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As seen above, the United Nations has been working on climate change mitigation and adaptation methods for many years. They have been joined by many countries who recognize the urgency of global action to solve humanity's greatest challenge. You don't hear much about the UN efforts in the U.S. because of corruption of our media by supporters of right-wing climate change denial which is financially sponsored by the fossil fuel industry and its major enablers, the Koch brothers.

The UN has been especially persevering in connecting the dots between climate change, agriculture, and food security. Their copious research involving scientists from around the world not only connects the dots but brings forward the understanding that agricultural is one of the few sectors in which mitigation and adaptation join together creating immense opportunity for solving the climate change crisis.

Please read below the fold for more on the United Nations' new publication.

The UN is sounding the alarm with a new publication from the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) titled: "Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It Is Too Late," which included contributions from more than 60 experts around the world. The new publication builds on a 2010 study: one that essentially said organic and small-scale farming is the answer for “feeding the world,” not GMOs, factory farming and monocultures.

The report links global security and escalating conflicts with the urgent need to transform agriculture toward what it calls “ecological intensification.” The report concludes, “This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers.”

The UNCTAD report identified key indicators for the transformation needed in agriculture:

  • Increasing soil carbon content and better integration between crop and livestock production, and increased incorporation of agroforestry and wild vegetation
  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of livestock production
  • Reduction of GHGs through sustainable peatland, forest, and grassland management
  • Optimization of organic and inorganic fertilizer use, including through closed nutrient cycles in agriculture
  • Reduction of waste throughout the food chains
  • Changing dietary patterns toward climate-friendly food consumption
  • Reform of the international trade regime for food and agriculture

The report is especially harsh in stating that global trade rules should be reformed in order to work toward these ends, which is the opposite of what mega-trade deals like the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S.-EU Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are seeking to accomplish.

The Institute noted that these pending deals are “primarily designed to strengthen the hold of multinational corporate and financial firms on the global economy …” rather than reflect the urgent need for a shift in agriculture described in the new report.

In 2007, another important report out of the multilateral system, the International Assessment of Agriculture Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), with contributions from experts from over 100 countries (and endorsed by nearly 60 countries), came to very similar conclusions. The IAASTD report concluded that “Business as Usual is Not an Option,” and the shift toward agroecological approaches was urgent and necessary for food security and climate resilience. Unfortunately, business as usual has largely continued. Maybe this new UNCTAD report will provide the tipping point for the policy transformation that must take place “before it’s too late.”

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS and Meatless Advocates Meetup.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good to see this from the UNTC! (19+ / 0-)

    In this country inequality had a very good year last year.

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:05:38 PM PST

  •  No further sanctions on Iran (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Fiona West

    I'd like to think that Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand have better motives than using the potential of this moment for PR.  Just does not seem consistent with who they appear to be.  Misguided at best to take the possibility of coming to terms with iran and blow it up with threats of further sanctions before there is the opportunity to participate in negotiation and joining those as invited by Obama.

    Peggy Reskin Barefootfrontunners.com

    by preskin on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:25:31 PM PST

  •  What will it take to rid ourselves (7+ / 0-)

    of the koch pests?

    •  Time. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Churchill

      What's the difference between the Federal government and organized crime? One's legally sanctioned.

      by FrankenPC on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:49:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's their power we must be rid of, but only (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FrugalWorld, unclebucky, ram27, valkyrry

      revolution can do that, and revolution has unpredictable consequences and I don't consider it feasible anyway. I was optimistic back when we ended the VietNam War and then Nixon resigned, but observing how power works since then made me pessimistic, and learning the science of global warming has made me fatalistic. We're left with minimizing suffering as best we can.                                                                                

    •  Raid usually works (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unclebucky, Churchill

      ...on Koch-a-roaches...

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:39:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Entropy, I do believe... n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Churchill

      "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

      by unclebucky on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:18:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A POTUS with brains and guts to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jasan

      use the DOJ he or she has been entrusted with to define the strict lines between politics and gross national extortion. Those old fuckers don't have to go up the river nor does anyone else. There are processes for which there is no precedent which have allowed such opportunists to literally replace the republican party of Bob Dole with idiots and reckless ideologues unqualified to gamble with the things they have been gambling with. This has to be stopped. And it can be.

