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Earth Biotech Science

Scientists Race To Develop Livestock That Can Survive Climate Change 291

Posted by timothy
from the just-need-to-outrun-you dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Evan Halper writes in the LA Times that with efforts to reduce carbon emissions lagging, researchers, backed by millions of dollars from the federal government, are looking for ways to protect key industries from the impact of climate change by racing to develop new breeds of farm animals that can stand up to the hazards of global warming. ""We are dealing with the challenge of difficult weather conditions at the same time we have to massively increase food production" to accommodate larger populations and a growing demand for meat, says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. For example a team of researchers is trying to map the genetic code of bizarre-looking African naked-neck chickens to see if their ability to withstand heat can be bred into flocks of US broilers. "The game is changing since the climate is changing," says Carl Schmidt. "We have to start now to anticipate what changes we have to make in order to feed 9 billion people," citing global-population estimates for 2050." (More below.)
"Warmer temperatures can create huge problems for animals farmed for food. Turkeys are vulnerable to a condition that makes their breast meat mushy and unappetizing. Disease rips through chicken coops. Brutal weather can claim entire cattle herds. Some climate experts, however, question the federal government's emphasis on keeping pace with a projected growing global appetite for meat. Because raising animals demands so many resources, the only viable way to hit global targets for greenhouse gas reduction may be to encourage people to eat less meat and point to an approach backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates that takes animals out the process altogether. "There's no way to produce enough meat for 9 billion people," says Bill Gates. "Yet we can't ask everyone to become vegetarians. We need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources.""
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Scientists Race To Develop Livestock That Can Survive Climate Change

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  • by pablo_max (626328) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:07AM (#46917939)

    It is NOT climate change anymore. It is called climate disruption.

    http://politics.slashdot.org/s... [slashdot.org]

    • and also....first post.

    • It is NOT climate change anymore. It is called climate disruption.

      And the scientists are not really racing either, more like 'considering'.

    • No matter how you paint a turd, it still stinks. Do you really care that it is white now?

    • by timeOday (582209)
      Just continue to think of it as global warming if the naming bothers you. That has always been the gist of it and still is. The article is about engineering chickens to withstand hotter temperatures.
  • by aduchate (656665) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:13AM (#46917961)

    So the basic idea is : Cows produce methane that participates to the global warming. But because cows might not survive the climate change, we are going to create super-cows than are immune to this self-regulating mechanism instead of let's say switch to bugs.

    Really sounds like a great idea.

    I imagine that when we have really screwd the climate for us, we will have to come up with genetically engineered human beings that will drive heavily modified cars that are working OK when it's 60C.

    • Hey, I want my cheeseburger in paradise, even if it's in Long Island.
    • by plopez (54068) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:30AM (#46918061) Journal

      No money to stop climate change but we have plenty of money to save the fast food industry.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:40AM (#46918133)

        You can't stop climate change, at most you can prevent disruption of the natural climate change.
        To do this you will need to find a solution that is a progression from the current state rather than a regression. (That is, replace current technology with more climate neutral alternatives rather than remove them.)

        If your solution is anywhere close to "I want everyone to stop whatever they are doing." you might not necessarily meet opposition, but you will have to fund the movement yourself.

        • by leftover (210560)

          AC, this is the most cogent statement ever! Fresh out of mod points but you deserve +5 Insightful.

      • by NapalmV (1934294)
        Actually the fast food industry is the most efficient one at utilizing resources. In their parlance "100% beef" means that they ground the whole cow, horns to tail. Nothing is wasted.
    • by plover (150551) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:41AM (#46918137) Homepage Journal

      That's also one of the things that they're trying to change about cattle and other ruminants. Breed a cow that digests more efficiently, and it'll produce less methane.

      But I agree - beef is a very costly food in terms of resources needed to produce it. Now, if we could just breed people to eat hay ...

    • I'm far more concerned that over the fact that we've lost 20% of the plants that produce the oxygen that we breathe than I am about cows producing methane.
    • by INT_QRK (1043164)
      Isn't this what used to be called natural selection, evolution, if you will, and isn't this how living things have adapted throughout the planet's history of continuous "climate change"? I call complete and utter (pardon the pun) bovine excrement.
  • are you kidding? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:14AM (#46917963)

    Are you kidding? Earth's atmosphere is:
    78% Nitrogen
    21% Oxygen
    1% everything else and of that 1%, 93% is argon and 3.6% of that 1% is CO2, that is how little CO2 is actually in the atmosphere, and CO2 is a necessary ingredient for plant life. Google CO2 generators and you will see that they are for sale to increase plant growth in green houses and aquariums. More plant growth = more food for humans.

    • by Dutchmaan (442553) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:22AM (#46918003) Homepage
      Just playing devil's advocate here, but if there is so little CO2 in the atmosphere and changing it's level can change how the atmosphere affects us, isn't that basically showing how delicate our environment can be?
      • by HornWumpus (783565) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:27AM (#46918037)

        Look up 'climate model CO2/Water vapor positive feedback coefficient' and understand how easily climate models can be manipulated to produce any result.

