Free Markets, Free People

A Meatless World Would Be Cooler

Of course a planet minus humans most likely would be too if  you believe all the hype about AGW.  And there are those among the radical environmentalists who believe that to be a laudable goal. So I’m not sure where, on the ranking of radicals with dumb ideas, this guy ranks:

People will need to consider turning vegetarian if the world is to conquer climate change, according to a leading authority on global warming.

In an interview with The Times, Lord Stern of Brentford said: “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.”

Direct emissions of methane fr-om cows and pigs is a significant source of greenhouse gases. Methane is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas.

If one looks carefully at our teeth, they discover were omnivores. That means to most that we’re genetically set up to eat both meat and vegetables. Consequently it is rather suspect when one claims that one or the other would be “better” for us.

But, of course, that’s not what Stern is saying. He’s saying it would be better for the planet, you see. In fact, the planet couldn’t care less. It will be here in some form regardless of what we do. We cannot destroy it. At best, if you believe the specious science the AGW crowd is citing, the most we can do is change it slightly (as history has proven, “climate change” is a constant for the planet). And that is suspect since the “science” surrounding those beliefs claims we should be warming when in fact we’ve been cooling for a decade.

Stern believes attitudes toward meat can be changed to the point that it will be abandoned as a source of food:

He predicted that people’s attitudes would evolve until meat eating became unacceptable. “I think it’s important that people think about what they are doing and that includes what they are eating,” he said. “I am 61 now and attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed radically since I was a student. People change their notion of what is responsible. They will increasingly ask about the carbon content of their food.”

PETA has been trying to change the attitude toward meat since I can remember, largely unsuccessfully. While people can certainly understand the dire consequences of drinking while driving or smoking on their lives and the lives of others, both behaviors continue anyway. And neither is a particularly good analogy when it comes to meat.

The only way such restrictions on vital sources of protein are going to take place is if governments buy into Stern’s nonsense and begin to limit production. And although he doesn’t overtly suggest such a scheme, the implication is certainly there:

Lord Stern said that Copenhagen presented a unique opportunity for the world to break free from its catastrophic current trajectory. He said that the world needed to agree to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 25 gigatonnes a year from the current level of 50 gigatonnes.

UN figures suggest that meat production is responsible for about 18 per cent of global carbon emissions, including the destruction of forest land for cattle ranching and the production of animal feeds such as soy.

There are many who suggest that the ultimate goal of environmentalists is a form of world government with teeth. I.e. one which has taxing and enforcement power. The “AGW emergency” provides a perfect pretext for such an organization. Carbon credits provide the taxing mechanism (since doing it “properly” would require a world body to administer it and collect the taxes). The enforcement arm isn’t as obvious yet.

That’s not to say that this nonsense is the key to the establishment of such a government. It is simply one of many schemes pointed toward that sort of outcome. As many have mentioned, the environmental movement, at least on the radical side, seems to have attracted all of the communists who were without a home after the collapse of the USSR. Centralized power and totalitarian rule “for the good of the planet” are part and parcel of their agenda (in fact, it is always part of the answer for them). And ideas such as Stern’s are the means by which the “emergency” can be avoided if only they’re allowed to implement rules and restrictions that are necessary to save us from ourselves.  They are sure, to steal a phrase, “they (and their ideas) are the ones we’ve been waiting for”.  Of course the law of unintended consequences never enters their thinking and the fate of millions of real people aren’t really their concern.  It is all about “saving the planet”.

Our freedoms are under heavy assault both domestically and internationally. I can’t remember a recent time when the danger to them has been any higher. And nonsense like this and the AGW movement as a whole are aimed at further limiting them. Resistance, then, is the highest form of patriotism if we want to remain a free country.  We need to be the “country of ‘no’”.  Unfortunately, with our current leadership, I believe that may not be the case.  Copenhagen will be our first indication of whether that’s true or not.

~McQ

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68 Responses to A Meatless World Would Be Cooler

  • Water vapor is even a stronger GHG that methane, and in more abundance.
     