      No, that doesn't mean rounding up every butthead that signed Norquist's pledge--just have a federal case to establish if what this self-mythologized putz has been doing equals usurpation of power--extortion by default, if you will, and have cease and desist orders issued to him and every pledge signer to cease this stunning an egregious conflict of interest which has been causing cyclical use of routine procedures like the debt ceiling as grounds to extort the rest of the government including the POTUS to keep making concessions to criminals who act like domestic enemies rather than simple legislators in a representative democracy.

      It can mean everything to simply say that the clock of American justice is now ticking. Any violations from here forth, will be treated with swift application of the law. Then watch as who starts squawking about who did what with whom as all but Fox start asking the right questions--just what constitutes a domestic enemy? and where exactly is the line between politics and crime? We made Nixon answer that. We can make any schmuck get back inside the lines or go to jail.

      "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

      by RareBird0 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:00:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Prayer is the answer. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, jqb, unclebucky, valkyrry

    If you are a brainwashed lunatic,(Christian)  or a Republican, you reject science, and think that MAGIC is the answer.

    It's a shame that we have allowed the Christian religion to reject science along with Fox News, and the entire Republican party, starting when Al Gore spelled it all out, and correctly I might add last decade.

    YES, Al Gore.  100% on the money with his book and movie.
    "An Inconvenient truth"

    Yes, the Jesus people rejected this entire theory ( Christian churches united on this.) Fox News and all republicans decided "Climate Change was a hoax, and Al Gore was lying.

    I would like a big apology from the pope, and Fox news, and every Republican alive.

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:27:37 PM PST

    •  Not all Christians are to blame for all ills. (10+ / 0-)

      Using a broad brush such as this is what Teapublicans and fundamentalists are good at. We Progressives/Liberals should be above that.

      And no, I am not a Christian.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

      by SaraBeth on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:37:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not mine! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaraBeth, ybruti, FranklinCat, rhauenstein

      One quibble - the churches did not unite - the UCC has a Minister for Environmental Justice and is very active in climate change issues/education/action. There are probably others - in fact there may be a whole group of supporters if they are reached and educated, as Christians are called to be good stewards of the earth.

      •  Just like gay republicans. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Old Sailor

        There are a few, very, very, very , few.

        " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

        by EarTo44 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:34:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Document that. (0+ / 0-)

          Fundamentalists are not the majority among CHristians.  The Catholic church has long since given up it's quarrel with evolution, the age of the Earth, and science in general.  Most mainstream Protestants accept science.  Fundamentalism is in fact in good measure a reaction against Christian acceptance of science and secular democracy.

          There are a lot of liberal Christians  here on Daily Kos.  They are our allies.  The idea that to save the Earth we have to fight Christianity, rather then focusing on the massive forces of blind greed and political power organized through the system of multinational corporations -- that is an astonishing level of misdirection and wasted energy.

          We do have to fight the religious right.  They aren't the core enemy, but they are useful tools fed and manipulated by the corporate 1 percent.  IN a few cases, such as the Koch brothers, the moneybags may even believe what they promote.  But you must surely realize that most billionaires don't give a rat's ass about Jesus, the bible, abortion, etc.  They simply care about having a fanatical base of voters who will turn out and win elections, at least as long as they still have to deal with the annoying reality of elections.

          It's important to keep the focus of our political work on either creating sustainable alternatives, or fighting the real enemies, those who dominate the world system of high finance and corporate power.  In that struggle, we need to be open to allies who differ from us, including in philosophical/spiritual beliefs.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:05:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  OH, NO! It's worse than we thought! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Mayfly, DaddyO

    The UN's not after our GUNS, they're after our FARM EQUIPMENT!!  How will we plow/seed/poison our hundreds of acres of GMO's for the suckers....er, consumers to eat?

    I still maintain the Industrial revolution could have stopped shortly after the bicycle.  Or at least slowed to a crawl....

    •  We lost (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul Ferguson

      We lost when we as citizens accepted the label "consumers".

      We are living breathing individuals, not some bean counters playthings.

      I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

      by roninkai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:19:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wait for It (0+ / 0-)

    "They ain't no sich thang as Global Warming! They're already sayin' hit's gonna be the coldest hit's bin in twenny yars."

