• Brought to you by the same people who brought us “peak oil”:
We Could Be Approaching Peak Beef
As the world’s population grows and incomes rise, we’ll inevitably eat far more beef — the meat that’s considered the most expensive and prestigious in a remarkably wide range of cultures.
That’s a worrying prospect for the planet. Grazing and providing animal feed for cattle already accounts for about 60% of the world’s agricultural land despite the fact that beef provides just 2% of calories. Domesticated cows and buffalo produce about 5 billion tons of carbon-equivalent emissions each year, the same as roughly one-seventh of all fossil-fuel emissions. Western countries need to reduce beef consumption by about 90% to avert disastrous climate change, according to a report last year.
The good news is that cutting back this craving isn’t nearly as improbable as many think. Indeed, there’s ample evidence around that we may soon be approaching peak beef. . .
There’s more in the complete story at the link, but I’m guessing that given how wrong the peak oilers were, this story will end the same way. With or without the Impossible Burger.
• This story, on the other hand, could be not just a crisis, but a major emergency!
Potato processors are rushing to buy supplies and ship them across North America in order to keep French fries on the menu after cold, wet weather damaged crops in key producers in the U.S. and Canada.
Cool conditions started to hit growing regions in October, lashing potatoes with frost. Farmers in Alberta and Idaho were able to dig up some damaged crops for storage. But growers in Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota received snow and rain, forcing them to abandon some supplies in fields.
As the wild weather hurt crops, an increase in fry-processing capacity in Canada has boosted demand. The combination will lead to tight supplies, and it’s likely that potato prices could climb this year across North America, Stephen Nicholson, a senior grains and oilseeds analyst at Rabobank, said in a phone interview. International costs may also rise as the U.S. won’t be able to export as much.
“French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can’t meet the demand,” Travis Blacker, industry-relations director with the Idaho Potato Commission, said in a phone interview.
If ever there was a reason for President Trump to invoke the National Emergencies Act, this is it!
• Meanwhile, we have certainly found peak San Francisco at last:
Last month, San Francisco officials announced a ban on travel by city employees to Massachusetts and 21 other states whose abortion laws were deemed too restrictive by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The ban starts Jan. 1, 2020. San Francisco will not allow city contracts with Massachusetts-based companies after that date either. . .
Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues manager with the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research group, says she can see how Massachusetts ended up in the banned category, but, “it does seem a little incongruous to have Massachusetts on that list.”
I’ll believe San Francisco is serious when they blacklist universities based in Massachusetts, too. Maybe they should start by discouraging the public schools in San Francisco from helping students apply to Harvard, Boston College, etc.
• Finally, this story is just awesome in the peak fossil fuel badass department:
Three guys you’ve probably never heard of recently broke a speed record most people don’t care about—the New York to Los Angeles run referred to colloquially among aficionados as the Cannonball. Unlike most speed records and races, there’s no sanctioning body or official rules. That’s because setting a Cannonball record invariably involves breaking multiple traffic laws. In other words, it’s illegal. But that doesn’t stop people from doing it.