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Scientists Race To Develop Livestock That Can Survive Climate Change

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the just-need-to-outrun-you dept.

Earth 291

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Evan Halper writes in the LA Times that with efforts to reduce carbon emissions lagging, researchers, backed by millions of dollars from the federal government, are looking for ways to protect key industries from the impact of climate change by racing to develop new breeds of farm animals that can stand up to the hazards of global warming. ""We are dealing with the challenge of difficult weather conditions at the same time we have to massively increase food production" to accommodate larger populations and a growing demand for meat, says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. For example a team of researchers is 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 US broilers. "The game is changing since the climate is changing," says Carl Schmidt. "We have to start now to anticipate what changes we have to make in order to feed 9 billion people," citing global-population estimates for 2050." (More below.)"Warmer temperatures can create huge problems for animals farmed for food. Turkeys are vulnerable to a condition that makes their breast meat mushy and unappetizing. Disease rips through chicken coops. Brutal weather can claim entire cattle herds. 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 and point to an approach backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates that takes animals out the process altogether. "There's no way to produce enough meat for 9 billion people," says Bill Gates. "Yet we can't ask everyone to become vegetarians. We need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources.""

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Have you not heard?? (3, Funny)

pablo_max (626328) | about 8 months ago | (#46917939)

It is NOT climate change anymore. It is called climate disruption.

http://politics.slashdot.org/s... [slashdot.org]

Oh... (1)

pablo_max (626328) | about 8 months ago | (#46917945)

and also....first post.

Re:Have you not heard?? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 8 months ago | (#46918093)

It is NOT climate change anymore. It is called climate disruption.

And the scientists are not really racing either, more like 'considering'.

Re:Have you not heard?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918483)

I read this in "News of the Weird" in my local alternative weekly.

Screw the feedback loop (5, Insightful)

aduchate (656665) | about 8 months ago | (#46917961)

So the basic idea is : Cows produce methane that participates to the global warming. But because cows might not survive the climate change, we are going to create super-cows than are immune to this self-regulating mechanism instead of let's say switch to bugs.

Really sounds like a great idea.

I imagine that when we have really screwd the climate for us, we will have to come up with genetically engineered human beings that will drive heavily modified cars that are working OK when it's 60C.

Re:Screw the feedback loop (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 8 months ago | (#46918021)

Hey, I want my cheeseburger in paradise, even if it's in Long Island.

Re:Screw the feedback loop (4, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | about 8 months ago | (#46918061)

No money to stop climate change but we have plenty of money to save the fast food industry.

Re:Screw the feedback loop (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918133)

You can't stop climate change, at most you can prevent disruption of the natural climate change.
To do this you will need to find a solution that is a progression from the current state rather than a regression. (That is, replace current technology with more climate neutral alternatives rather than remove them.)

If your solution is anywhere close to "I want everyone to stop whatever they are doing." you might not necessarily meet opposition, but you will have to fund the movement yourself.

Re:Screw the feedback loop (1)

leftover (210560) | about 8 months ago | (#46918467)

AC, this is the most cogent statement ever! Fresh out of mod points but you deserve +5 Insightful.

Re:Screw the feedback loop (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 8 months ago | (#46918561)

Actually the fast food industry is the most efficient one at utilizing resources. In their parlance "100% beef" means that they ground the whole cow, horns to tail. Nothing is wasted.

Re:Screw the feedback loop (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about 8 months ago | (#46918137)

That's also one of the things that they're trying to change about cattle and other ruminants. Breed a cow that digests more efficiently, and it'll produce less methane.

But I agree - beef is a very costly food in terms of resources needed to produce it. Now, if we could just breed people to eat hay ...

