Each meat eater responsible for extra 1.5 tons CO2 annually

A place to dialog about global warming and the livestock connection--See Dec. 2006 and Jan. 2007 McDougall Newsletters.

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Each meat eater responsible for extra 1.5 tons CO2 annually

Postby Purdy » Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:32 am

According to the Feb. 20, 2007 Christian Science Monitor, a well respected newspaper,

"American meat eaters are responsible for 1.5 more tons of carbon dioxide per person than vegetarians every year."

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0220/p03s01-ussc.html

So figure a family of 2 adults and 2 kids.... Total for the year if they eat meat, is probably about 5 tons extra CO2 per year compared to the vegetarian family next door.
Keep this figure in mind. So with a USA population of around 300 million we'll say there are the equivlent of 75 million such familes.
Thus those 75 million families x 5 tons extra CO2 per year means that if every single one of the approximately 95% meat eating families became vegetarian this year, then we would cut our CO2 by 75x5x.95 tons per year. OK, thats roughly 350 millon less tons of CO2 emissons annually.

A very good outcome IF you could indeed get all families to go VEG..

Now for some perspective on why I am always clamoring about the huge growth in coal fired power plants and how all the other tiny improvments don't amount to much unless a drastic change takes place.

Remember the 350 million annual tons of CO2 saved above...

Now to the enormous increase in annual CO2 production from coal.
NOT the total, but only looking at the annual increase.

OK....Also from a Christian Science article....

http://www.wboc.com/global/story.asp?s= ... =Printable

"China accounted for two-thirds of the more than 560 coal-fired power units built in 26 nations between 2002 and 2006. The Chinese plants boosted annual world CO2 emissions by 740 million tons."

So you see, just looking at the annual increase, China's new coal powered plants installed just from 2002 to 2006 created more than double the entire savings you would have if every single meat eating American were to switch to vegetarian.
And China is continuing to build one new coal powered plant every single week.
But its not just China...

"the United States is accelerating its buildup dramatically. In the past five years it built 2.7 gigawatts of new coal-fired generating capacity. But in the next five years, it is slated to add 37.7 gigawatts of capacity, enough to produce 247.8 million tons of CO2 per year,"

So the United States alone, over the next 5 years, will be adding nearly 250 million tons of new coal powered electric capacity...easily offsetting about 60% of even a dramatic and nearly impossible event of every single person in American going vegetarian over the next 5 years...

So yes, every single act that people take helps slow the increase in CO2 emissions, but its like spitting in the wind if the enormous acceleration in energy produced by coal fired power plants continues.
All this endless hype and moaning on the TV is simply time filler for Americans who haven't taken the time to get out a $5 calculator and do some of the real math.
We are NOT even going to be thinking about reducing global greenhouse gases. Even with all the almost insignificant proposals we hear on the nightly news, the growth in CO2 emmissions in going to be dramatic well into the future.
In short, the media is feeding global warming "fast food" to a math impaired public who either don't have the intelligence or more likely, the caring, to do a small amount of investigation and calculation.
This is the BIG LIE that has consumed the public's attention over the past 12 months.

Now, since every responsible economist will tell you that energy production is going to greatly increase over the next 20 to 30 years, then please tell me how you are going to produce that enormous amount of new power without burning coal.
No real experts are suggesting that the combined increase in solar, wind, hydro, or biofuels will produce enough power to handle even a third of the projected growth and yet this is all we hear the media blathering about.

OK.......thats all for now. Next time I won't be so meek in my opinion. ;)

PS. Mind you, I think it would be wonderful for each person and indeed, the entire nation to go almost entirely vegetarian over the next 30 years, and I do think its good for the environment in many ways.
It just that we need some very huge mountains of energy production and everyone is acting like that elephant ain't in the room. We, as a public, in terms of getting realistic about carbon production, are like dieters who buy diet soda, to go along with their Supersized McDonald's Meal and then expect to lose weight.
Purdy
 

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