20 March, 2007

Impact of livestock on the environment ...

I recently listened to a podcast, 'theWatt, episode 70' that dealt with the impact of livestock on the environment, icluding energy issues of producing various foods. This is an interesting podcast dealing with energy issues.

They mentioned a very interesting report, 'Livestock's long shadow', on the subject.

Summary: This report aims to assess the full impact of the livestock sector on environmental problems, along with potential technical and policy approaches to mitigation. The assessment is based on the most recent and complete data available, taking into account direct impacts, along with the impacts of feed crop agriculture required for livestock production.
The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large. The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency. Major reductions in impact could be achieved at reasonable cost.

By the way my other favourite podcasts include the NewScientist podcast and Scientific American podcast and on a lighter note More Hip than Hippie