The UK’s Daily Telegraph declares today that cows are “absolved” of causing global warming with nitrous oxide. This proclamation came after a study in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia found that grazing cattle can actually reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas. While the authors caution that the study shouldn’t be seen as necessarily applying to other areas of the world, its results add to last month’s work from UC-Davis researcher Frank Mitloehner. Mitloehner determined that livestock farming is responsible for a truly meager portion of America’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and that blaming animal agriculture for global warming isn’t supported by reality. His revelations have even caused United Nations researchers to retool their 2006 estimates of global greenhouse gas sources.
Despite the growing body of evidence to the contrary, some still are swayed by the notion that we need to “go veg” to save the planet. This week San Francisco supervisor Sophie Maxwell, herself a vegetarian, proposed a resolution to declare Mondays “Vegetarian Day” and “encourage” businesses and schools to offer veggie options. The measure passed unanimously, but as the San Jose Mercury News reports, even city residents are blowing it off as simply another ridiculous “only in San Francisco” gimmick:
To some in San Francisco, Meatless Monday is a welcome reminder of the small part that residents play in solving a larger problem. Others, however, were left asking for Supervisor-Free Fridays.
"It seems the supervisors would have better things to do—like deal with the budget," said resident Buzz Bense, 61, as he enjoyed a pork sandwich at Memphis Minnie's, a lower Haight barbecue joint. …
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Glen Pritchard, about to dive into Minnie's pastrami special, said he cares about larger issues—the environment, animal welfare—but thinks the city's do-gooders can go too far. …
"People will talk about it for a month, then it'll go away," said Kegan Riley, 28, as she flipped hot dogs at the Rosamunde Sausage Grill.
Let’s hope the next hard-to-swallow idea out of San Francisco gets widely panned as well. Like a tax on soft drinks, for instance.