Filed Under: Livestock Meat

On Meat Consumption and Climate Change

The Center for Consumer Freedom got in a little brawl today. We’re fine — thanks for asking. Actually, we’re better than fine. It was an easy knockout. On the heels of our press release arguing that University of North Carolina professor Barry Popkin concocted a link between climate change and meat consumption, The New York Times called us to weigh in on its blog, “Green, Inc.” We were happy to oblige.
“It is beyond dispute that any connection between meat production and global warming is a false one,” we told the Times. Eighteen percent of global greenhouse gases are not, as Popkin claims, caused by animal agriculture. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency suggests that only 2.58 percent can be attributed to meat production in the United States. And the number for all of agriculture is just 6 percent.

Popkin is “stretching the truth beyond recognition,” we’re telling Times readers. “Eating less meat isn’t going to move the dial, at least not in this country. Go buy the hybrid. Pay a premium for alternative energy sources, but eating tofu instead of sirloin? It’s not gonna make a difference.”
Popkin may have been caught off guard, judging from his lack of a substantive response. He accused us of being deliberately misleading, “without ever looking at facts.”

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