Rich Conant

Rich Conant

Professor at Colorado State University

Location:
206 Natural Resources, Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
HQ Phone:
(970) 297-5000

General Information

Recent News  

There were three speakers: Dr. Pete Newton (Colorado University), Dr. Rich Conant (Colorado State University), and Alex Funk (the National Young Farmers Coalition).
Newton and Conant both seemed to be quite aware of the livestock and climate change connection. Conant wanted to decrease emissions from livestock production. Livestock are important to agriculture and the economy, but they are also a source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). He puts the figure of livestock's contribution to GHGs at 8% to 18% of all emissions, citing the FAO's Livestock's Long Shadow and Mario Herrero, but mentioned that some estimates of livestock's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions could be as high as 40%. Concerning this last point, I got into a conversation with Conant and asked him where he got this 40% figure. He responded by citing, oddly enough, the FAO report Livestock's Long Shadow. When I responded that "I thought the FAO put the figure at 18% of emissions from livestock, which is quite a bit less than 40%," he said that the FAO, in addition to the 18% figure from livestock, also attributed as much as 20% of all emissions to land use changes. (So presumably, if you thought that most land use changes were due to livestock - which is arguably true, given global deforestation for cattle ranches - you could add 18% to 20% and get 38%.) I also asked Conant if he'd heard of the "Livestock and Climate Change" article (by Goodland and Anhang), which estimates that 51% of all greenhouse gas emissions are due to livestock agriculture. What you seem to say is that, even though Conant didn't agree with your specific percentage impact, he accepted the idea that meat eating contributes a lot to global warming. He also acknowledged how hard it is to get people to change eating habits.

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Rich Conant
Colorado State University Rich.Conant@ColoState.edu

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L-R Leigh Hunt (CSIRO, Ecosystem Sciences), Ryan Farquarson (CSIRO, Land and Water), Ed Charmley (CSIRO, Livestock Industries), Beverley Henry (Institute for Sustainable Resources, QUT), Cameron Allan (Southern Livestock, Meat and Livestock Australia, Vic), Craig Thornton (Qld Department of Environment and Resource Management), David Rowlings (Queensland University of Technology), Ram Dalal (Qld Department of Environment and Resource Management), Murray Uncovich (University of Adelaide), Andrew Moore (CSIRO, ACT), Peter Grace (Institute for Sustainable Resources, QUT), John Carter (Queensland Centre for Climate Change Excellence, DERM), Richard Conant (Institute for Sustainable Resources, QUT and Colorado State University).
Complementing the Australian researchers we were fortunate to have the participation of three international experts: Dr Bill Parton and Prof Rich Conant (Colorado State University) and Dr Steve Del Grosso (USDA, Fort Collins) all of whom have expertise in modelling and have published extensively on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in rangelands and croplands. Left to right: Craig Thornton, Leigh Hunt, Richard Conant, Bill Slattery, Andrew Moore, Beverly Henry, Stephen Reeves, Murray Uncovich, Bill Parton and Steve Clark. (absent: David Rowlands, Peter Grace) Apologies: John Carter, Ram Dalal, Robyn Cowley

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