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Old October 13, 2020   #17
Redbaron's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4,488

Great post worth! I have been gone from this forum a while, but I should have known that you would be the one holding down the fort! But I did not just fall off a cliff. I was just working on my Red Baron Project all along.

Now for some science to back it all up!

There is a little known cycle that is mostly overlooked by these people advocating a reduction in animal husbandry. This is in fact the biotic methane cycle. It is every bit as important as the larger Carbon Dioxide cycle. I discuss it in a little greater detail here:
What reaction can you do to remove methane?

As it turns out, if you raise animals, especially ruminants, properly on the land in a healthy grassland pasture and don't overgraze or undergraze, the net effect on atmospheric methane is negative, not positive. This is because of methanotrophs in the soil that metabolize atmospheric methane as their primary source of carbon and energy.

They are especially abundant in grassland soils. So abundant in fact that the grasslands ecosystems taken as a whole including all the herbivores, insects, soil food web etc.... actually significantly lower atmospheric methane.

This is because those soil methanotrophs' requirements for maintenance and growth are obtained from CH4 concentrations that are lower than atmospheric levels! But they really don't thrive unless they have a temporary boost from a herbivore recycling the plant material and increasing the localized methane concentration. This causes an explosion of methanotroph numbers in the soil. (and an explosion of other soil life too like earthworms, insects like dung beetles, fungi and other soil life) We inherently know this. Everyone here I am sure understands how beneficial to the soil cow manure is! And those methanotrophs are nitrogen fixers too! Methane doesn't have any nitrogen, so many methanotrophs use atmospheric nitrogen!

Soil Microorganisms as Controllers of Atmospheric Trace Gases
(H2, CO, CH4, OCS, N2O, and NO)

The problem with cattle is not the cow. The issue is the feedlots and the cornfields supplying the feedlots. But even if we were to eliminate all feedlots and other CAFO style animal husbandry, still raising corn though just using it differently, the total global warming reduction in greenhouse gasses (CO2e) would be about 5%+/-.

If instead we turned all the cornfields we don't use for human food into pastures, savannas, orchards, vineyards, food forests and such and properly manage them, then all greenhouse gas emissions would drop dramatically, at approximately on average 5-20 tonnes CO2e/ha/yr. (CO2e means carbon dioxide equivalent)

Liquid carbon pathway unrecognised

Cenozoic Expansion of Grasslands and Climatic Cooling

Global Cooling by Grassland Soils of the Geological Past and Near Future

Do that on enough land worldwide and yes indeed Worth, it would be a huge step in saving our world's ecology and so called "save the planet".

“The number one public enemy is the cow. But the number one tool that can save mankind is the cow. We need every cow we can get back out on the range. It is almost criminal to have them in feedlots which are inhumane, antisocial, and environmentally and economically unsound.” Allan Savory
Basically there is a problem, but it is not the cow's fault at all. It's the way we started raising the cow that is the problem.

AKA The Redbaron

"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system."
Bill Mollison
co-founder of permaculture

Last edited by Redbaron; October 13, 2020 at 08:34 AM.
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