[Homestead] The latest meat eaters' dilemma

EarthNSky erthnsky at bellsouth.net
Wed Feb 21 16:19:27 EST 2007

Gene GeRue wrote:

> Yet livestock are a major emitter of greenhouse gases that cause 
> climate change.

What a loaded statement!

> "Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's 
> most serious environmental problems," Henning Steinfeld, senior 
> author of the report, said when the FAO findings were released in 
> November.
> Livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions 
> as measured in carbon dioxide equivalent, reports the FAO. This 
> includes 9 percent of all CO2 emissions, 37 percent of methane, and 
> 65 percent of nitrous oxide. Altogether, that's more than the 
> emissions caused by transportation.

Where this is going is laboratory grown food...the future is here!
Remember on the Jetsons when the food came out of the box, and when we
were all kids and took delight in Space Age food sticks (what were those
things called-looked like a Slim Jim or something..damn..CRS strikes
again!)  I probably ate enough of them to give 400 people cancer.
Anyway, this is all part of the slow brainwashing indoctrination so
eventually we will all gratefully accept lab grown foods from Monsanto
et. al...  Steak in  a petri dish...it's now possible to do.  But first,
they have to convince people that livestock-meat is bad...bad for your
health, bad for the environment..bad for the animal..etc.

About methane..I went looking for a stat on the percentage of "natural"
methane and found this..
  (from http://www.stanford.edu/~jpc/Chapter8.htm#_Plants_May_be )

begin quote

Methane of Biological Origin is almost 3.5 Billion Years Old 5/5/06

  Methane is a major green house gas, more than 20 times as potent as
carbon dioxide, but with a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere. The
Earth’s early atmosphere is thought to have had methane concentrations
more than 500 times as great as today. There are three sources of
methane: anaerobic microorganisms, heat induced degradation of organic
matter trapped in sediments, and chemical reactions of carbonates and
carbon dioxide by reducing agents in the Earth. The methane produced by
microorganisms can be distinguished from that formed by other mechanisms
by measuring the amount of an isotope, carbon-13 in the sample. Methane
from biological sources has a smaller fraction of carbon-13. Samples of
transparent quartz taken from Western Australia were found to contain
bubbles, comprised of small drops of water. Methane was found in these
water droplets and according to its carbon-13 content, this methane is
of biological origin. These quartz samples were dated by using
radioactive sources and were found to be between 3.49 and 3.46 billion
years old. This means that methane-producing bacteria were present on
the Earth much earlier than had previously been thought. (Ueno, et. al.
Nature, March 23, 2006 )
Plants May be Another Source of Methane, a Strong Greenhouse Gas 2/13/06

Molecule for molecule, methane (the main component of natural gas) is at
least 20 times as potent a green house gas as carbon dioxide is. On the
other hand, methane does not last as long in the atmosphere because it
is transformed into carbon dioxide through reaction with oxygen. Until
very recently, methane was thought to be generated by anaerobic bacteria
in oxygen-free environments, such as the digestive systems of cows, and
sheep, and in the soil of swamps and rice paddies. Termites and decaying
garbage dumps were also recognized as methane sources, again in
oxygen-free environments. Now it has been discovered both in laboratory
experiments and in satellite observations of the air over topical
forests that plants, from grasses to trees produce serious amounts of
methane. In fact, it is now estimated that 150 metric tons of methane
per year, up to 20 percent of the amount that enters the atmosphere,
comes from plants, not from anaerobic microbes in the soil. The
mechanisms explaining methane production in plants is not understood,
but there is good laboratory evidence that this can occur in an oxygen
environment. Higher temperatures and sunlight were also shown to
increase methane production. Perhaps the mechanisms behind plant
production of methane are related to the familiar generation of volatile
hydrocarbons by plants. Some readers may recall the “smoke” over the air
in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. This new
discovery will cause people to reconsider planting shrubs, grasses, and
trees to take up the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, that is the focus
of those trying to mitigate global warming. (Science News, January 14,
2006, Vol. 169, page 19)
A Greenhouse Gas From Rice Paddies 9/23/05

Methane, the major chemical in natural gas, is an important greenhouse
gas. Every methane molecule is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide,
but there is less methane in the atmosphere. Moreover, methane has a
shorter lifetime than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, because methane
reacts with oxygen forming carbon dioxide. Over the past 200 years the
concentration of methane in the atmosphere has doubled; this increase is
larger than that of carbon dioxide. Where does this methane come from?
Many places: termites, cow and sheep flatulence, leaking gas wells,
petroleum production, and coal mines and deposits. It is little
recognized that about 25 per cent of atmospheric methane results from
anaerobic microbes that live in the oxygen-poor soils in rice paddies.
This occurs when these microorganisms consume dead plants and roots from
growing rice plants. Scientists are trying to develop methods to reduce
the amount of methane that comes from rice paddies. (Science News,
August 13, 2005, Vol. 168, page 99)

End quote

Okay, so methane oxidizes to carbon dioxide, and 25% of atmospheric
methane comes from rice paddies alone..that doesn't count volcanism,
tundra, seafloor, or animal farts.  There's no people, livestock or
plants on Mars, Venus, Jupiter, or Saturn, and yet those planets, too,
are experiencing global warming.

I'm not saying that humanity isn't contributing to the changes, but I
think we should really take a closer look at other, more astronomical
reasons for warm-up.  The real problem, as I see it, is not meat eaters
or cows or even the sun, it's people.  There are too many people on the
planet..unsustainable...of course, we all agree there, I think.  I
personally think that Nature will take care and rectify the situation,
and I believe in a Power greater than myself.  That doesn't absolve me
from action, just a comfort that there are forces at work that we don't
understand and probably won't understand, and that my efforts to walk
lightly won't be in vane.

Bevanron of EarthNSky Farm   Sleep well tonight, for somewhere in the
ocean's depths, MY son is protecting YOUR freedom.

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