Re:Screw the feedback loop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918169)

Hurry up with my buggalo already -- those BBQ buggalo wings everybody ate looked yummy *and* they were gigantic !

are you kidding? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46917963)

Are you kidding? Earth's atmosphere is:
78% Nitrogen
21% Oxygen
1% everything else and of that 1%, 93% is argon and 3.6% of that 1% is CO2, that is how little CO2 is actually in the atmosphere, and CO2 is a necessary ingredient for plant life. Google CO2 generators and you will see that they are for sale to increase plant growth in green houses and aquariums. More plant growth = more food for humans.

Re: are you kidding (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46917999)

sssshhht, you are revealing that "climate change" is just an euphemism for "the sky is falling". Here, have some grant money and stop spreading doubts to human livestock.

Re: are you kidding (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918281)

LOL "grant money". Oh, this magical, bottomless well of moolah that exists solely to tempt scientists into lying for decades. I'll bet energy companies had wished they'd thought of that! Those poor, struggling corporations dream of someday being able to bribe scientists and op-ed writers and politicians to make dishonest statements that benefit their bottom line. But you know, greed and profit just aren't motivators for dishonesty the way... Uh.... "grant money" is??? (Oh, right, I forgot, those evil liberals want to be enslaved by the government and to destroy America forever. That's actually why liberals do anything. Totally makes sense as a motivation.)

Re: are you kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918301)

sssshhht, you are revealing that "climate change" is just an euphemism for "the sky is falling". Here, have some grant money and stop spreading doubts to human livestock.

Came here to see AC shills with the "Climate Change is made up to make scientists money!" tripe. Was not disappointed. Stupid thoudandaire scientists and their luxury yachts! Sucking on the government teat

Re:are you kidding? (3, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about 8 months ago | (#46918003)

Just playing devil's advocate here, but if there is so little CO2 in the atmosphere and changing it's level can change how the atmosphere affects us, isn't that basically showing how delicate our environment can be?

Re:are you kidding? (4, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46918037)

Look up 'climate model CO2/Water vapor positive feedback coefficient' and understand how easily climate models can be manipulated to produce any result.

There is a reason that energy boards treat modeling as an adversarial process. It is more like lawyering then science.

Re:are you kidding? (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 8 months ago | (#46918085)

Ah yes, the CO2/Water vapor feedback coeffient - the entirely made-up non-physical fudge factor that turns a rise in an essential trace gas from pimple to asteroid-hitting-the earth scariness.

"There is a reason that energy boards treat modeling as an adversarial process. It is more like lawyering then science"

Whatever it is, it's not science.

Re:are you kidding? (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46918153)

There is vary little doubt that there is a positive feedback. But the coefficient used in various climate models is calculated to produce the desired result.

Some modelers have floated unstable datasets where one molecule of added CO2 would inevitably take the earth to Venus like conditions. I assume the more clueful took them aside and tried to explain control systems basics as those have mostly shut-up lately.

Only backcasting has a remote chance of getting the number right. But historic data is noisy junk and can be tortured into telling you anything you want to hear.

Re:are you kidding? (4, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 8 months ago | (#46918209)

Models are good when all of the relevant inputs and variables are known and included. Even simple systems are often difficult to model accurately. For climate models, it seems scientists are discovering new inputs/variables on a regular basis. Modeling is necessary and even imperfect models can help us understand what may happen, particularly when it comes to assessing the impacts of certain changes on an isolated basis. Of course, nothing happens on an isolated basis. I do hate it when folks "over predict" the eventual impact of warming without admitting the great uncertainty that is included.

Many models have been designed to somewhat accurately mimic our historical records, but that approach can be misleading, as the modelers are striving for the correct output regardless of the correct input, kind of a 'self fulfilling prophecy'. Good science requires discipline, and there are scientists out there that have the right discipline, and those who don't. There is good science happening, and there are flags that tell you who is practicing it and who isn't. Look for those that understand and admit the uncertainties along with their results, and realize the importance of communicating them.

The best way to know if a model is working is to leave it untouched and see if it predicts accurately. That takes time, and many don't think we have that time.

Re:are you kidding? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46918583)

You have to tune a dataset/model to something. History is noisy and incomplete, but it's the best we've got.