    "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

    by midnight lurker on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 05:53:24 PM PST

  •  Remeber When We… (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ram27

    We used to lead the charge on issues like this.
    Why wouldn't we want to save the world?

    What the hell happened to our ounce great nation?
    (Guess we all know the answer to that one.)

    I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

    by roninkai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:18:13 PM PST

  •  Greatest Threat to Food Security? (10+ / 0-)

    Continued population growth -
    Especially in areas with subsistence agriculture.
    (Such as in the image of the UN brochure)

    Combine that with the rapidly expanding diets in China and other Asian countries - especially beef and dairy - and the apparent loosening of the "one child" policy, and you have a recipe for serious food insecurity with or without dramatic climate variations.

    Perhaps the most sobering example is Malawi. From 1960 to 2010 Malawi's population has grown from 3.5 million to 15 million - and is expected to exceed 45 million by 2050.  The area of Malawi is slightly greater than that of Kentucky, but 20% of that is Lake Malawi, so the land area is slightly less.

    Kentucky has a population of 4.4 million - and although one of the poorer states, far exceeds Malawi in per capita income - - $28,500 to $250.  Already Malawi has a population more than three times greater than Kentucky's.  How can it possibly sustain a population ten times greater?

    Despite all the micro-lending and sustainability programs by NGOs in Malawi, the issue really is population.  Even a population with an extremely low consumption footprint.  Deforestation, loss of topsoil, pollution of surface water - all are related to unsustainable population growth.

    Where is the discussion of population?

    •  Overpopulation is the root (6+ / 0-)

      of essentially every human problem. But as you say, very few are willing to even discuss this, let alone address it. Look at how China's "one child" policy is demonized, even though it saved them from inevitable catastrophe and led, in no small part, to their skyrocketing standard of living.

    •  Check out this book: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnnygunn

      Countdown: Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

      Author Alan Weisman does an outstanding job traveling the world and meeting with people involved with trying to deal with issues of population stress.

      What I took from it: In countries where the Catholic Church has a dominant presence, population continues to explode. Empowering women everywhere is a key component of population reduction. That Japan's population is reducing and creating its own sort of challenges. And something he made me realize I hadn't thought of; if humans stopped breeding today, in little over a century, humanity would be extinct, completely gone from earth. Which suggests how easy it would be to reduce our numbers. Not to extinction, but to half or less in very short order if we collectively try.


      "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

      by Pescadero Bill on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 07:28:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Human Population Were Halved - - (0+ / 0-)

        Think of all the environmental and social issues that would be mitigated.

        It's not just the Catholic Church - - Traditional religious beliefs in many parts of the world place much emphasis on the "Be fruitful and multiply" idea or whatever local variation thereof.  Even in the U.S. there is an underlying positive spin on big families and, at least, a twinge of sadness looking at small ones.  For ex. - the wedding scene in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" - the Greek side is packed and the Anglo side is empty.

        I agree that empowering women is essential.  I also believe that reproductive decisions are best left to families, not the state - either way, promoting as with the former Soviet Union or discouraging as in China.

  •  Greed is a Capitalist God (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaddyO

    Until the rich start suffering under climate change nothing will happen in the US.  The rich run the country.  The rich and powerful are above the law.  The rich have bought and paid for Congress.  The Oil companies are part of the problem.

    Climate change sounds like a middle class plot to get money out of the rich to them.  They long ago convinced themselves that by exploiting capitalism they are helping the US.  They truly believe that they have no moral or ethical duty to give back to their community in any way other than to use it and all the resources they can grab to make more money.

    Until this changes it ain't going to happen.  

  •  HUGE!! missed opportunity in Warsaw ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    where negotiators at the parallel Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) talks weren't able to come to any substantive agreements re agriculutre.

    Yet agriculture, the world's farmers,  and climate change were the focus of the Global landscape Forumat COP19 ...

    Here is a page which describes in short videos the landscape approach as it launched in Warsaw

     from CGIAR:
    Why one billion farmers deserve better from COP19

    What is it about agriculture that the world finds so hard?  We eat its products every day, after all.  Yet when it comes to adopting sensible policies for ensuring that people get fed, that farmers can make a living, and that agriculture does not contribute unnecessarily to climate change, the world’s diplomats are frankly clueless.

