No security policy consequences from burps (serious text)





The degeneration and reality disconnect of the right wing particularly in the U.S. is tragic-comedic, but the issue is an interesting one.

I suppose that cultured meat is going to be superior in price AND quality (different flavours) to meat from complete live animals within 10...20 years and the pork industry will collapse, while the cattle industry will likely prevail with a some shrinking due to less incomes from meat (higher income share from milk than today).

This means that indeed the methane burps (burps mostly, hardly any of the methane emissions are by farts) of cattle are an issue. Methane is a greenhouse gas (more potent, shorter-lived than carbon dioxide) and thus of concern. The extreme methane emissions of first and foremost cattle (not nearly as much other animals) stem from fodder that they have no evolutionary optimization for. The answer is not necessarily a reduction of meat consumption; it's to add few per cent (1...3%) food additives (such as seaweeds) that multiple studies found to be effective at suppressing 80% to almost all methane emissions (example) by changing the digestion processes. The challenge is to make this transition; the food additives production capacities first need to be created, and this requires incentive mechanisms by government becuase the benefits to society do not get internalized to the business decisionmakers by the market so far.

(Compare the obscene kindergarten-level of discourse chosen by right wing propagandists in the U.S. with this science-based summary! That's a fear and hate propaganda vs. reality contrast. I've known all of this stuff for about two years without being a industry insider, there's no excuse for media professionals to relay any of the nonsense on the topic.)

Is this about defence and freedom? It's peripheral. This topic and the prospect of water-saving greenhouses and hydrocultural production of food signal a likely coming revolution in our food supply. The challenges seem manageable and food production can very likely happen domestically. I don't see any need for security policy efforts aimed at securing food supply from other countries any more than so far.


1 comment:

  1. Animal herding is linked to higher levels of violence within societies and cultured meat would transform this into a less limited commodity that takes up fewer resources and possibly decreases the levels of violence within societies.
    During the world wars food exports enabled larger mobilizations of the share of the workforce. Employment in farming has declined for industrialized countries, but for a conflict that includes emerging economies, it would still be a significant factor.
    Cultured meat would also go towards solving the problem of protein shortage that might stunt the human development in a number of countries.