep the con alive, they release a statement like “Polar bears will disappear in 30 years” or “Australia will run out of water by 2060″, far enough in the future to ensure they won’t be around to be held accountable. One sceptic wrote; ” It’s like a bidding war between the scientists to see who can predict the most catastrophic event, for example …”Not only will polar bears be extinct by 2045, Bangladesh will be completely underwater by the year 2050 etc. etc.

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