    (snip)

    Agriculture matters big time for climate — and climate for agriculture.  It contributes up to 25 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, through deforestation to make way for farms, manufacturer of agrochemicals, emissions from soils and so on.  Meanwhile, farmers are in the front line from the impacts of climate change.  And there is huge potential to do things better, for both mitigating climate change and adapting to it.  Often the two go together, creating classic win:wins.

    But this week specialist negotiators charged with working up proposals on the issue flunked it.

    The failure came not from the main political negotiations, but from the parallel technical talks held under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).  As Elizabeth Nsimadala for the World Famers’ Organisation said late on Saturday, “parties were not able to agree to engage in further substantive discussions on agriculture under SBSTA here at COP19, which is effectively delaying any further progress on this important issue for another year.”

    RIP Nelson Mandela

    by boatsie on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:31:53 PM PST

  •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sky Net
    The new publication builds on a 2010 study: one that essentially said organic and small-scale farming is the answer for “feeding the world,” not GMOs, factory farming and monocultures.

    For purposes of greenhouse gas emissions characterization and control from beef production, the primary parameter to address about the production system is the number of days to produce a market weight animal.   The reason for this is that the amount of greenhouse gases generated from enteric methane emissions per animal depends on the number of days required to produce that animal from calve to market weight.

    Saying that GMOs and factory farming and monocultures are the primary problem for purposes of greenhouse gas emissions is misinterpreting the physical situation with agricultural practices and the assessment of their emissions.

    If small scale farming cannot replicate the efficiency in days to market weight achieved by intensive agricultural systems, then they have to be considered to be dirtier than the intensive systems for purposes of greenhouse gas emission inventories.

    Finally, no pracitcal greenhouse gas mitigation is possible for post-excretion animal waste systems without intensive agricultural practices (i.e. factory farming).   Methane digestion and generation is not practical in pasturing systems.

    •  Straw man (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nathanfl, VL Baker, Old Sailor, Fiona West

      The report never called for pasturing animals. It called for better integration between crop and livestock production, and a reduction in greenhouse gasses from livestock production.

      To reduce greenhouse gasses from livestock production, the easiest method is simply to produce less livestock. Switching from cattle to animals which produce less methane per pound of meat is another option. Simply continuing to fatten cattle in feedlots will not reduce GHG production, pasturing them could make it worse, and complex schemes to capture the gasses are uneconomical and insufficient.

      In other words, the necessary solution is simple. Less cattle. And this is from someone who prefers beef and dairy products as primary staples, not a PETA extremist. We have to sharply reduce our consumption.

    •  pretty disingenuous comparison (5+ / 0-)

      you are saying a 10,000 head cattle farm is better for the environment because they get the cows from birth to market faster?  isn't this the most classic case of missing the trees for the forest?

      i think the point of small scale farming is two things:

      #1 Reduce meat consumption!  if there is less meat available to consume, then people will consume less.  pretty simple here and this will amount to massive savings not only in GHG emissions but in our own health.

      #2  factory farming is ecologically disastrous because the scale is so massive it necessitates the use of fossil fuel consumption, antibiotic usages, literal rivers of shit, tremendous power hungry and dirty transportation, butchering and processing centers and distribution networks.  

      •  your response is irrelevant to (0+ / 0-)

        the method for determination greenhouse gas emissions from beef cattle systems.

        Minimizing the number of days to reach market weight will always be the priority strategy for reducing emissions from beef production.   The greater the production efficiency in achieving rapid growth to market weight, the lower the amount of enteric methane emissions per unit live weight.

        If your agricultural system does not achieve maximum performance in rapid growth to market weight, then the production system is inherently dirtier for greenhouse gas emissions as a result of convention air quality science determination.

        •  completely wrong (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pescadero Bill, Fiona West
          Minimizing the number of days to reach market weight will always be the priority strategy for reducing emissions from beef production.
          you are stubbornly missing the point.  the #1 priority by far will be the reduction of meat consumption.  an expanding human populations demands that.  increasing GHG emissions and the consequences of climate change necessitate that.  what you are proposing is an apologetic for the status quo.
          •  The determination of the greenhouse gas emission (0+ / 0-)

            intensity of a beef production system does not have anything at all to do with who eats how much meat.   It is an air quality assessment problem and not a political problem.