    If the UN really wants it cooler, I suggest that they have their electricity and water turn off to their headquarters in Manhattan.

  • The most destructive endevour that human beings have ever wrought upon the natural ecology of this planet has been farming.  Think about it, the reason why the planet looks green from a satellite photo is because our crops and pasture lands are green.  Total environmental destruction for the sake of engineering our food supply.  And the entire process of terraforming the earth was completed before the industrial revolution even began.  So you could technically say that organic farming has destroyed the earth.  Countless millions of animal, plant and insect species have gone extinct, think about all of the climate change that has been caused by the complete deforrestation of europe,south asia, and the Americas – all accomplished before industrial farming practices took over.

    • “the reason why the planet looks green from a satellite photo is because our crops and pasture lands are green”

      Trees aren’t green? Grass isn’t green? There is still quite a bit of the Earth’s surface that isn’t inhabited by man. Is it all desert?

  • So who is going the tell Obama … no more wagyu for you

  • The only way such restrictions on vital sources of protein are going to take place is if governments buy into Stern’s nonsense and begin to limit production.

    Government control isn’t the only way we could get to the point where meat consumption is limited.  We could also get there through grinding poverty.  But surely it would be romantic grinding poverty where we’re all healthy muscled farmhands and buxom corseted wenches, not that awful stuff where people die of hunger and disease, right?

    • But surely it would be romantic grinding poverty where we’re all healthy muscled farmhands and buxom corseted wenches, not that awful stuff where people die of hunger and disease, right?

      If they can guarantee that, I think the starvation would almost be worth it…  :)

  • Vegetarianism = world government!

  • Wait…  So not only is meat murder of the cow, it is murder of the whole freaking planet???
     
    I am ordering a mountain of hamburgers when I get off work today.  A mountain, I tell you…

  • Anything for climate change… maybe I can try…
    There’s this restaurant in Asia, I forgot the name, but they say in their billboard – all veggies here… Anyways, they have barbecue veggies that looks like and taste like meat on sticks; they have mushroom burgers that taste like real meat… they have all sorts of dishes made out of veggies but some taste like meat… cool!

  • You want a revolution? Try forcing people to give up bacon.

    Blood will run in the streets.

  • Good news for you — I’m going to stop reading this blog and so you won’t have to be annoyed by my comments!   This wild conspiracy theory in denial of hard science is so over the top it reminds me of Nazi theories about the Jews wanting to take over everything.   Lately your blog has gone from an interesting perspective of a kind of right of center libertarianism is rah-rahing the ideological jihad from the far right.  You’ve embraced trying to spread “memes” in order to fight a political fight, and have become nothing more than a typical political blog, full of propaganda, few interesting ideas, and commentators who have become completely focused on trying to shout down any perspective that violates your faith.  It’s inbred and sterile.   In short, this blog has gone from being interesting, to being mindless.    I mean, I read stuff like “the best are leaving Wall Street because of the pay cuts” and I have to wonder.   Do you really think they’ve been at all competent?!  So many posts are like that now, it’s just propaganda.  At one point you were interesting, even when I profoundly disagreed.
    I leave with a bit from my blog on “Greenspan’s Confession” (when he admitted his world view on markets and deregulation had been shown to be wrong):
    “We humans have a real hard time with cognitive dissonance.  We will go to great lengths, sometimes consciously, but usually subconsciously, to find ways to fit reality into our pre-existing belief system.  We will interpret events, religious teachings, philosophy, and history to fit our beliefs of how the world works.  I do that.  You do that.  That seems to be a constant of human nature.
    Greenspan, like all of us, are not completely right or completely wrong, but right on many points, and wrong on many others.  An ideology is also neither correct nor incorrect, but a simplification of reality that helps understand and predict some things well, but falls short on others.   Some ideologies work better in some contexts than they do in others — indeed, the meaning of an ideology varies across cultural contexts.   Greenspan’s confession does not mean all of what he believed was disproven, only that reality didn’t quite hang together the way he thought he did.
    And lest we get too smug about the Chairman’s fall, we’re all in the same boat — our errors usually aren’t as easily noticed and publicized.  And, of course, all humans tend to need a crisis now and then to jerk them out of their complacency.   To really embrace this view is, however, liberating.   If we realize that we can’t be right all the time, then we relieve ourselves of the pressure of thinking we must.”