The alternative is to go full on: 'make it up to tell a story, then wait to see if you were right'.

Re:are you kidding? (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 8 months ago | (#46918327)

This is why there are uncertainty intervals in the models. So what? The range is small enough to make informed decisions.

Re:are you kidding? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46918557)

Your kidding right? The range is very wide and selected by the modelers to fit their agenda. Only new data is leading to model constraints and/or deprecation of new data, depending on POV.

Some modelers, being dumber/less mathematical then others, decided; if a little is bad, more is worse. Leading to unreasonable datasets that made the earth Venus on the first exhale.

Re:are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918005)

The article is about meat, not plant growth, you insensitive clod.

Re:are you kidding? (2)

plopez (54068) | about 8 months ago | (#46918103)

Unless they all die due to desertification.

Re:are you kidding? (1, Informative)

rossdee (243626) | about 8 months ago | (#46918143)

CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it aborbs infra red that would otherwise escape.

"3.6% of that 1% is CO2"

Its up to 400ppm now, so that should read 4% of that 1% is CO2

So thats a 10% increase in a couple of decades

How would you like a 10% increase in temperature
Note that we would have to use an absolute temperature scale, not some arbitrary 0 like C or F

So an overnight temp of freezing (32f) would become about 80F
and a daytime temp of 71F would become 124F or so

Re:are you kidding? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 8 months ago | (#46918183)

Google CO2 generators and you will see that they are for sale to increase plant growth in green houses and aquariums.

Yeah, riiiight. And did you bother to find how much CO2 gets pumped into those (enclosed) greenhouses and what level of global greenhouse effect the same kind of CO2 increase would cause in the atmosphere at large?

Re:are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918613)

Hey bigmouth: You're being called out (why're you running "forrest"?) http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

I have to wonder (5, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | about 8 months ago | (#46918307)

I have to wonder , I always see such uneducated comment in global warming thread. In the mean time I have come to the conclusion that people truly never try to educate themselves, they grasp at the slightest of the information they might have overheard in their live, without checking if that experience is actually supported, then stick to it forever.

To the op, it is not about absolute quantity but about relative effect. A very small change in CO2 is enough to retain much more warmth (trap IR longer). Same with other molecules by the way , like CH4, SF6... Only the half life of those limit their effect. But why bother, you (or any of the ignorant posting the same drivel) will simply skip it and post their ignorance again at the next GW thread.

Re:are you kidding? (2)

Layzej (1976930) | about 8 months ago | (#46918313)

Incredulity != skepticism.

Time to shift gears for the human race (4, Insightful)

Akratist (1080775) | about 8 months ago | (#46917979)

It's long past time that we got out of the nationalist, playground bully mentality that we're stuck in, and start collectively working together to address global warming, resource depletion, and the fact that we will go extinct much sooner if we don't start looking at ways to get off of the Earth permanently. I don't really know how to get that ball rolling, except to say that people need to start decoupling these issues from politics and moral/religious squabbles, and recognize that it's a matter of shared survival.

Re:Time to shift gears for the human race (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918023)

Mankind doesn't adapt so well. We build power structures and protect them at all costs even when those structures are leading the demise. The next generation could do it assuming the current gen doesn't prevent them but they will because they're selfish and that is the most important quality when accumulating power.

Re:Time to shift gears for the human race (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918029)

Not going to happen. US and Europe have a lifestyle that depends on fossil fuels. Putin wants legacy and a place in history, but he has to sell oil and gas. The Middle East want the lifestyle they are used to, and to maintain that, they have to sell oil and gas. China needs oil, gas and coal in order to export cheap shit. Australia's boom is based on coal. Most of the industry worldwide has made enormous investment in equipment that runs on oil and gas. Hell, people EAT stuff that is made from oil and gas.

Prepare for more of the same until it is very late.

