Yep, that’s right! There’s a new paper out saying exactly that! Remember all of the lunatics saying vegan was good for the environment? Turns out, even in their stupid climate change fantasy world they were wrong!
In this letter, we investigate the effects of crop yield and livestock feed efficiency scenarios on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture and land use change in developing countries. We analyze mitigation associated with different productivity pathways using the global partial equilibrium model GLOBIOM. Our results confirm that yield increase could mitigate some agriculture-related emissions growth over the next decades. Closing yield gaps by 50% for crops and 25% for livestock by 2050 would decrease agriculture and land use change emissions by 8% overall, and by 12% per calorie produced. …… Improvement in the crop or livestock sector would have different implications: crop yield increase would bring the largest food provision benefits, whereas livestock productivity gains would allow the greatest reductions in GHG emission. Combining productivity increases in the two sectors appears to be the most efficient way to exploit mitigation and food security co-benefits.
Agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through crop cultivation, livestock, and land use change. These sources altogether account for about one-third of total anthropogenic GHG emissions, and four-fifths of them are located in developing countries …..
Major productivity gaps remain that could be exploited to supply more food on existing agricultural land and at lower costs . Increasing land productivity would, in particular, relax the pressure from land conversion on current deforestation frontiers and help avoid large emissions and biodiversity losses . Indeed, past crop yield increases are estimated to have spared 85% of cropland over 50 years and avoided some 590 GtCO2 of land-use-related GHG emissions . On the livestock side, feed productivity increase is generally perceived as the most effective mitigation option , as add-on technologies (anti-methanogens, digesters) can only achieve limited levels of abatement . ……
…… Demand is more elastic in less advanced regions and developing countries therefore tend to react much more than developed ones. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia benefit the most from closing the crop yield gap, as they are far from their potentials and have a larger share of vegetal calories in their diet. On the livestock side, Brazil and Rest of Latin America increase demand for ruminant meat and milk when feed efficiency is improved. This therefore leads to different diet compositions across scenarios, livestock products representing 16.9% of world consumption in ‘CONV-C’ versus 18.2% in ‘CONV-L’ by 2050. …..
The role of agricultural productivity as a potential source of mitigation has already been underlined by several studies [5, 10, 31, 6]. However, none of these used an integrated framework to concurrently analyze the contributions of different sectors and contrast the total mitigation effect related to crop, livestock, and land use change emissions together with food provision impacts.
Our results, in particular, allow three important aspects to be stressed. First, mitigation potentials from yield increase are very different for crops and for livestock. Many authors focus on crop cultivation impact alone [5, 10]; however, livestock is recognized as the main emitter of GHGs and the sector with the largest impact on land use [32, 33]. Omitting livestock from yield trends analysis can lead to a significant part of agricultural mitigation potential being overlooked. This mitigation would be even greater if the potential effects of lower crop prices on livestock system intensification and associated pasture sparing are taken into account …..
Second, we have illustrated the importance of the rebound effect using an economic equilibrium model. Although this effect is not captured well by pure biophysical analyses, it does have critical importance. The results to this extent are dependent on the values of our price elasticities. Our sensitivity analysis shows that with elasticities two times lower, the rebound effect would be smaller and the mitigation would be increased by 54% (table 4, row 5)…….
……. More general combination of supply and demand side measures appears desirable but also faces some reality constraints, as change of consumer demand is subject to more inertia . The gains from investment towards agricultural productivity gains would allow more immediate GHG savings, but a combination of efforts in the crop and livestock sectors appears as the most efficient way to create synergies on both the food supply and mitigation sides.
Essentially, this is a long-winded way of saying if we improve the efficiency of crop and livestock production in developing countries, then land use significantly changes. (No need to deforest and increase the size of cropland and pasture land.) Further, once this is accomplished and the prices drop for the places where food is scarce, then they can more afford to do more!
For rational people this isn’t that hard to understand. Yields in developed nations are significantly better than in poor nations, so, they tend to deforest a bunch of land and much of that land isn’t very good for agriculture. Further, because their land is poor, they need more area for grazing their livestock. But, if they can make this more efficient, and the people have more meat to eat, then they don’t need as much land for grain. Cattle, goats, sheep and whatnot are better at eating grass than humans. It’s kinda what they were made for.
Beef, it’s what’s for dinner!
The authors don’t seem to like the nitrogen of the fertilizers used. Not to worry! As demonstrated in the prior study I wrote about, the plant’s requirement for nitrogen decreases as CO2 increases.
I would note, also, the fertilizer use in the US is mostly a response to the idiotic ethanol policies. I believe it is a self correcting action. Farmers want to plant corn because the demand has increased for it, and thus, the prices for the yields. Many are not properly rotating their crops because they want that high dollar corn. But, even with the use of fertilizers, we’re seeing a point of diminishing returns. If we’d end the stupid ethanol policies, the use of fertilizers would drop dramatically.
Now every alarmist vegan needs to apologize for their destruction of our precious mother gaia, or something. No, no, it doesn’t have to be paragraphs long, just a simple, “I’m sorry.” to everyone you derided in the past. Vegetarian people who are for different reasons, are of course, exempt from the need to apologize.