            There is wide variability in such emission intensities for each type of agricultural practice carried out with each different type of livestock system.   Failure  to recognize these differences is greenhouse gas emission control leadership and management  malpractice.

            I am not saying that reducing meat consumption is not important.   What I am saying is that a valid act of agricultural air quality science is required for any assessments of the situation which necessarily  include looking at all alternative livestock management systems.  Failure to carry out that kind of review on the greenhouse gas emission process intensity, or failure to even recognize that such analysis is required is greenhouse gas emission control and characterization scientific misconduct.

    •  What a nice clinical justification for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VL Baker, ram27

      the birth-to-death torture of animals that characterizes "intensive agricultural practices."  Aside from that, maybe you missed the bullet which noted the need for "changing dietary patterns."  The earth's teeming billions cannot be fed hamburgers without deforesting the rest of the planet (50 percent already accomplished), which would be ecological suicide.  That's without taking into consideration methane emissions, even vastly reduced ones from super-efficient methods of bringing an animal to "market weight."  The usual market-based thinking is inadequate to tackle the climate crisis.  It's what got us here in the first place.

      A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

      by wordwraith on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:51:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
        The earth's teeming billions cannot be fed hamburgers without deforesting the rest of the planet (50 percent already accomplished), which would be ecological suicide.
        This statement and description has no application to agricultural methods used in the United States.   Neither grazing systems nor concentrate animal production systems carried out in the United States are responsible for carrying out any deforestation at all in the United States.

        Agricultural emissions in CO2 equivalents from United States agriculture  is at about 8.3% of total United States greenhouse gas emission inventories according to U.S. EPA

        The usual market-based thinking is inadequate to tackle the climate crisis.   That's without taking into consideration methane emissions, even vastly reduced ones from super-efficient methods of bringing an animal to "market weight."  
        Neither of these statements have anything at all to do with the method of determining greenhouse gas emission intensity of agricultural production systems.
        •  A Cleverbot It Is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pescadero Bill, ram27

          A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

          by wordwraith on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 09:38:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'd like to see a study comparing methane (0+ / 0-)

          produced by range-fed cattle and factory-farmed cattle.  Keep in mind that the massive lagoons of manure on factory farms continue to emit methane over long periods, while manure of range-fed cattle is fairly quickly absorbed into the soil, acting as fertilizer.  

          Also keep in mind that millions of buffalo (closely related to cattle) roamed the plains of the US for thousands of years, shitting and emitting, without causing global warming, even though there were huge herds of ungulates roaming the African plains at the same time, and substantial herds on the Asian steppes as well.  So the idea that naturally pastured animals will kill the environment while farmed cattle are "the most efficient" in any way that relates to environmental progress is ... well, seemingly daft.

          Do you know of any studies that compare methane produced by range-fed cattle and factory farmed cattle?

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:39:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here is a 1999 paper addressing the difference (0+ / 0-)

            in methane emissions between grain-fed feedlot cattle vs. pastured cattle.

            When the cattle were grazed on pasture, they produced .23 kg CH4 x animal(-1) x d(-1), which corresponded to the conversion of 7.7 to 8.4% of gross energy into CH4. When the same cattle were fed a highly digestible, high-grain diet, they produced .07 kg CH4 x animal(-1) x d(-1), corresponding to a conversion of only 1.9 to 2.2% of the feed energy to CH4.
            That study thus determined that methane emissions from grazing cattle were over 3 times higher than methane emissions from grain-fed feedlot cattle.    And these are only daily mass rate methane emission determinations with the amount of methane emitted per animal per day.

            When making a determination of greenhouse gas emission intensity of an agricultural system, the effect of the number of days in the beef production cycle needed to attain typical market weights will mean the the most prodocutive systems with the most rapid growth rate (usually provided by grain fed rations for cattle) will have the lowest methane emission intensity on a mass emission per unit of live weight produced at market basis.

            You said:

            Keep in mind that the massive lagoons of manure on factory farms continue to emit methane over long periods, while manure of range-fed cattle is fairly quickly absorbed into the soil, acting as fertilizer.
             