Re:Time to shift gears for the human race (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918081)

The communist party has a plan. Forget politics and moral/religious squabbles and hop on board. Seriously, it's a matter of shared survival. Any other "let's all be friends and solve my problems" preaching you'd like to get off your chest?

Re:Time to shift gears for the human race (2, Interesting)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 8 months ago | (#46918101)

You could start by cracking a book or three and realising that we've been through end-of-the-world-unless-we-repent apocalyptic scares for as long as man has been upright.

Re:Time to shift gears for the human race (1, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | about 8 months ago | (#46918113)

Because there's a lot of money to be made in fossil fuels. Just ask the Koch (pronounced "kock") brothers. Greed is not good.

Re:Time to shift gears for the human race (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918259)

This is a lot of money to be extracted from the corporations and the the rich by establishing additional "taxes" and "fees"...for the benefit of the motherland, of course.

The have-nots simply wanting the haves to have less despite the have-nots not realizing they still would not have more, just the other smart and powerful would become the haver.

Re:Time to shift gears for the human race (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about 8 months ago | (#46918323)

To do what you suggest then you've got to bring everyone to the table. You have to hold everyone to the standards. That means you are going to starve growth in the third world. That means you have to get China to play ball. If you don't do that you will push first world businesses to operate in third world countries because it is cheaper to not be clean than to be clean. And who knows how you get China to play by the same rules as everyone else.

We've already passed "Peak Child" (1, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 8 months ago | (#46917987)

We've already passed "Peak Child" and the human race is in decline. So, the premise that we need to ramp up food production to cope with a growing population is a false one. If there's not enough meat for everyone in the short term, we feed the young and able bodied first, then the parents of the young and able bodied, then whoever is left, in that order.

Re:We've already passed "Peak Child" (4, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 8 months ago | (#46918027)

We've already passed "Peak Child" and the human race is in decline.

Non sequitur. People are not dying fast enough. Life expectancy increases everywhere.

So, the premise that we need to ramp up food production to cope with a growing population is a false one.

Non sequitur. Even if the population decreases, demand for meat is currently soaring, especially in the so-called emerging markets. This means drastically more land area and more water is needed than for growing traditional, primarily vegetarian diets.

If there's not enough meat for everyone in the short term, we feed the young and able bodied first, then the parents of the young and able bodied, then whoever is left, in that order.

More like, people with money will get the meat by paying for the land and water in other countries, while the people there starve. All this is already happening.

Re:We've already passed "Peak Child" (0)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 8 months ago | (#46918123)

"This means drastically more land area and more water is needed than for growing traditional, primarily vegetarian diets."

Step away from the keyboard, out of your mom's basement and take a look at the real world

Re:We've already passed "Peak Child" (2)

felixrising (1135205) | about 8 months ago | (#46918359)

Actually developed countries started to naturally reduce population growth... many were worried about this phenomena leading to many economists recommending people have more kids to keep the economy growing due to population growth... there is no real benefit to continuing to grow populations indefinitely with a resource constrained planet.. It would seem to be better adapt economies to a model more suited to static population size.

Re:We've already passed "Peak Child" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918121)

So you are saying that distribution of food is not an economic question but a political one?

Re:We've already passed "Peak Child" (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 8 months ago | (#46918207)

So you are saying that distribution of food is not an economic question but a political one?

That's an excellent way of putting it.

Re:We've already passed "Peak Child" (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 8 months ago | (#46918151)

Sounds like you have fallen in line to the "indoctrination" that you were speaking of. In fact, you seem to have surpassed it.
http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

With the right indoctrination, you can teach a man that his enemy is not human.

Re:We've already passed "Peak Child" (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 8 months ago | (#46918369)

I don't want my children to starve while my parents eat, and I don't want my parents to starve while a rich old man eats. I don't imagine too many other people want that either, unless their parents abused them. And, of course, if the people working don't eat, the whole game is over. But really, there's no reason for anyone to starve, so lets feed him too if we can. But only because we have compassion, not because he is entitled to the fruit of our labour over our children and the parents who raised us.

