Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids, which are essential building blocks for the body. There are nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained from the diet. These essential amino acids are required for the synthesis of proteins that support tissue growth and repair, hormone and enzyme production, immune system function, and other physiological processes. Dietary protein also plays a crucial role in muscle protein synthesis, which is the process by which the body repairs and builds new muscle tissue.… Read the rest “The Environmental Footprint of Protein”
On March 19, 2023, the New York Times carried a story that began:
It’s one of the great injustices of this era that countries contributing negligible amounts to global carbon emissions are now feeling the most harrowing impacts of climate change. Pakistan, which makes up less than 1 percent of the world’s carbon footprint, had a third of its territory under water in last year’s floods. Parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are experiencing the worst drought in 70 years of record-keeping, threatening millions with famine, even though the entire continent of Africa contributes less than 4 percen of global carbon emissions.… Read the rest “A great injustice”
In the iconic 1967 movie “The Graduate”, an avuncular businessman takes aside 21-year old college graduate Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman. He wants to give Ben some advice on where to aim his future. With his right arm draped over his shoulder, Mr. McGuire intones, “I just wanna say one word to you.” And then, “Just one word. Plastics”. “There’s a great future in plastics.”
For all his plasticness, Mr McGuire was right.… Read the rest “can bacteria save us from plastic armageddon? – updated”
The environmental cost of beef production is well known: it generates a lot of greenhouse gases (GHG), compared to plant-derived foods or even meats such as pork or chicken. A major reason is that bovines’ stomachs use oxygen-free, “enteric” fermentation to digest grass, as described in a previous post. As a result, they burp up a lot of methane, which is a potent GHG.
The greenhouse gas contributions of methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases are encompassed by the term “CO2 equivalents” (CO2e).… Read the rest “Your steak and global warming”
The Waste-to-Energy plant “Amager Bakke” in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo credit Niels Quist/Alamy stock photos.
Most people do not enjoy talking, or reading, about garbage. For one thing, it’s boring. But it’s also disturbing: garbage imposes great costs on our economy and our society. The biggest problem is simply the amount of garbage we produce. For example, in 2015, two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of Municipal Solid Waste was generated per citizen of the USA every day (MSW is the fancy name for garbage).… Read the rest “Why we should burn garbage”
“Livestock are responsible for 18 percent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together. It’s official: taking to the roads in an SUV’s got nothing on cattle flatulence . . . “ This is a direct quote from a recent web post of a climate sceptic. It restates a popular meme about climate change, favoured by conservative commentators: that man isn’t the most important agent of global warming, it’s the farting cows, stupid.… Read the rest “We Need to Talk About Methane”