One of the reasons global warming is such an attractive scenario is that it provides unending rationales for funding various nerd hobbies.
Thus, we read in the L.A. Times:
When a team of researchers from the University of Delaware traveled to Africa two years ago to search for exemplary chickens, they weren’t looking for plump thighs or delicious eggs.
They were seeking out birds that could survive a hotter planet.
The researchers were in the vanguard of food scientists, backed by millions of dollars from the federal government, racing to develop new breeds of farm animals that can stand up to the hazards of global warming.
That’s right. We are putting our kids in millions of dollars of debt to do make-work to make unnecessary preparations for a mythical apocalypse.
As a child I lived in equatorial Africa. And I remember that chickens were all over the place in the villages. My neighbors had a chicken coop and regularly ate eggs. I got to watch a chicken get slaughtered so the family could eat it. None of these chickens looks differently than the chickens I have seen in North America. None of them laid different eggs or tasted different. So, even if the planet did warm the minute amount that some people are projecting, we wouldn’t need a different chicken.
That means efforts like the one here, in which Carl Schmidt and his colleagues are trying to map the genetic code of bizarre-looking African naked-neck chickens to see if their ability to withstand heat can be bred into flocks of U.S. broilers.
But the bizarre chicken isn’t necessary! Plain looking chickens also exist in Africa!
Another scientist is putting turkey chicks and eggs under a heat lamp. But nothing is said about matching the actual projections for the supposedly rising temperatures. Again, one trip to equatorial Africa or South America to see how turkeys function under those temperature conditions should end any need for further experiments using sun lamps. This is all wasted money and time.
But it gets worse:
Some climate experts, however, question the federal government’s emphasis on keeping pace with a projected growing global appetite for meat. Because raising animals demands so many resources, the only viable way to hit global targets for greenhouse gas reduction may be to encourage people to eat less meat, they say.
The meat industry should be more radical in confronting climate change, Miller said, pointing to an approach backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates that takes animals out the process altogether. The billionaire is bullish on technology that would use pea proteins to create replicas of beef and chicken that are indistinguishable from the real thing.
“There’s no way to produce enough meat for 9 billion people,” Gates wrote recently on his blog. “Yet we can’t ask everyone to become vegetarians. We need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources.”
Gates has no way of knowing that it is impossible to produce meat for 9 billion people. And it is nonsense to pretend that eating animals is more dangerous to the environment than whipping out all but one crop and growing that one plant year after year. I’m not against modern agriculture but pretending it is superior to meat-production isn’t science; it is a vegetarian myth.
Federal spending is going to be far more damaging to our future than global warming.