    • Shorter Erb:  Waaaaaaaaaaaahhh.

    • Wow, even for you, Scott, that’s quite a bit of stomping out and slamming the door.

      Perhaps not knowing your own field has caught up with you, or maybe it has to do with you remaining too long in the inbred and sterile world of academia.

      If past practice predicts, however, regulars here should not get their hopes up that you won’t be back, sitting with your arms folded, refusing to swallow your peas.

      • If past practice predicts, however, regulars here should not get their hopes up that you won’t be back, sitting with your arms folded, refusing to swallow your peas.

        We need to start a pool on when he’ll be back. And maybe another one on what whacked out excuse he’ll use for why he was “forced” to do so.

        • You just know he’s still here, reading, fuming, fingers twitching …

          • I also have to wonder just how tempted he is to adopt a nom de plume to avoid the derision he would now get from a return.

            Given his holier-than-thou stuff about how he doesn’t respect anonymous commenters, he would have to come up with some internal excuse for his hypocrisy. But he’s the world champion at coming up with internal rationalizations, so I think he could do it.

          • I almost want to monitor some other blogs to see if he turns up there…

          • <blockquote>But he’s the world champion at coming up with internal rationalizations, so I think he could do it.</blockquote>
            He’ll claim he meant to come back all along and it was all part of a cunning plan designed just to look like a red-faced pea-flinging tantrum.

      • Don’t let the door hit ya’ on the ass….

    • But if you leave, what will OTT SCERB do????

    • “Good news for you — I’m going to stop reading this blog and so you won’t have to be annoyed by my comments!”

      Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out!

    • Good news for you — I’m going to stop reading this blog and so you won’t have to be annoyed by my comments! Well, for a while at least. I mean, whether I come back or not is one of those multiple truth things, and I might select a different multiple truth later, because the holy writ of post-modernism allow me to.

      And of course, it isn’t really good news. You dense righties will probably lapse into even worse behavior without my wise commentary to restrain your worst impulses. Just look at what you’re talking about here. This wild conspiracy theory in denial of hard science is so over the top it reminds me of Nazi theories about the Jews wanting to take over everything. Yes, just as I always suspected, you righties are like Nazis! But that’s not any sort of personal attack, so you just stop saying that right now. I never make personal attacks. I decree it.

      And for goodness sake, stop posting all those graphs and numbers and lists of prominent people who are also denialists! I just can’t stand it! To see such mean treatment of we wise leftists and viciously confusing the whole area of climate change with all that complicated “evidence” you grunt engineer types are so impressed with. Heck, you people know I barely have enough math to balance a checkbook, so I can’t refute any of that stuff, but I know other wise leftists who actually made an A in Beginning Statistics for Social Science Majors, and they assure me that the global warming thing is an open and shut case. So you thick righties are just supposed to shut up and go along, because your kind of thinking is being pushed aside, now that the Bush regime is over (finally!).

      Lately your blog has gone from an interesting perspective of a kind of right of center libertarianism is rah-rahing the ideological jihad from the far right. That’s why I’m not coming back. It certainly has nothing to do with those stupid satires, so you can just stop thinking that right now. They’re not the least bit funny, though you juvenile righties probably laugh at them the same way you would laugh if someone made farting noises under their arms. They’re not funny, I tell you! Because they make fun of the holy writ of post-modernism, they are not funny by definition. And I’m not either upset because the satires constantly talk about how my book is from a vanity press that suckers social science academics, so stop saying that! Just stop, stop, stop!

      And stop speculating that someone found out how you guys were pounding me in the comments here! That’s not true! I beat you guys every time! I decree it! And if anyone ever thought otherwise, it’s just because you guys constantly insult and make fun of me!

