Market News & Headlines >> Biogas Mitigation: Should Ag Care?
It is interesting that in just a day, first a news release was issued by the White House about efforts to convert animal-released greenhouse gases (GHGs) into fuel as a way to reduce their impacts, then a massive meta-analysis study that says climate change is good, not bad, were released.
USDA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy are releasing a “Biogas Roadmap” that outlines voluntary strategies to speed up the adoption of methane digesters, particularly by the dairy industry, which applauded the development. In 2009 the dairy industry voted in a goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 254% by 2020. Biogases (methane) is the dairy industry’s biggest contributor to GHGs.
Even as agriculture, which only accounts for 9% of GHGs, looks for ways to reduce its contribution, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is releasing the fifth and sixth pieces of its study, “Climate Change Reconsidered.” They are “Biological Impacts” and “Human Welfare, Energy and Policies.” In a nutshell, these lengthy, detailed and heavily notated volumes contradict those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), an arm of the UN which holds humans at least partially accountable for deleterious climate change. Each group has its (opposing) bias and agenda.
At the very least, however, this pair of studies raises awareness of ways in which biological systems actually benefit from some of the changes going on: Plants grow better in higher levels of carbon dioxide and agriculture is actually benefitting from resulting higher yields. It also argues that global warming will save lives rather than cost them because more humans die from the cold than the heat. For a link to the new study on Biological Impacts: http://climatechangereconsidered.org/
Believe it or reject it, such studies will influence government policies in the United States and globally. Ultimately, they can influence how you operate your farm.