            Yes, it is true that post-excretion methane emissions has to be determined separately from enteric methane emissions for all accounting and methane emission mitigation purposes.   However, methane emissions produced by animal waste deposited in pastures is not mitigated by any soil adsorption process.   Once yeasts and bacteria act on the carbonatious content of pasture deposited animal wastes, 100% of the carbon dioxide and methane generated by that biological process is immediately emitted as a gas because of the very low physical boiling  point of methane and carbon dioxide.

            Most of the total carbon content of animal waste is represented as solids rather than liquids in the excreted waste mixture (unlike reactive nitrogen which mostly partitions to liquids).   Since most of the carbon is a solid there is less opportunity for deposited solids to penetrate a given soil depth as a matter of non-fluid vertical mobility.

            Your second paragraph does not have anything to do with the agriculture air quality science determination for the greenhouse gas emission intensity of a livestock production system.

    •  You're so wrong it's downright harmful in (0+ / 0-)

      many ways.

      I direct you to page 148 of the linked to UN document ( "Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It Is Too Late,") under the heading: "Grassland and ruminants: an example of misconceptions and opportunities."

      Besides, intensive animal systems (CAFO in other words) only shorten "days to market weight" by about 6 months if at all. And in order to do that it relies heavily on antibiotic use for intense growth rate and feed sourced from places all over the continent which is produced using all sorts of environmentally destructive methods. Not to mention the end product is unhealthy and is responsible to some extent for the heart disease epidemic in this country.

      Extensive grazing methods used in grassland management incorporated with organic farming is the only route to sustainability of human food production and agriculturally based climate change mitigation.

      The so-called science you are relying on is flawed and merely serves the nefarious intentions of the industrialized meat industry and its lobby.

      And no, I'm not going to search for the appropriate links (other than what I have included) to debunk what you state as perceived fact. You'll have to open your mind and find the information on your own. Maybe then, if you are willing to open you mind to the idea that you've been wrong all these years, you'll learn something new and valuable and stop promoting information that is harmful to people and planet alike.


      "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

      by Pescadero Bill on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:18:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
        I direct you to page 148 of the linked to UN document ( "Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It Is Too Late,") under the heading: "Grassland and ruminants: an example of misconceptions and opportunities."
        The document you're referring to is here.

        Nothing in the section you are referring to addresses greenhouse gas emission intensities on an emission of CO2 equivalents per unit of live weight at market sale basis.

        Besides, intensive animal systems (CAFO in other words) only shorten "days to market weight" by about 6 months if at all.
        That USDA document cites this particular bit of research:

        "Pelletier et al. (2010) compared two grain-fed systems and one forage system within the same boundary conditions. They found that “[i]mpacts [in the form of GHG emissions] per live-weight kg of beef produced were highest for pasture-finished beef for all impact categories and lowest for feedlot-finished beef…”

        The USDA document itself does not provide any greenhouse gas emissions intensity information for any of the livestock systems cited.

        You apparently accept the fact that intensive cattle production can mean 6 fewer months of daily CO2e production in a livestock management system compared to a higher emitting system.  However your indifference to the greenhouse gas emission consequences of such longer times for cattle finishing to live weight means you have a non-scientific blind spot that you're using to justify a dirtier production system for greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. extensive cattle grazing instead of intensive systems).

        You said:

        Extensive grazing methods used in grassland management incorporated with organic farming is the only route to sustainability of human food production and agriculturally based climate change mitigation.
        For purposes of greenhouse gas emissions intensity evaluation, the USDA document you cite does not actually support this view as you claim it.

        You said:

        The so-called science you are relying on is flawed and merely serves the nefarious intentions of the industrialized meat industry and its lobby.
        You don't cite any specific to justify this charge, nor do you seem to understand the concept of greenhouse gas emission intensity (emissions of CO2e per unit of agricultural commodity production).
  •  Makes me think of (0+ / 0-)

    That History Channel special from a few years ago Earth 2100.

  •  united nations you are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ram27

    talking to a blank wall the elites in america are too diluted, ignorant, and selfish to think you could have the answer to any problem.
    in fact they want to terminate your existence as one of the few organizations that give the world hope for the future and could help to solve a problem that will eventually destroy all of humanity.
    this in the long run is a good thing for all but the human species and that is a good thing.

