Slideshow | Climate Change & Livestock Farming
The greatest single opportunity for reducing emissions and retaining carbon is the reform of global food production. Food production is the largest source of GHG emissions and so must be addresses as a priority.
We need a conversion of all fossil fuel subsidies to organic agro forestry that does not raise livestock for slaughter.
Livestock causes over 50% of global warming GHG emissions according to a the just published Worldwatch paper. This huge increase in past estimates is because the IPCC underestimates the warming effect of methane by stretching it out over 100 years. This is future discounting of methane’s warming and is not scientific.
World watch used a 20 year IPCC number of 72 X CO2.
While the IPC uses a global warming potential for methane of 25 X CO2
(CO2 being 1) the actual global warming effect of methane emissions that last 12 years in the atmosphere is close to 100.
Research (not related to above) published this month by Drew Shindell increases methane warming by another 40%.
Main methane sources include livestock landfills. We can stop both of these.
A global transition from the livestock industry to plant agriculture will stop the main cause of deforestation (80%) therefore will drastically reduce CO2 emissions.
A plant based diet would be a catalyst to immense benefits in human health. We would see a immediate, steep decline in a health care crisis we currently face in developed / developing countries. (obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.)