WHERE THE BEEF IS AT

28 01 2008

The good grey Times tells us that we can do more to reduce global warming by becoming vegetarian (or at least cutting down on meat) than we can by buying a hybrid automobile.  Aw shucks, most people would rather have the Prius than give up the steaks….

To put the energy-using demand of meat production into easy-to-understand terms, Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist at the Bard Center, and Pamela A. Martin, an assistant professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago, calculated that if Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan — a Camry, say — to the ultra-efficient Prius. Similarly, a study last year by the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Japan estimated that 2.2 pounds of beef is responsible for the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the average European car every 155 miles, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.

They also point out that the meat industry contributes more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than the transportation sector.  Would you like fries with that?

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4 responses

29 01 2008
Chris

wait just a damn minute, if I read that incorrectly, a 100 watt bulb can be converted to run on beef? what a breakthrough!
forgive me, Martin, just wanted to see if yor paying attention :)

29 01 2008
martin holsinger

methane power, dude!…or maybe it’s the gaseous effusions of rotting meat? putting a cow on a treadmill?

Ok, it’s not a straight-across conversion…. :-)

30 01 2008
Chris

or if we could get the process to flow the Other way, a cow whose energy requirements…..rather than deriving from grain and pasturage, a cow that
runs DIRECTLY ON ELECTRICITY!

30 01 2008
martin holsinger

cows do run directly on electricity (as do all living creatures)-a cow is a fairly efficient machine that turns grass into electricity, cow, and fertilizer –unfortunately for our needs, it’s just enough electricity to run one cow–maybe the high-tech boys can get to work on this….:-)

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