Re:We've already passed "Peak Child" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918521)

You do realize that about 1/8 of the total people ever alive are living today....

insects (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46917995)

Thought the solution for future food production was worms and algae. In any case smaller animals. Throw the basic stuff in a blender, add some chemicals to alter taste and color, fit it into a convenient shape and the general consumer won't care what it's made off.

Re:insects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918053)

Nope. The future is synthetic food if you can get it. Algae and worms will be the expensive treats for the top 1%. .

Re:insects (2)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 8 months ago | (#46918177)

Nope. The future is synthetic food if you can get it. Algae and worms will be the expensive treats for the top 1%. .

Why else would you want to be a liberal Hollywood actor, sports star, reporter, or politician?

Re:insects (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 months ago | (#46918425)

People used to eat a lot of things that most people won't even touch any more. People, In the US, not so long ago, used to eat cow tongue because it was cheap and nutritious. People used to eat pork hocks, but those seem to be hard to come by as well. Same goes for thinks like oxtail. People are becoming more and more picky about what they eat. To think that you could get a large number of people to move to eating insects or worms is ludicrous.

new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918001)

what is the issue here?
all animal species alive now have survived all climate changes in the past.

But.. (1)

grimJester (890090) | about 8 months ago | (#46918219)

all animal species alive now have survived all climate changes in the past.

But almost no animal species alive in the past have survived all the climate changes in the past.

More seriously, they want to optimize meat per dollar taking into account projections of future climate. A current cow would probably do well but be suboptimal. Normal economics at work, nothing to see here.

One word (3, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46918277)

Latitude.

why cows? (2, Interesting)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 8 months ago | (#46918007)

Already, chickens are about 10x more efficient for production of meat calories than beef is. Most of the world does not consume milk like European descendants do. 40% of the world's arable land is already being used for agriculture. Red meat offers very little and is harmful to the human body in many ways.

I'd prefer we just leave beef alone, let the price increase as demand increases, and place artificial limits on production. Seems like everyone would be better off, and the environment would be as well.

Re:why cows? (2)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 8 months ago | (#46918065)

I'd prefer we just leave beef alone, let the price increase as demand increases, and place artificial limits on production. Seems like everyone would be better off, and the environment would be as well.

Slashing subsidies for meat production would be a start.

Re:why cows? (3, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46918071)

Fair enough: One vote for a police state. We will all be better off without red meat. Farmers should never be allowed to respond to market conditions. What could go wrong? It's not like anything similar has been tried previously.

Read some history. Too much government power is very bad.

Re:why cows? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918089)

Read some history. Too much government power is very bad.

The only thing that is worse is too little government.

Re:why cows? (3)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46918171)

Not what the historic numbers say. Not even close.

Re:why cows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918185)

Read some history. Too much government power is very bad.

The only thing that is worse is too little government.

Are you saying that having a government that tries to regulate the size of sodas people are permitted to consume is "too little"?

captcha: absurd

Re:why cows? (2)

pablo_max (626328) | about 8 months ago | (#46918097)

I'd prefer we just leave beef alone, let the price increase as demand increases, and place artificial limits on production. Seems like everyone would be better off, and the environment would be as well.

That is all well and good in western countries, there is however a down side to the increased price of beef.
For example, the massive deforestation of Brazil due to illegal cattle farming which is sold to the West at a very tidy profit. If you double the price of beef there would be loads more people trying to illegally farm.
Not to say there is anything wrong with making a living, but unregulated cattle farms play hell with the local ecology.

Re:why cows? (4, Insightful)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 8 months ago | (#46918115)

"Red meat offers very little and is harmful to the human body in many ways.".

Yes the harm it does to Olympic athletes and cyclists is a warning for everybody. Nobody needs iron, zinc and those fat-soluble vitamins from meat if Walgreens has them in little bottles.

