Coauthor Admits Flaw in Livestock’s Long Shadow

Some annoying news: UC Davis’ Prof. Frank Mitloehner, who I blogged about yesterday, has found an admitted flaw in Livestock’s Long Shadow, a 2006 United Nations study that’s become the gold standard in reports tying meat to climate change. The report concluded that meat caused 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and indicated this total was more than the entire transportation sector.

But Mitloehner found a flaw in how the transportation numbers were crunched. So it could well be that transportation may account for a greater greenhouse gas effect than meat. Still, Mitloehner’s finding is something of a nitpick, as the critique does nothing to undermine the contention that the meat industry is a giant producer of greenhouse gases.

In any event, a new and more rigorous report from the Livestock’s Long Shadow authors should be out by the end of 2011. Link.