Feed additive reduces cow methane output by 55%

Isn’t it an article about making this industry more sustainable?


Ah, humans. Presented with a something that’s a good news story that holds out the prospect of cutting the climate impact of a small part of the problem in half, they almost fall over themselves in a race to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.


Hey, do what you know, right?
(Totally kidding, sorry to have bummed you out or contributed to it. I seem to be on a snark-kick…)
Seems like in general things are getting a little heated here.

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i’ll cop to being a “biochemistry buff”, but(t) beware of my blather here because i’m nearly the opposite of a ruminant digestive expert (i’ll not be naming the various stomachs where it happened). So… part of a ruminant digestion can be some stage which employs anaerobic microbes called methanogens (of which there are about a dozen known critical species), which take some of the intermediate products of cellulose digestion and break them down into smaller products plus methane brrraapp. So, if you stuff up the methanogens, there would end up being more intermediate sized cellulose break-down products coming out the other end, smaller acetates, esters, and carboxylic acids, …oh my. Would that be sufficient to change the …texture of the droppings? maybe.


So if the carbon goes into the droppings instead of being released as methane then does it get sequestered back into the soil or released as greenhouse gases as the droppings decompose? Just wondering if this is a net benefit or merely prolonging the process.


Yeah, that would be my guess. Here’s hoping that there isn’t a sufficiently anaerobic environment in the soil beneath the manure to just ‘finish the job’.


Depends… If a feed lot is goes to holding ponds and stuff. If integrated not too dense on pasture it goes to soil. Same manure very different results…


Cows are OK, but pigs are delicious.

I could never be vegan, but meat production is a real environmental problem. I think the future will likely be lab-cultured meat that never belonged to an animal.


Only a monumentally short sighted person would look down at a potential 30% to 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from a top 5 GHG producing industry.

Will this automatically fix the environmental, health, and economic, and animal welfare problems with agriculture in the world? No. But that could literally be said about literally anything, it is a completely disingenuous argument.

I’m definitely one to be hard on press releases touting XYZ as a cure for global warming when their impact, practicality, and scalability are demonstrably small, or at best decades before they become relevant. I would be happy to hear criticism of this for unrealized barriers to adoption (which a couple of people above mentioend). But if your claim is “we should pursue something that could reduce global greenhouse emissions by 5% because people should eat less meat” – go fuck yourself. Seriously, go fuck yourself, you are not helping.

To be 100% crystal clear: I definitely think we need to promote less meat consumption for a lot of reasons including global warming. But turning down a chance to make a meaningful impact on a looming catastrophe? That is pants on head crazy and criminally stupid.


I recall that story a few years ago: Australian 'super seaweed' supplement to reduce cattle gas emissions wins $1m international prize - ABC News

Wonder what happened to that.


That’s a false dichotomy and a nirvana fallacy.

Be suspicious of anyone calling a mitigation “just a band-aid”. To stop climate change we need to do everything we can as quickly as we can. The imperfect solutions that we can do now will be a great help while we work on the larger longer term ones. Unless the short term patch has some massive opportunity cost that outweighs the benefits (almost never true) we should always do all solutions at once.

Band-aids get a really bad rap in rhetorical discussions. Band-aids are great! They are quick action that improve the situation so you survive long enough for long term things to kick in!


If we want meaningful change we cannot rely on individual sacrifice, because then it will never be done.

(And yes, going vegan would be a huge sacrifice for me. I’m not saying that to bait vegans, it’s just the truth as anyone who has seen my posts in the food topic will know. Just to be clear: I admire anyone who has the mental fortitude to be vegan and I enjoy cooking for them because it poses an interesting challenge)


So much this. The idea that we can recycle-and-bicycle our way out of this problem is corporate FUD. The only way out is massive top-level action because massive top level producers are the problem. Carbon taxes. Vehicle emissions mandates. Eliminating oil company welfare. Classifying carbon as a pollutant to roll up negative externalities. Nuclear and renewable power incentives. Banning coal plants and phasing out natural gas. These are examples of things that will get us out of this.


That’s such a good point. They support the healing process and most importantly make sure it doesn’t get worse.


Individual sacrifices have a minimal effect compared to industry pollution. I was reading on a newspaper the construction of a new mall just near the motorway exit, with a giant parking lot. Besides the direct pollution caused by the construction and the electricity and gas will be used to run it, building another mall with a giant parking lot means to have more cars moving to it. At least is built over a tyre factory was, so at least there’s no soil consumption. On the other hand I think that the old railway used for freight isn’t restored and used for a shuttle railcar.

12 posts were split to a new topic: Bring Back the Malthusian Trap, or The Return of Paul Erlich

This is just a guess, but I’m assuming something about logistics or the ability to scale it up makes it too expensive or not good enough, or both, on large scale.

It happens to a lot of promising inventions and ideas.

It was only last year

Apparently still in research and looking for investors



also , swamps and other wetlands are great !!

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