There’s been quite a stink over farting, belching farm animals ruining the planet, and professor Frank Mitloehner wants to clear the air.

Mitloehner, an air quality specialist at the University of California-Davis has been on a one-man mission debunking misconceptions about livestock and climate change.

On Monday, he spoke to the Montana Farm Bureau Federation in Billings about how methane gas from livestock was misidentified as the bigger greenhouse gas source than airplanes, trains and automobiles combined. Mitloehner is not a climate change denier, but said agriculture is getting a bad rap.

“What this is about is that certain regions of the world show more climate extremes. The question is how much of that climate changes that we see is caused by human activity,” Mitloehner said.

In 2006, the United Nations concluded that the livestock industry was a big contributor to climate change.

In its report “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” the U.N. concluded that livestock were contributing 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases — allegedly more than the entire world’s transpiration. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used the report to forecast that Himalayan glaciers might vanish within 25 years.

Outside groups reacted to the U.N.’s claims by launching efforts to slow global warming by getting the public to go meatless one day a week, as way of lowering demand for livestock products.

Mitloehner convinced the U.N. to recant its claim in 2010. The U.N. report estimated the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from every aspect of raising meat. The U.N. did not do the same when estimating the greenhouse gases from cars.

The report ignored greenhouse gases actually created during the car’s production and instead zeroed in on tailpipe emissions.

However, scientists insist livestock methane is still a source that should be mitigated even if belching, farting animals have fallen in the U.N. rankings of polluters.

Mitloehner contends that the best way to curb methane emissions from livestock is to modernize farms, making them more efficient.

But last month the United Nations also made Mitloehner chairman of its new Food and Agriculture Organization, which will measure the environmental impacts of the livestock business.

(2) comments


First, there is no (man made global warming). Secondly, there is no (animal made global warming). Thirdly, some of these hard core global warming people are out of their minds.


"climate change denier" - what an ignorant term. Few people deny that the climate changes - it's been doing so naturally for billions of years. However, the science shows that climate change is not driven by carbon dioxide, period. There's no correlation between CO2 levels and temperature, except that scientific analysis of Antarctic ice cores reveals that atmospheric CO2 levels don't begin to increase until hundreds of years AFTER warming begins. But alarmists claim that CO2 causes warming, so under that hypothesis, CO2 levels would have to rise BEFORE warming begins - and they don't.

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