Beef Buzz News
Best of 2014 Beef Buzzes- Frank Mitloehner Talks US Livestock's Carbon Footprint
Tue, 30 Dec 2014 12:53:10 CST
Earlier in 2014, Farm Director Ron Hays was in California and had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Frank Mitloehner of the University of California Davis. Dr. Mitloehner is one of the leading researchers in the US as well as globally when it comes to the carbon footprint for cattle, both beef and dairy.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Frank Mitloehner of UC- Davis.
In an encore edition of the Beef Buzz, we look back to when Dr. Mitloehner became internationally acclaimed when he disagreed with the United Nation's over greenhouse emissions of cattle. He disagreed with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation's report titled "Livestock's Long Shadow". In 2009, Dr. Mitloehner wrote a rebuttal paper in discussing their assumptions and calculations. The initial report from the FAO showed livestock had a much larger impact on the environment than what is being reported today. Dr. Mitloehner said in that report the FAO estimated the global impact of livestock was 18 percent. Since the initial report, Dr. Mitloehner said their numbers are been revised downward. The FAO has since corrected that number to 14 percent. That is a global average.
"The FAO made some real strides in finding out how do we come up with a good method to establish the impact livestock have on the environment," Mitloehner said. "They established a large project that's called 'LEAP' - Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership."
LEAP involves many national governments involved, the entire global livestock and poultry industry and also many national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Mitloehner continues to serve as chairman of the LEAP partnership. He said this is a global project that has one objective to measure the right ways of measuring the impact of livestock.
"In the United States the official emission inventory for all livestock used by the EPA and others is that livestock produce 3.4 percent of all greenhouse gases," Mitloehner said. "That's all livestock species combined 3.4 percent and that's the total life cycle of all livestock products."
Dr. Mitloehner believes these numbers are accurate as they are in line with what he has found in his research. If you break down that total number of all livestock species, he said you will find the impact of each species. For instance in considering beef alone, Dr. Mitloehner said beef represents 1.4 percent of all greenhouse gases in the United States.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
In addition- you can listen to our full conversation with Dr. Mitloehner in our Podcast section from this past August by clicking here.
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