Animal Ag´s Role in Greenhouse Gas Production

University of California-Davis associate professor and air quality specialist Frank Mitloehner traces much of the public confusion over meat and milk´s role in climate change to two sentences in a 2006 United Nations report, titled "Livestock's Long Shadow."

Printed only in the report's executive summary and nowhere in the body of the report, the sentences read: "The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents). This is a higher share than transport."

Those statements are not accurate, Mitloehner said, yet their wide distribution has put Americans and others on the wrong path toward solutions.

Leading authorities agree that, in the United States, raising cattle and pigs for food accounts for about 3 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, while transportation creates an estimated 26 percent, he added.

Mitloehner will present his views June 11 in a free webinar, "Animal Ag´s Role in Greenhouse Gas Production: A Closer Look." Rick Stowell, University of Nebraska Extension specialist focusing on air quality in animal agriculture, is the moderator. The presentation begins at 1:30 p.m. Central Time. Before or after the webcast, ask questions, post comments, upload photos or share your experiences at Click on "discussion" to start.

Anyone interested in learning more about the subject may participate in the webinar, which is part of eXtension´s Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center monthly webcast series. More information about the center, its webcasts and how to participate is available on the eXtension site: eXtension, a network of researchers and educators from cooperative Extension services across the United States, provides objective, research-based and credible information.

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