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Environmentalists Seek to Reduce Cow Burps and Ethanol



(p. A8) . . . a sweeping new study issued Wednesday [December 5, 2018] by the World Resources Institute, an environmental group . . . warns that the world's agricultural system will need drastic changes in the next few decades in order to feed billions more people without triggering a climate catastrophe.


. . .


. . . the authors are not counting on a major worldwide shift to vegetarianism.

"We wanted to avoid relying on magic asterisks," said Timothy D. Searchinger, a researcher at Princeton University and the World Resources Institute and lead author of the report.


. . .


The authors . . . pointed to possible techniques to reduce the climate impact of existing farms. For instance, new chemical compounds could help prevent nitrogen fertilizers from producing nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. And scientists are exploring feed additives that get cows to burp up less methane, another big contributor to global warming.


. . .


But, Mr. Searchinger said, many of the recommendations in the report, such as breeding new, higher-yielding crop varieties or preventing soil erosion, could also help farmers adapt to climate change.


. . .


. . . , the report's authors call for a limit on the use of bioenergy crops, such as corn grown for ethanol in cars, that compete with food crops for land.



For the full story, see:

Brad Plumer. "Can We Grow More Food On Less Land? We Must." The New York Times (Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018): A8.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed date, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Dec. 5, 2018, and has the title "Can We Grow More Food on Less Land? We'll Have To, a New Study Finds.")



The report summarized above, is:

Searchinger, Tim, Richard Waite, Craig Hanson, Janet Ranganathan, Patrice Dumas, and Emily Matthews. "Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050." World Resources Institute, 2018.






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