beef


Ending Tropical Deforestation: Have We Got Our Priorities Backwards?

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

In working to change the world, there’s always a need to keep asking ourselves whether we’re focusing on what’s most important. This certainly applies to the effort to end tropical deforestation, which is why I and my UCS colleagues have put a lot of emphasis on figuring out what causes—and in particular, which businesses—are the main drivers of deforestation. Unfortunately, a recent study indicates that that global corporations that have committed to ending the deforestation they cause, have got their priorities backwards. And it suggests that the NGO community—and that definitely includes me—may have had our priorities wrong too.

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Cattle ranchers have cleared ecosystems, including the Amazon, the Chaco, the Chiquitano, and the Cerrado (pictured here) for expansion of cattle pasture. Photo: Jorge ba/Wikimedia

America’s Top Brands, Cattle, and Deforestation

, analyst, Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative

Along with the rest of the world, I was transfixed by the Olympics last month in Rio. Besides the athletic feats of strength and prowess, I found myself fascinated by drama surrounding the games. Read more >

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Four Questions about a Fast Food Giant’s Role in Tropical Deforestation

, analyst, Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative

I took a close look at Restaurant Brands International’s commitments in terms of tropical deforestation, and found that their plan is lacking in real action. The framework raises more questions than it answers. Here are four of them. Read more >

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Book Review: Cowed’s Message is Less but Better Beef

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

There’s a lot to be learned from Cowed, by Denis Hayes and Gail Boyer Hayes. It’s about cows, but the eclectic topics range from the scandalous coverup of mad cow disease, to the origin of modern cattle from the legendary aurochs (i.e. the “Ur-ox”), to the gender politics of the cowboy, to the federal government’s subsidy of beef over-grazing on our public lands, to a visit to a dairy farm run by robots. Yet there’s a serious underlying theme as well—that the U.S. needs a fundamental transformation of its relationship to the cattle industry. Read more >

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Book Review: The Global Climate and a Defense of Beef

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

Defending Beef, by Nicolette Hahn Niman, paints a picture of a better beef system, less damaging to the climate and the environment generally than the current system is. This is a vision I applaud, and one that my colleagues in the UCS Food and Environment program are researching. However, the book also raises scientific issues that I feel are worth exploring, since the dominant beef production system we have in place today, both globally and domestically, has some real problems. Read more >

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