  •  Eating lower on the food chain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker, ram27

    I was inspired by a diary last week that said that simply having pb&j on your lunch bread rather than cow saved 3.6 pounds of carbon. Now, I can't verify the number, but there are so many simple and relatively painless things a person can do to lower one's carbon footprint it isn't silly. And governments can do a lot as well.

    For New Years, pick just one. Instead of recycling those carcinogious plastic bottles, pick up a metal one. Or eat a little lower on the food chain half the time. Make a little list of preferred purchases, maybe one layer of cellophane instead of two. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. I don't care what it is. But that sort of thing begins to build a consciousness and is so easy that it can spread.

  •  Wait, they forgot somebody! (0+ / 0-)

    If the poor need more food, and small-scale farms are part of the solution, wherever will the poor Kock brothers GOLF?!

  •  One huge statement the Catholic Church could make (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    would be to announce there will be no more palms for Palm Sunday.  This would help to support orangutan homes and beat back child slave labor on the plantations.

    From there the Developed World refuses to buy anything with palm oil in it nor to use any exotic woods in our homes.

    It's a start.

  •  on the choices idea... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    I know everyone can't do this, but we simply grow a couple of tomato plants and some lettuce/spinach with carrots between the rows in a raised bed 4'x8' of compost I made by just throwing out my kitchen scraps and using some dried mowing clumps and old dead leaves.  There are four in my family, and we grow enough salad for Spring, some of the summer, and then again in Fall up until frost.  The tomatoes are wonderful and are great in sauces, salads, on sandwiches, or just to munch on.  Neighbors grow collards and so forth as well...you don't need a big yard to put a few plants on your porch or deck and eat off of them, and I pick dandelion greens from my yard as well for soups and salads.  Growing some fresh herbs in the kitchen window all winter can work as well...you don't have to be an expert gardener to do any of these things.  

    A pepper or tomato in a pot can produce a decent amount of produce, and you know you didn't put any toxins in there.  (Yes, I know polluted rain and so forth and air and we can't control everything, but we can control much of what is in that food if we grow it)

    We have blueberries, peaches, pears, and apples in the front yard on the side, and although I don't prune as I should we got bags and bags of berries and pears/apples last year.  That was from three blueberry plants, two pears (one didn't count because something ate all the ripe fruit and we got none), and two apple trees.  You don't have to be a factory farm and feed the whole world, and you don't have to put poisons on them to get them to grow if you use methods that aren't so invasive.  You grow whatever you can, buy locally when you can, and choose foods that are made without wrecking the planet more than necessary.  It isn't about my family, but about us all finding what we can do.  We recycle, compost, and don't eat much meat, and we do it because it is simpler and works for us.  We shared our produce with the neighbors and were happy to do it!  

    And US?  Move along!!  Stop holding the rest of the countries back who want to do something about this!  Enough about corporate profits!!!  Sometimes it really can't be about being the richest unless you don't care if all the people who buy your products or use your services die off from the poisons you want to be allowed to spew.  And no I will get off my soapbox:)

  •  Clearly, we are the bad guys in the world (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    It didn't just begin a few years ago. It really began at the end of WWII. Instead of giving the Soviets the reconstruction aid FDR promised, Truman went rogue with military industrialists and created the America we who are 50 and over have lived. Booming over-flow from defense contracting was the "trickle down" that seemed to work. Then the wall came down and instead of joining the rest of the world in embracing Agenda 21, the Bush-Cheney monster had us create the new boogeyman--terrorism.

    While America was occupied with the first Gulf War, everyone else with a brain was meeting in Rio Brazil to learn from the dumbest cluster-fuck of human stupidity--the Cold war--and figure out a way to do the opposite of running towards the light that will burn us to death.

    The US should have been leading the "sustainable development movement" instead of hiding it from American sight. That's why this UN stuff isn't already our common knowledge and national enterprise.

