22
Feb

Cow farts and Dr Pachauri

No, this isn’t Dr Pachauri getting to work in the morning. It’s reported he prefers to use a petrol driven car, but I suspect it’s how he’d like us in the West to travel.

His views on meat consumption have been widely reported:

“People should consider eating less meat as a way of combating global warming, says the UN’s top climate scientist.”

Eating meat doesn’t produce methane – fact. If you maintain a herd of ruminants (cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels), then you will be producing methane. But, then so does rice cultivation. The USA isn’t exactly known as a major rice cultivator, but according to EPA figures, US methane production from rice cultivation in 2007 was more than six times that produced by petrochemical production.

Dr Pachauri’s comment was just grandstanding to whip up anti-West sentiment, The only way to prevent methane production by ruminants would be to massively cull the herds. Note that this was not suggested by Dr Pachauri. Is this why?

Number of cows globally: 1.5 billion [NATURE oct 04]
Number of cows in India: 200 million [Times of India aug 04]
Number of buffaloes in India: 90 million [Times of India aug 04]

In many states in India it is against the law to kill a cow, for any purpose, as it’s an object of reverence in Hindu religion. If he had suggested culling cattle it could have caused riots.

Another inconvenient fact:

India is the largest producer of milk producing more than 100 million tons of milk per annum.

Source: report by Hindustan Studies & Services Ltd. and Infolitics

Conclusion? Dr. Pachauri had to say something shocking that only affected Westerners. He couldn’t suggest banning rice production as a source of methane, or that would outrage developing countries. Similarly he couldn’t suggest culling ruminants as India has larger herds than anyone, and killing them is a religious taboo. That left eating meat as his perfect target, which ignores the fact that eating meat doesn’t produce methane at all. If producing meat for food is inefficient then surely maintaining the world’s larget herd of cattle that is never eaten is even more inefficient.

Possibly related posts:

  1. ‘Tofu free Tuesday’ makes more sense than ‘Meat free Monday’
  2. IPCC propaganda, half truths, bogus science, urban legends about methane
  3. Separated at birth: Rajendra Kumar Pachauri and the Geico caveman
  4. Stealing Steel jobs
  5. Enough to make an Orang Utan laugh

9 Responses to “Cow farts and Dr Pachauri”

  1. Henry chance says:

    My favorite picture. I have had it as a background for my PC for several years. It is a troo hybrid.

  2. excellent article, Graham. Keep up the good work in exposing these hypocrites.

    • Dominic says:

      Don’t you write for this blog? Why are you leaving pat on the back comments on this article as if you were some random internet reader that just stumbled in here?

      • Sorry, you seem to be confusing me with some paid shill who works for a mainstream media outlet. I submit a few articles to someone else’s blog where no one is being paid. I don’t ‘write for’ this blog. I write my myself on my own blog. I have no editorial control over anything on this site. What’s your point- do you actually resent me acknowledging something of worth by another blogger?

  3. Graham says:

    I must stress that I don’t say India shouldn’t have cows, and I don’t say there’s a problem that they don’t eat them.

    I’ve visted Nepal quite a few times, and respected their customs and beliefs, but it’s not my job to tell them how to live, so I would expect a person who lives in a country with such a massive cow population to use some intelligence when directing the West what to eat.

    Thanks for the comment John and hopefully we can jump on these so called scientists every time they start believing they run the planet. Scientists and politicians must be servants of the people, not the other way round.

  4. John D. Nier says:

    At least Dr. Pachauri didn’t say we should start eating Soylent Green for dinner! Yum yum!

  5. Dave N says:

    I give Pachauri credit for choosing his words wisely, since he has been unable to do it previously.. only trouble is that in doing so here, he sinks himself into more bovine excrement

  6. Dominic says:

    “If you maintain a herd of ruminants (cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels), then you will be producing methane. But, then so does rice cultivation. The USA isn’t exactly known as a major rice cultivator, but according to EPA figures, US methane production from rice cultivation in 2007 was more than six times that produced by petrochemical production.”

    I don’t get it. Shouldn’t you be comparing rice to cows, and not to oil? How did oil all of a sudden enter the equation?

    And why does the writer seem to assume cows will live forever if we don’t slaughter them?

  7. Graham says:

    I was not aware of the US as a major rice cultivator (maybe my ignorance but rice isn’t a staple food of Americans as it is in Asian countries), and as the US is known for petro-chemical production it gave some comparison. I wasn’t using trickery. It’s just that the EPA list didn’t make clear what the unit of measurement was that they were using in the table. If the table had been in the form of a jpg I’d have included a copy.

    I am old, poor, ugly and stupid – but above all else my intentions are always honest – and I’ll take a compliment from anyone. I can handle insults too.

    Hope that helps. If necessary I’ll gladly make a screen print without grumbling, because the more facts we can include the better.

    At my age and with my health I’m only too well aware of the frailties of life. I’ll clarify. The figures for cows only counted live ones.

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