      You’ve embraced trying to spread “memes” in order to fight a political fight, and have become nothing more than a typical political blog, full of propaganda. That’s what those complex numbers on global warming and stuff about foreign government-run healthcare systems and those stupid graphs about how much Obama is spending: propaganda. And on the foreign policy front, it’s nothing but fear, fear, fear! You dense righties are even afraid of the wise leftist Chinese! So you spout propaganda, advocate risky, risky, risky things in the Middle East, and Iraq is going to go to pieces any moment now, you just wait!

      You’ve become nothing but propaganda, I tell you! I decree it, and you guys should be ashamed that you cannot embrace the glory and wonder that is Obama, and lift your hearts in song and help we wise leftists create a wondrous, perfect society. You callous, mean, ex-military basket cases with your permanent psychological scars just can’t do it, can you? Instead, you throw personal insults all the time, which I never do, and that stuff I just said about basket cases isn’t either a personal insult because I have research that proves it! I do, I do, I do! Just because I don’t happen to have any links that show it, you can’t deny it! You can’t! I have blog entries with word counts so high they break the scroll bar on your browser that prove everything I say beyond a doubt!

      You have few interesting ideas, and commentators who have become completely focused on trying to shout down any perspective that violates your faith. Some of them used to engage me, and we used to go back and forth in long threads in which I got to repeat my points about a hundred times and use my godlike powers of political science to hand-wave aside any so-called evidence that contradicted my position. And those threads were not either just for me to get the attention I crave as a narcissist, so stop saying that! It was wonderful, to be able to engage like that, and to be able to lay out the wisdom of my vast experience and advanced degrees. But you all stopped doing that! For no reason, no reason at all! You just started shouting me down and making fun of me and talking about how I was a computer program and doing those stupid satires and calling the guy who wrote them a superhero and stuff! Why, why, why?!? This was the one place I could come and lecture dense righties with wise leftist points and not get banned! But you’ve become completely unreasonable, and I have to leave, and it’s not because I can’t stand being fun of, so you just stop thinking that right now, or I might have to come back and prove it.

      The blog has become inbred and sterile. I’m sure the fact that McQ and Pick are from Georgia and Hollis is from Tennesse has something to do with the inbred part. In short, this blog has gone from being interesting, to being mindless. Especially those satires, which are the most mindless things I’ve ever read. Well, back when I read them and actually paid attention to them, which I don’t any more, so stop thinking I do!

      I mean, I read stuff like “the best are leaving Wall Street because of the pay cuts” and I have to wonder. Do you really think they’ve been at all competent?! It’s so obvious to wise leftists that the system failed because every single one of them were incompetent, even the ones who warned about government intervention, and it most certainly was not government interference that caused the failure, so stop saying that! Bureaucrats are wise and beneficient, and they only have our best interests in mind, and so they are so much more capable of making financial decisions that those profit-seeking charlatans on Wall Street. When I was in DC in the 1980s, I had already figured out that people in the private sector are just mean and heartless, and so I found my place in a nice academic setting where we all look down our noses at that profit stuff and devote ourselves to the higher cause of indoctrinating young minds in the glories of wise leftism.

      So many posts are like that now, it’s just propaganda. I decree it. At one point you were interesting, even when I profoundly disagreed. That’s back when some people were actually giving me enough respect to reply to me without insults in every other sentence. The posts were interesting even though they were clearly wrong, and I got the daily pleasure of posting long replies and going back and forth with so many dense righties. Ah, those were the glory days of this blog, but now it’s all just propaganda, and I don’t say that because people started continuously insulting me! It’s the posting that’s changed! I decree it! It’s not about me, oh no! It’s about you, and you’ve become bitter and mean since he of the Christlike visage Obama was elected and your savior Bush was gone. You can’t stand it, can you?

      I leave with a bit from my blog on “Greenspan’s Confession” (when he admitted his world view on markets and deregulation had been shown to be wrong):

      {Insert a few thousand words of blathering here about how markets are a failure and government oversight is wonderful and all that stuff. Don’t forget to include stuff about how wise and open-minded I am, in contrast to the dense righties.}

      • This is some hilarious shiat right here!  I got all my friends reading Erb’s ridiculous rants and everyone’s send ups and put downs and it has them rolling on the floor!

