EP1 Cows and Climate Change

EP1 Cows and Climate Change

Listen to lawyer, author, rancher and sustainable meat advocate Nicolette Hahn Niman explain how better management practices may be the key to reducing cattle’s carbon footprint.


5:43 – Increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were mostly due to a 76% increase in the oil and gas sector and 42% increase in the transportation sector, Niman says. Agriculture emissions for Canada in 2005 were 8.1% of total emissions and projected to be only 8% by 2030. Further discussion delves into various GHG produced by the agriculture industry like nitrous oxide and methane and their current and projected amounts.

16:42 – How can soil bacteria help offset methane emissions? Methanotrophs could be part of the answer! Termites might be the best example of this relationship in nature.

22:11 – But can the ag industry really be expected to do much? Yes! In the 1980’s the Rice industry was the #1 methane producer worldwide. Changes they implemented helped reduce their emissions.

22:50 – What things could agricultural producers do that might lower our methane production? Research on kelp as a supplement as well as studies on dung beetles and the use of metal weights in the rumens of cattle are just a few of the research topics currently being studied to help reduce methane production.

Useful Links:

Nicolette Hahn Niman – http://www.nicolettehahnniman.com/

Methanotrophs – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/methanotrophs

Want to learn more? Listen to Episode 11: Soil Carbon Intro with research scientist Monika Gorzelak of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Irricana rancher Doug Wray