Re:why cows? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 8 months ago | (#46918195)

...I'd prefer we just leave beef alone, let the price increase as demand increases, and place artificial limits on production. Seems like everyone would be better off, and the environment would be as well.

I can't stop laughing over the absurdity of this statement, as if we've left chickens "alone". Do you have any idea how modified chickens are today compared to even 20 years ago? Give me a break. The only artificial limits on chicken production is the artificial sense that you think there are limits. You're not even allowed to see those "chickens" being manufactured, which should tell you something about what you call food.

Re:why cows? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 8 months ago | (#46918217)

And in a hurricane, both fly equally well, but the chickens are better at landing.

Re:why cows? (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 8 months ago | (#46918241)

And in a hurricane, both fly equally well, but the chickens are marginally better at landing.

FTFY. (I used to raise chickens)

Re:why cows? (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 8 months ago | (#46918279)

Already, chickens are about 10x more efficient for production of meat calories than beef is..

Cows, chickens, whatever. Just leave pigs out of it. BACON RULES!

Re:why cows? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 8 months ago | (#46918299)

For a healthy food supply it is wise to have more diversity in food not less. Cattle help with creating greater food supply diversity. A virus could kill of a lot of animals hitting the food supply. If Poultry is our only source of meat, we could cause major problems.
Milk isn't as much "European descendants" European based ancestry allows them to digest milk, and it had became part of our dietary needs. They can survive without milk, however they are better off with it. Other nationalities, don't need milk and they do not digest it as well.
The biggest problem with food anger, is the lack of understanding that different bodies digest food differently and needs different nutrients. Not all people can be vegans, not all people can eat meat.

   

Good Sub (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918035)

Good Sub :)
egymodrn.blogspot.com

Donors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918041)

Funding for this will be determined by which group hires the most union workers that donate to the DNC, or which group is run by individuals with long track records of giving to the DNC. The previous owners of Solyndra is currently in the front running to get the federal funding.

No results are expected in the advancement of science for this. Obama was quoted as saying "If you like your cows you can keep them, period".

Now can we admit this who AGW thing is just a money grab for the DNC?

Our Tax Dollars In Action... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918045)

That's our stupid government for ya. Our own actions (power generation, industry, etc.) are causing the problem of global climate disruptions but instead of changing how we do business (lower or eliminate carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions) our industrious leaders come up with hair-brained plans to genetically alter our food-stock. Idiots. It's time to add some Chlorine to the government gene-pool.

Let's not have 9 billion people in 2050, mmkay? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918047)

Unbounded population growth can only end in misery. Maybe there is enough food to go around for 6 billion, even long after peak oil. Maybe there is enough for 9 billion. Who knows. But there certainly is a number where it doesn't work anymore and then it's going to be gruesome. Let's not go there.

Re:Let's not have 9 billion people in 2050, mmkay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918267)

Unbounded population growth can only end in misery. Maybe there is enough food to go around for 6 billion, even long after peak oil. Maybe there is enough for 9 billion. Who knows. But there certainly is a number where it doesn't work anymore and then it's going to be gruesome. Let's not go there.

Volunteers? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

Re:Let's not have 9 billion people in 2050, mmkay? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918341)

For once, this is a world problem that can not be pinned on the industrial nations, which already have shrinking native populations. Nothing needs to be done here. And just like the industrial nations "stopped" population growth without instituting a ban on pregnancy, stopping it elsewhere is neither impossible nor does it require a police state or worse.

Frankenfood (1)

LabRatty (96497) | about 8 months ago | (#46918069)

So can I finally look forward to the legendary turducken then? I'll have a flying car first at this rate.

Re:Frankenfood (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46918105)

The Tur part of turducken was a recent addition and adds nothing. Duckhen is good stuff.

