How Much Greenhouse Gases Do California's Swine Produce?

How Much Greenhouse Gases Do California’s Swine Produce?

A question we often find ourselves asking is just how much raising swine in the great state of California contributes to global warming. Now, with help from the data released by the Air Resources Board, I can definitively tell you that raising swine in this state generated 0.116149133041726 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent of burning 1.3 million gallons of gasoline.

The US is balking at capping its greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels, but here in California, a law known as AB 32 has done just that. Implementing the policy required that the state do a complete inventory of its GHG emissions from 1990 on, so it could actually determine what the cap should be. That meant calculating the emissions from hundreds of sources from dairy cows to jet fuel to passenger cars.

Great article about California’s greenhouse gas inventory. We find out that many things besides fossil-fuel burning contribute to the problem, including cattle and swine. As usual, the denialist peanut-gallery was out in force, and I had to provide them with the requisite smackdown:

Alexis, great article. Now to the deniers:

You denialists are worse than fundamentalist Christians. Oh wait, maybe you ARE fundamentalist Christians.

I have yet to meet an anthropogenic global warming denialist who understands how science is done or the first thing about the complexity of climate models and the even greater complexity of the global climate system. When it becomes destabilized, it means it can get colder some places even as the climate warms out of control. Duh.

Aside from the woeful lack of critical thinking, I think most of the denialists just don’t want to change their cushy lifestyles. Everything’s OK so far, right? Well guess what, they’re gonna change anyway. Dragging this process out is just going to cost more lives in the long run. Shame on you clueless and ethically bankrupt people.

Why is it that thousands of the best and brightest scientists in the world, and the leaders of every nation except the United States actually take this seriously? Oh right. It’s all a big conspiracy to take away your toys. You guys are the smart ones and the scientists are morons. Wake the f*** up!

The good news is that the tide is turning. Australia, the 13th largest per-capita polluter has just had a regime change and will now be participating in the global process. The current climate meeting in Bali would be much more fruitful if the U.S. delegation would get their heads out of their collective asses.

Comments (10 comments)

John Morales / December 13th, 2007, 2:10 am / #1

Australia, the largest per-capita polluter has just had a regime change and will now be participating in the global process.

As an Australian, I take issue.

1. According to Wikipedia, Australia ranks 13th per capita. The US ranks 10th per capita.

2. The new government may be participating, but it has an ideological opposition to nuclear power.

BlackSun / December 13th, 2007, 2:44 am / #2

John Morales,

Sorry about that, I read that somewhere and didn’t fact check. Someday I’ll just have a staff of researchers. :-) Anyway, I’m still more ticked off at our denialist-in-chief GW Bush. He may go down in history as the man who killed the icecaps.

I’d say nuclear power is a good idea only if they solve the waste disposal problem. Should be plenty of salt caverns in the outback, though, right?

John Morales / December 13th, 2007, 5:25 am / #3

No worries, BlackSun. We’re still pretty bad.

And I’m not saying that nuclear is the solution, but to dismiss it out of hand as our governments have is irrational. We’re hypocrites; we mine and export uranium but won’t use it ourselves.

Instead, we burn coal and still release radioactives thereby.

valhar2000 / December 18th, 2007, 9:40 am / #4

I heard on the news last week that for the first time in history Spain has reduced emmissions of greenhouse gases (by 1%), even while energy used increased by 4%. Yay us!

Anon / April 2nd, 2008, 11:10 pm / #5


since you are a rational and critical thinker and a lover of science and the scientific method; you need to take another look at the global warming phenomena! Where is the hard science that supports the anthropometric global warming hypothesis?

Take a look here for an excellent analysis of global warming drivers, from a distinguished physicist that demonstrates pretty convincingly that there is a very inconvenient truth behind the whole hypothesis – it’s junk science that is being ridden hard by policy makers and politicians, not to mention “climatologists” chasing grant money to perpetrate the new mythology. and Also check here to see why global warming has to be presented as a belief in the British school system:

You decry the manipulation of people through religious fanaticism and bigotry; can’t you extend that to the new environmentalist religion and its high priest Gore? Why don’t you scrutinize the holy bible of skewed marginal science, and wholesale manipulation of statistical data to fit their new commandments?

ONE: ‘You shall have no other gods before Gore.’

TWO: ‘You shall not make for yourself a climate model–any simulation of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.’

THREE: ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD thy Gore in vain.’

FOUR: ‘Remember the International Climate Conference and keep it holy.’

FIVE: ‘Honor Dr Mann, the IPCC, and the Kyoto protocol.’

SIX: ‘You shall not consider water vapor or the sun as a climate driver.’

SEVEN: ‘You shall not produce greenhouse gas.’

EIGHT: ‘You shall not steal carbon credits.’

NINE: ‘You shall not bear false witness against an inconvenient truth.’

TEN: ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s eco-house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s eco-freak wife, nor his tree-hugger, nor his primitivist, nor his eco-friendly devices, nor his hybrid car, nor anything that reduces your neighbor’s carbon footprint and global warming.’


BlackSun / April 3rd, 2008, 8:10 am / #6


You are misinformed about this. That’s why I created the climate change tab. Funny how people try to paint anything they disagree with as a “religion,” including global warming and atheism.

Alex / April 3rd, 2008, 9:58 pm / #7

To be fair, climate change is complicated, with a great many factors entering into a massive equation we still only have partially completed. I think some of the greatest harm has been done by those trying to stop global warming- CO2 isn’t anywhere near the only gas we have to be worried about, nor is a slight reduction going to be effective this late in the game, you can’t just buy some carbon credits and expect everything to be okay. It also doesn’t help that many people on the forefront, like Al Gore, seem to be hypocrites at first glance.

Unless we can replace fossil fuels and offset the escalation in places like India and China, where even with their lower per-capita use there’s still a tremendous upshift going on, we’re going to be seeing some devastating weather soon. And contrary to the overly-generalized propaganda, it won’t just be warmer temperatures and a few inches higher sea level.

cat / November 17th, 2008, 1:32 pm / #8

All of this is a moot point until the real problem is addressed…Overpopulation.

AmenASHandF / November 18th, 2008, 11:05 pm / #9

I’ll tell u what it is too. It’s everyone keeping those lights on, t.v., radio, heat/air conditioning to high etc when they don’t need to be! When I got into the habit in taking care of this neglect, my bill went down $20-30 !!
That t.v., heat/air conditioning & lights were the suckers. Imagine everyone one doing this! This would take care alot of this so called power shortage & polution issues, omitions(-sp?) !
Reproductive health education is a must every where, even here in the USA, just to add ; )

cat / November 19th, 2008, 7:57 am / #10

Apparently if you go one further and unplug ALL unused appliances you can slash your bill by 60% or more! All those standby lights add up.

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