Big Beef Teaching Students How to Push ‘Scientific Sounding’ Arguments to Counter Climate Science

Posted on May 9, 2023

The U.S. beef industry is creating an army of influencers to get people to disregard the growing science-driven attention around the environmental impacts of meat production, as reported in the Guardian by Joe Fassler, who, in an effort to better understand the industry’s messaging, attended the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) program. “What you get is multiple misleading — but scientific sounding — narratives about beef industry sustainability and repeated appeals for students to engage proactively with consumers online and offline about environmental topics,” wrote Fassler, one of 21,000 graduates of the free by-admission-only online course, “and on completing it I can tell you that you don’t actually get a master’s degree, despite its name.”

Jimmy Carter’s Golden Green Legacy 

With his environmental record in the White House — from championing the largest single expansion of protected lands in American history to pushing the nation toward renewable energy — former President Jimmy Carter is an unheralded environmentalist, wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Kai Bird in Yale Environment 360. Using an obscure empowering act, the president in 1978 issued an executive order designating 56 million acres of Alaskan wilderness as a national monument (angering many Alaskans) and two years later signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act into law. Earlier this year, in his last public act before entering hospice care, he signed an amicus brief that ultimately succeeded in preventing construction of a gravel road through a portion of the land.

Plant-Based ‘Is a Nascent Industry’: Bloomberg Intelligence Researcher

The plant-based foods sector, including plant-based meats, is not a fad but is here to stay and is going to continue to grow, Bloomberg’s Senior Research Analyst Jen Bartashus said on The Plant-Based Business Hour with Elysabeth Alfano. Bartashus predicts that conventional beef prices will trend upward, which will help steer consumers toward plant-based alternatives, and the plant-based supply chain will improve, meaning better distribution, quality, and shelf life.

Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Central America at Most Risk From Extreme Heat

 Unprecedented heat, coupled with growing populations or limited health care and energy resources, may produce particularly bad effects in Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and countries in Central America, according to a study reported in the Washington Post. Also listed are parts of China, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, but these countries are better prepared to mitigate the impacts, according to the report. Researchers used data sets going back more than 60 years, as well as climate models, to evaluate the likelihood of record heat, and considered population and economic development projections in their analysis.

Tribe, California, Feds Sign Pact to Work Together to Save Endangered Salmon

The Winnemem Wintu Tribe of California has signed agreements to work with state and federal agencies to reintroduce Chinook salmon to their traditional spawning areas upstream of Shasta Dam, the Los Angeles Times reported. Members of the tribe have long sought to restore a wild salmon population in the McCloud River north of Redding, where their ancestors once lived. The fish were transplanted from California to New Zealand more than a century ago and still thrive there.

Administration Urges Meat Companies to Ensure They Don’t Use Child Labor

 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack sent a letter to the 18 largest meat and poultry producers urging them to examine hiring practices in the industry, the Associated Press reported, after an investigation found more than 100 kids working overnight for a company that cleans slaughterhouses, handling dangerous equipment like skull splitters and razor-sharp bone saws.


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