US-based environmental group, Clean Air Task Force (CATF) has been
researching ways to decrease both air pollution and global warming, by
focusing primarily on the so-called “basket” of shorter-lived climate
According to CATF scientist Dr. Ellen Baum, reducing
substances like black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and methane would be
more effective in quickly cooling the planet than prioritizing carbon
dioxide mitigation. Dr. Ellen Baum – Researcher, Clean Air Task Force, USA; Vegetarian (F):
You would get both the air quality benefit and you’d get a much faster
climate response from reductions than you would get by being able to cut
carbon dioxide. And we don’t seem to be cutting carbon dioxide either.
VOICE: In particular, Dr. Baum explained why a focus on
reducing human-caused methane is urgently needed. Whereas carbon dioxide
can take hundreds or even thousands of years to stop heating the
atmosphere, methane dissipates in a small fraction of that time.Dr. Ellen Baum (F):
has a much shorter lifetime than CO2, and therefore it is something we
think needs immediate attention. It’s also a precursor to tropospheric
ozone, and probably one of the best ways to reduce the part of
tropospheric ozone that has the most climate impact.
Among all global human sources of methane, the livestock industry is by
far the largest at 37%, according to the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization, and even more in certain countries.
Dr. Baum, a vegetarian herself, explained the implications of removing this major source of planetary warming.Dr. Ellen Baum (F):
If we ate no meat, it would have a beneficial effect on the climate in
all sorts of ways. You would have a much smaller population of ruminant
livestock, so you wouldn’t have methane emissions.
You wouldn’t have
to have the conversion of land to grazing land so that you would have
beef operations. So, I don’t have any question if the whole population
worldwide, 7 billion people stopped eating meat, it would make a
VOICE: Dr. Baum and Clean Air Task Force, we
appreciate your efforts in calling attention to these atmospheric agents
that account significantly toward global warming. May we all do our
part to curb such harmful effects through the simple and humane change
to meat-free fare.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently
advocated a focus on eliminating short-lived greenhouse gases like
methane, as during an interview published in the December 16, 2009
edition of The Irish Dog Journal.
Supreme Master Ching Hai:
Methane, the potent, greenhouse gas whose largest human-created source
is the livestock industry, traps a hundred times more heat than carbon
dioxide over a 20-year period. http://www.htap.org/meetings/2009/2009_04/Presentations/Day%202/03%20Wilson/AMAP%20Efforts%20on%20Short-Lived%20Climate%20Forcing%20Agents.pdfhttp://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/0612sp1.htm http://www.nature.com/climate/2008/0812/full/climate.2008.122.html
Until now most studies used the
fact that methane is 23 times more heat trapping than CO2, over 100
years, which gives a less accurate picture about methane in its actual
Therefore, the powerful methane is actually a greater
cause of the warming than previously estimated. The good news is that
methane dissipates from the atmosphere in approximately 12 years,
whereas it takes carbon dioxide thousands of years to disappear.
if we want to make a rapid, effective difference now, we must stop the
methane generation at its largest, original source: that is, the