    When do we reconcile the past? When do we exorcize the demons that have caused us to carry on the search for war profits while the very Earth we live on has been yelling at us that it has an expiration date? And no one can buy their way out of a dead world. Not caring is criminal. It is as simple as that. And Americans have been sold an anti-social bill of criminal ignorance that is still the wild wild west and there is unlimited wealth to just rip out of the soil if your ruthless enough get a grubstake. That shit is dead. It has been dead. What's left are reality shows set in Alaska and for real contemporary Americans is the shameful skeleton -- a 1% versus 99% configuration of heartlessness.  

    It's past time to join the world. Yes, before we kill it. Us. The bad guys.

    "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

    by RareBird0 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 03:31:14 PM PST

  •  Wake Americans Up! (0+ / 0-)

    What's it? 3/4 of US citizens live on the coasts? So, next summer bomb Greenland - slide some of those mile deep glaciers off into the sea. Bomb the Antarctic peninsula right now. Raise the sea levels twenty feet - that - and just about ONLY that - will wake us up.

  •  everyone I talk to face to face (0+ / 0-)

    Knows NOTHING about TPP and TTIP. Due to the mainstream media blackout.

    we need separation of big business/financial groups from government.

    Before this type of action can be taken. in regards to diversifying our crops on a local scale.

    Get rid of the cash crop to biofuel. so that the farming efforts is not wasted on non food production. and not wasting irreplaceable ground nutrients on non essentials.

     biofuel should only be derived from our waste like oil from deep friers.

    Biggest thing of all we need population control If we do not do this earth will do it for us on a more devastating scale.

  •  NO SHIT... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker

    I recently watched the PBS documentary, "Extreme Ice, which showed studies and films by climatologists working in the Arctic region. The film was unbelievable in demonstrating the rapidity of the growing climate change and its detrimental effects in the polar regions. If the global warming naysayers have seen this documentary and it didn't scare the shit out of THEM, as it would have with any other sane, intelligent person, then I suppose they'll NEVER get it. This is some scary stuff, for real.

  •  you-know-what (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    VL Baker

    Gore's Global Warming Secret

         You'll never guess what initially inspired Al Gore's "temperature" mania - the one that's raised our tempers.
         Well, Gore is from Tennessee where you can hear Bible belt preachers warning about "Hell fire" in the next life.
         And Gore, concerned about this life, is surrounded by those who also know about the prediction in Revelation (chapter 16) of the coming time when a change in the sun will result in humans being "scorched with great heat"!
         It wouldn't be convenient if folks were to discover that Gore, a liberal, was influenced by the handbook closely associated with Christian fundamentalists!
         If Tennessee fundy preachers could look at the same predictions-packed apocalyptic book and stretch forward in time some future events, Gore could surely do the same thing and stretch forward the "great heat" and turn it into cold cash.
         All of us are well aware of the incredible influence that the Gore-orrhea plague has had on the whole world including the White House!
         But Gore's overlooked another Bible verse which says that "there is nothing hid that shall not be revealed."
         The real "inconvenient truth" is that the SS Al Gore is now stuck in ice - and what we need is a Gorebreaker!

  •  The true measure of the issue (0+ / 0-)

    Really, the problem is not the special interest money that funds denial and muddying the waters, nor is it political actors who are reluctant to act.  

    The problem is not even a public not ready to believe that what is happening is actually happening.  

    The problem is we can't contemplate a different kind of economy than the one that has given us comfort, a certain longevity and healthy surpassing that of our ancestors, and an ability to think that the world we see and know is all there is.

    The idea that consumerism, literally consuming the earth, is the root cause, is a paradigm too far for the human brain to get too very quickly.   For those who don't have greatly encumbered lives maybe, but for those who have plighted their troth to the obligations they now have, it may be.

    We have for many generations defined our economic world as one that comes from making stuff, selling stuff, transporting stuff, storing stuff, and then re-selling used stuff.  That includes our food system.

    We basically have no economy outside of this rather hard wired paradigm.

    We are rather like our ancestors were around 150,000 years ago when faced with a hugely prolonged drought in Africa.  Many of us would rather starve than face changing.  A few of us decided we would rather change and we moved to the seacoast and learned about seafood.  

    The former group did not survive.  As few as 600 of the latter group did and we are descended from them.  

    We may be facing a similar event horizon.

    But this time we have language skills, literacy, media and worldwide interactivity.  Perhaps that might make a difference.  But I bet it won't be easy.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 03:40:00 PM PST

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