Vegetarian (3, Interesting)

dthirteen (307585) | about 8 months ago | (#46918075)

Hate to be the one to point out the obvious... but the solution is not in changing the meat it is in reducing and/or eliminating the meat. A very large part of world has done very well for a very long time on limited or no meat, eating beans and rice, lentils and rice, and tofu and rice. Meat requires vast quantities of water, creates vast quantities of waste, and is a huge caloric loss if you are feeding the animal grains or other foodstuffs that humans can eat directly. Beef being the worst offender for water use, and pollution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Vegetarian (2)

geekmux (1040042) | about 8 months ago | (#46918215)

Hate to be the one to point out the obvious... but the solution is not in changing the meat it is in reducing and/or eliminating the meat. A very large part of world has done very well for a very long time on limited or no meat, eating beans and rice, lentils and rice, and tofu and rice. Meat requires vast quantities of water, creates vast quantities of waste, and is a huge caloric loss if you are feeding the animal grains or other foodstuffs that humans can eat directly. Beef being the worst offender for water use, and pollution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

Ah, excuse me, Mr. Common Sense? Ah, yes if you could please face the corner when you speak. You are annoying Greed N. Corruption, and since he's in charge, well it's best not to piss him off.

Re:Vegetarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918261)

Beef being the worst offender for water use, and pollution.

At least until the next fracking story comes up, right?

Re:Vegetarian (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46918297)

Where you saying something?

All this talk of beef is making me hungry.

Hardly the problem we see it is. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918077)

Vegans and vegetarians can and have lived perfectly normal and healthy lives. Often times far longer than their meat-gorging counterparts.

To stand up and state we must fix this problem, as if the meat industry is somehow absolutely necessary for the human race to survive is nonsense, and reflects poorly on the person stating it (yeah, that would be you, Bill).

And yes, I realize we would likely shift food shortages to plants by doing so, but I'm willing to bet we can make a plant better suited for climate change far easier than we can modify a much more complex organism that evolved over thousands of years to the climate today.

Greed won't allow this to happen. We're not allowed to even speak badly against this industry that we cannot label corrupt.

Re:Hardly the problem we see it is. (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 8 months ago | (#46918381)

Beef tastes good. Why wouldn't we want to produce it as cheaply as possible?

Population is the problem.. The whole problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918091)

We need to enforce some type of human birth licensing system to stop all population growth and ideally reduce our population to pre 1900's levels; Using modern technology and a world population near that which is/was sustainable before it(tech) could/should produce a world with excess resources, no accelerated global warming, no starvation, and at least eliminate resource based wars.

They Seem To Have Done Pretty Well So Far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918095)

After millions of years of climates that change and disrupt the critters seem to be handling it all pretty well on their own.

Just move (1)

jamesl (106902) | about 8 months ago | (#46918099)

I would simply buy some land a little farther north.

Or maybe it's not such a big problem.
More than 7,000 years ago, domesticated cattle appeared along the Tigris and Euphrates river valley, the origin of the first agricultural society of the Sumerians. The ancient Egyptians made cheese, and Isis, the Egyptian goddess and patroness of agriculture, is often represented as a woman with the horns of a cow, a sacred animal.
http://www.floridamilk.com/dai... [floridamilk.com]

Isn't it hot there?

Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918111)

They could just use Guineafowl. They're native to warm climates, breed more prolifically than chickens (EG: produce more eggs), about the same body, taste the same.

Guessing someone just needed grant money and a way to scare people. Since asking a poultry farmer was too cheap and easy a solution.

Let Evolution take care of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918127)

The Evolutionist believes that we (whatever you want "we" to be) change and adapt to the changing surroundings.. Right?
Then why are they running around claiming that Evolution won't take care of this "Global Warming". "Climate Change", "Climate Disruption" thingy?
Evolution has always taken care of change before, the Evolutionist says.
Why not now?
Why should we worry?

Did the dinosaurs worry?
Why should we?

You won't have to convince anyone (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 8 months ago | (#46918131)

...to become vegetarians or vegans.

I promise you it'll happen naturally as scientists keep screwing around genetically modifying our meat until that deadly strain of bird/cow/pig flu manages to get carried into the masses as a result and wipes out half the planet.