      • Quite the magnum opus.
        /slow clap

    • denial of hard science .. try getting out of your cascade

    • What a pathetic attempt at Godwin’s Law … “if you mention Hitler or Nazis in a post, you’ve automatically ended whatever discussion
      you were taking part in”.

    • “I’m going to stop reading this blog”

      Oh no! Puhleeese don’t go!! You are my lifeline to rality here amongst these fools! 

    • Oh, and by the way, the  correct exit words are “Good day sir!”.

  • A meatless world would be cooler?  Please, you couldn’t get more uncool than that.

  • Erb: “This wild conspiracy theory in denial of hard science is so over the top it reminds me of Nazi theories about the Jews wanting to take over everything.”

    That’s certainly an interesting variant on the “Holocaust denial” slander, Scott.

    Here are some names for you: Freeman Dyson, Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter, Michael Crichton, Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts.

    Do some reading, you ignorant rube.

    • Erb: “This wild conspiracy theory in denial of hard science is so over the top it reminds me of Nazi theories about the Jews wanting to take over everything.”

      That’s certainly an interesting variant on the “Holocaust denial” slander, Scott.

      Ahhh…post-modernism!!
      Help me here; I remember something about “Jewish science”…
      Help me here; I remember something about “Bourgeois science”…

  • The real mystery is, after that whole big temper tantrum, what about this story exactly pushed him over the edge? I mean, come on Erb. Talking about meat eating and veganism? WTF? You’ve been making drive by Party line parting shots/plugs for your blog and then getting rhetorically roughed up regularly and this, THIS post makes you run away screaming in a hissy fit?

    Ott Scerb makes a mockery of you but this post makes you take your ball and go home to mommy?

    I am utterly mystified. And disappointed because Ott Scerb won’t be half as funny the real thing. 

    • Perhaps Scott is in the “M-Zone,” as I like to call it around my house.

      You probably don’t know this, but Scott believes that gender is socially constructed, so you never know where he is in any given day at any given hour of his rebellion against the dictates of society.

      • You probably don’t know this, but Scott believes that gender is socially constructed.

        I did not know that, but if he does, it makes me feel even sorrier for his kids.

    • Ott Scerb makes a mockery of you but this post makes you take your ball and go home to mommy?

      Well, if it was really Ott Scerb’s needling that got under his skin, he would never admit that, would he? No, he’d pretend his exit was for something else. He would even convince himself it was true.

    • I’d lay even money somebody noticed this blog and let Prof. Erb know that other commenters have used facts to prove his statements false about once a week lately. The Greenspan comment is an attempt at  “well, everybody does it” cover. This blog is probably a great test ground for what statements can be made without getting immediately rejected, but what if his students found it?

      • That’s something that’s puzzled me.  Scotty keeps insisting that none of the QandO crew has ever taken him to the woodshed, despite the fact he practically lives there.  And yet not a single one of his students has ever showed up to praise his alleged rhetorical brilliance.
        If one were possessed of a cynical and suspicious sort of mind, one might begin to think he doesn’t want them to witness the daily humiliation dealt out to him and his crackpot ideas.
         

        • I suspect the only students he is allowed to have are beyond help, incapable of  turning a computer on, much less finding this site.

        • Briefly, it’s hard to grasp how closed off American college campuses are. I call them isolation tanks. Living in a college town with a state school roughly equivalent to the one Scott teaches at, I can report that the contemporary college environment has about the texture of a syndicated TV sit-com.

          So, other than rolling their eyes at him, Scott’s students probably could care less what he thinks about anything. They’ve been bred by the public schools to be bored. That might explain why he comes to this blog. He’s but one of “a thousand gentlemen of similar appearance” at UMF who specialize in being as deep as a Roosevelt dime.

          He gets a little attention here. It’s like the “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” thing.

