While Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and her far-left colleagues in Congress famously have targeted “cow farts” in the radical “Green New Deal,” a professor of animal science who is an expert on air quality contends the methane emissions of cows and other livestock are not responsible for increasing global temperatures.
Frank Mitloehner of the University of California Davis warned at the Alltech ONE conference in Lexington, Kentucky, that scientists and others who claim livestock production is causing global warming ignore the true impact of methane on the environment, reported the British agriculture industry publication Farmers Guardian
Mitloehner explained in a May 20 address that methane has a lifespan of only 10 years while CO2 lasts 1,000 years. Methane, after a decade, is broken down into CO2, but it enters a carbon cycle in which the gas is absorbed by plants, converted into cellulose and eaten by livestock.
He said that of the 558 million tons of methane produced globally every year — about 188 million tons comes from agriculture — all but 10 million tons is absorbed by plants and soils.
Mitloehner, the Farmers Guardian reported, said controversial data calculations in major reports, including by the United Nations, deflect attention from fossil fuels, which he says is the big culprit.
He pointed out that the U.S. beef herd has shrunk by a third since 1975 and dairy cow numbers have declined from 25 million to 9 million, meaning methane from livestock is decreasing.
“This discussion is the cornerstone of debunking all of this hype around why we should eat less animal-based protein,” according to Farmers Guardian.
“The people who are selling plant-based alternatives are using hype, particularly around methane, and they need to stop.”