People won't touch anything that has beaks or hooves ever again.

Re:You won't have to convince anyone (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 8 months ago | (#46918393)

In what way is the flu related to GMO?

Science on the Federal Dole (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918145)

Yawn, yawn! Long ago, the human race breed cattle for hotter (Brahman) and colder (Scottish Highlander) temperatures. These scientist are simply scrambling in a most unseemly fashion after grant money being dumped out irresponsibly by our deficit-ridden federal government.
In fact, the entire global warming/climate change/climate disruption hysteria has been yet another illustration of scientists who lack integrity scrambling after grant money. The reasons has been, "If I have to say X to get money, then I will say X." Pitiful.
President Eisenhower warned of precisely this in his Farewell Address noting: "The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded."
http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm
The one paying the fiddler is calling the tune.

Re:Science on the Federal Dole (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 8 months ago | (#46918431)

Why wouldn't we want to continue making more resilient livestock? As you note we have been doing this for hundreds of years. Are you just against us using the latest technologies? It seems like only an anti-GMO eco-freak would be against this. Somehow (because climate change was in the summary) you attribute nefarious motives to those working towards progress. Does a switch flip in your brain when you see those words?

HughPickensDOTScare (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 8 months ago | (#46918165)

Is there a sweetheart deal for Slashdot's owners to post every deranged end-of-the-world scare story from HughPickens?

Inquiring minds would like to know, because every single scare story has been rebutted many times (although Slashdot never gets to see those stories because the debunkers are in league with the devil/big oil/republicans/illuminati/adam sandler (delete as appropriate))

The modern term for this is "motivated reasoning" but in the past it was called "moral hazard" or "moral depravity". Different words, same result - an attack on the motivation of the person who denies the coming Apocalypse/Judgement Day/Zombie Outbreak (delete as appropriate)

In Russia they have a word for this: Lysenkoism

Re:HughPickensDOTScare (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 8 months ago | (#46918545)

Agreed that this is a horrible summary that neither 'side' will have liked. At the heart of the story we have researchers working to develop more resilient livestock. That is a non-story that Slashdot would never have posted so Hugh sexes it up to the point of absurdity. Slashdot encourages this poor journalism.

stop launching the cows until they are sturdier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46918203)

hard to believe cart on top of the horse process http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wmd+weather+pollution 'scientists'? more like psychopathic megalomaniacs

Food Chain (1)

BlueMonk (101716) | about 8 months ago | (#46918213)

Aren't they starting at the wrong end of the food chain? Or have they already verified that all the organisms on which livestock depend will be able to survive?

oh! i know! i know! (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 8 months ago | (#46918221)

buoyant cows with webbed feet like a duck, do the same for pigs, goats, sheep and chickens

We already have those.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46918223)

Sheep do just fine in bitter evil cold and 120 degree summers. Certain long hair breeds of goats as well.
Problem is a lot of the long hair cows have been bread away to the easy to care for short hair. and there are chicken breeds that do fine.

Lastly pigs, just start with wild pigs instead of the naked ones we have that only exist for easy cleaning.

Rabbits are also very hearty and are perfect livestock.

McD's Races to market McCamel Burgers (3, Funny)

retroworks (652802) | about 8 months ago | (#46918233)

You want a side of cactus fries with that?

In other news.. (1)

Evtim (1022085) | about 8 months ago | (#46918355)

humanity throws away half of the food produced.

wake me up when we get real, please!

Fixed That For You (0)

tranquilidad (1994300) | about 8 months ago | (#46918439)

From the summary - "researchers, backed by millions of dollars from the federal government, are looking for ways to protect key industries from the impact of climate change by racing to develop new breeds of farm animals that can stand up to the hazards of global warming."

I think he meant to say, "researchers, lured by millions of dollars from the federal government, are looking for ways to win federal grants related to climate change and are racing to suck up as much money from the feds as they can under the rubric of fixing the hazards of global warming."

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