  • That Scott guy was funny.  He should post more. 

  • Scotty, you wouldn’t know “hard science” if somebody shoved a slide rule up your butt.

  • I don’t trust anybody who presumes to tell me what I can or cannot eat…
     
    Jimmeh, the ignorant:  so when we look at aerial photos of the amazon, the brown  patches extending like perpendicular grid lines from major roads are not from slash and burn agricultural methods or illegal tree harvesing, and the green surrounding it is definitely not rain forest or anything….
    and you probably think that the sky is blue from ozone pollution as well…
    Know what? it’s easier to just call you stupid…
     
     

  • Hard Science“?  Wasn’t that the title of a Steven Seagal movie?

  • In 1988, … Dr. Koop announced that the American diet was a problem of “comparable” magnitude, chiefly because of the high-fat foods that were causing coronary heart disease and other deadly ailments.

    Dr. Koop was expressing the consensus. He, like the architects of the federal “food pyramid” telling Americans what to eat, went wrong by listening to everyone else. He was caught in what social scientists call a cascade.

    There was just one small problem, there was, and still is, not hard science to back up that claim, but everyone knew it to be true.
    The recent history of consensuses is pretty bad .. global cooling in 1975, high-fat foods will kill you in 1988, WMD in Iraq in 2003, and today, AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming).  Everyone knew they were true, but no one could actually prove it conclusively.

    • Just on the diet side, I’ve lost track of all the things that have been conventional wisdom (“consensus”) in my lifetime that were later jettisoned. Margarine was supposed to be better for us than that nasty butter, before we discovered the problems with hydrogenated vegetable fats. We were supposed to get lots of iron in our diets, but that’s now under question, both since (1) it’s hard not to get enough iron in a modern American diet, and (2) 1 in 200 people suffer from a condition that causes them to absorb too much iron, which a high-iron diet makes worse. Sunshine was supposed to be something to avoid at all costs, but it turns out that while lack of sunshine decreases easy-to-treat melanoma, it increases the risk of a variety of other hard-to-detect, hard-to-treat cancers. And so on.

      For goodness sake, it was once a widespread opinion that disco and polyester leisure suits were cool!

    • There was just one small problem, there was, and still is, not hard science to back up that claim, but everyone knew it to be true.

      Dan Rather has a memo with some pretty convincing evidence.  It’s a bit rumbled, and may not be authentic, but he’s pretty sure that it’s accurate.

    • Dr. Koop was expressing the consensus. He, like the architects of the federal “food pyramid” telling Americans what to eat, went wrong by listening to everyone else. He was caught in what social scientists call a cascade. ”
      There was just one small problem, there was, and still is, not hard science to back up that claim, but everyone knew it to be true.

      That same food pyramid told us to eat lots of carbs. They also told us to drink eight glasses of water a day.
      Both are totally bogus.

      • Not the water thing.  The more the better.

        • Can’t rememer the fellows name who came up with that (8 glasses) but whensomeone recently asked him he said, essentially, he made it up.
           
          Actually, actual (  :-) ) at a point below eight glasses, your body starts to flush too much out (electrolytes, etc).

  • Does anyone else appreciate the humor in a political science professor lecturing us about hard science?
    I suspect he wouldn’t know hard science if it bit him on his posterior.
     

  • PETA = People Eat Tasty Animals
    There is a place for all of God’s creatures…on a plate with some peas and rice!

  • It would be cooler since all those BBQ grills would not be putting off all that heat…
     
     
     

  • I, for one, can hardly wait to start missing Erb.

    • Me, too, but given the number of times he’s been caught in lies before, I’m not counting on him being honest this time. I’m expecting some post in a few weeks or months starting with “I’m not really reading or commenting on this blog, but…”, with an entry that by its existence contradicts that he isn’t commenting and which demonstrates that he still reads it.

  • I like vegetarians –  they leave more real food for me. We ate our way to the top of the food chain and I intend to stay here.

  • If meat requires more crops, isn’t that just more carbon being sequestered in the form of plants, cows, and then people? I don’t get the math.