Greenhouse Gases And Climate Change Essay

1679 Words 7 Pages
Which do you think is worse for the environment, driving a gas guzzling truck or eating beef every day? You might think that the truck is going to be worse, but you cannot see greenhouse gases and judge which is going to produce more gas. Studies are finding that cows, and other livestock, produce greenhouse gases, are having measurable effects to climate change. Although cars produce a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) , livestock emit methane (CH4) and CO2, plus contribute to climate change in other ways.
Methane is a byproduct of livestock. It is a fast acting greenhouse gas, meaning that methane will contribute to climate change more quickly than some other greenhouse gases. The scientific reasoning behind this lies in the half-life of methane. An isotope 's half-life is how long it takes for half of it to decay. Methane has a half life of 8 years (Goodland & Anhang), significantly less than carbon dioxide’s 100 year half life (Goodland & Anhang). As a greenhouse gas decays, it releases energy
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While driving across agricultural states you pass the industrial farms where there are thousands upon thousands of cows packed onto huge plots of land. As far as the eye can see it is cows. A farm like this one would fall under the category of factory farming in an industrialised country. These types of farms, produce the most greenhouse gases (Sere). They also are where most of our beef comes from because of the sheer number of cows raised on farms like this. The opposite of the factory farm would be a family farm, and “of family farms, those in developing countries produce the least amount of greenhouse gases” (Sere). This type of family farm would be those with just a few cows to collect milk from, and eventually butcher to eat. On these farms, they produce enough animals to bring some to market, but often the cows are raised for the family to

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