        There is a reason that energy boards treat modeling as an adversarial process. It is more like lawyering then science.

        • Ah yes, the CO2/Water vapor feedback coeffient - the entirely made-up non-physical fudge factor that turns a rise in an essential trace gas from pimple to asteroid-hitting-the earth scariness.

          "There is a reason that energy boards treat modeling as an adversarial process. It is more like lawyering then science"

          Whatever it is, it's not science.

          • There is vary little doubt that there is a positive feedback. But the coefficient used in various climate models is calculated to produce the desired result.

            Some modelers have floated unstable datasets where one molecule of added CO2 would inevitably take the earth to Venus like conditions. I assume the more clueful took them aside and tried to explain control systems basics as those have mostly shut-up lately.

            Only backcasting has a remote chance of getting the number right. But historic data is noisy

            • by TapeCutter (624760) on Monday May 05, 2014 @10:28AM (#46919413) Journal
              What a load of frog shit! [youtube.com].

              Seriously, don't pay any attention to the beautiful mathematics and painstaking research that created the dancing hurricanes on the screen and go straight to the quote at the end of that Ted talk, roughly translated into politics, it means you're a luddite using creationist debating tactics.

              Do you not realise that these models work on the same finite element analysis techniques and "physical laws" (mathematical models) used to successfully model everything from atomic bombs, to the flow of molten metal in an engine block cast. These everyday and exotic engineering models are so successful that over the last 30yrs (just over half my lifetime) it has become virtually impossible to finance an engineering project without them. And if you do realise that, then why are you so quick to argue these methods cannot provide useful insights into the behaviour of Earth's climate but are presumably ok with passenger jets flying around that were designed by these techniques? Perhaps Boeing added one molecule too many to the missing jet's wing tip? Turbulence is the physical manifestation of chaos , so it's like totally unpredictable, right? - Please, give rational discussion a fucking break and shut the fuck up with this tiresome "scientists are know-nothing morons" nonsense.

              In the philosophy of Science ALL models are "wrong" [tufts.edu] by definition, what matters is the degree of "wrongness" (or "truthiness" as it's known in the US). When we look at observations of water vapour [www.ipcc.ch] over the past few decades they are a very good match for model outputs from 1980's models, they are a much better match for the average of ALL 1980's model outputs. Why? - because the models are just as likely to be "wrong" in either direction.

              There are plenty of solid examples on google detailing phenomena that were first seen in climate models and later observed in nature, but I doubt you have heard about phenomena such as "polar amplification" or "stratospheric cooling", Why? - because google will tell you "anything you want to hear", right?
        • by Mr D from 63 (3395377) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:52AM (#46918209)
          Models are good when all of the relevant inputs and variables are known and included. Even simple systems are often difficult to model accurately. For climate models, it seems scientists are discovering new inputs/variables on a regular basis. Modeling is necessary and even imperfect models can help us understand what may happen, particularly when it comes to assessing the impacts of certain changes on an isolated basis. Of course, nothing happens on an isolated basis. I do hate it when folks "over predict" the eventual impact of warming without admitting the great uncertainty that is included.

          Many models have been designed to somewhat accurately mimic our historical records, but that approach can be misleading, as the modelers are striving for the correct output regardless of the correct input, kind of a 'self fulfilling prophecy'. Good science requires discipline, and there are scientists out there that have the right discipline, and those who don't. There is good science happening, and there are flags that tell you who is practicing it and who isn't. Look for those that understand and admit the uncertainties along with their results, and realize the importance of communicating them.

          The best way to know if a model is working is to leave it untouched and see if it predicts accurately. That takes time, and many don't think we have that time.
          • You have to tune a dataset/model to something. History is noisy and incomplete, but it's the best we've got.

            The alternative is to go full on: 'make it up to tell a story, then wait to see if you were right'.

        • by Layzej (1976930)
          This is why there are uncertainty intervals in the models. So what? The range is small enough to make informed decisions.
          • Your kidding right? The range is very wide and selected by the modelers to fit their agenda. Only new data is leading to model constraints and/or deprecation of new data, depending on POV.

            Some modelers, being dumber/less mathematical then others, decided; if a little is bad, more is worse. Leading to unreasonable datasets that made the earth Venus on the first exhale.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Layzej (1976930)
              The range is small enough to make informed decisions. The range is constrained by observations as well as models. Observations are what is pushing the high end of the spectrum, not models. You are ascribing motives to people who you don't know or understand which is just silly.
              • Observations are what have _killed_ the high end of the spectrum. +2 this century is off the table due to observations.

                Are you denying that alarmists have produced a number of unreasonable models? Models that have the environment so unstable that any perturbation leads to Venus? Does the term 'right half plane' mean anything to you? Any control systems background?

                • by Layzej (1976930)

                  2 this century is off the table due to observations

                  Rrrrrrrealy??? With an ECS of three degrees C (right in the middle of the range) we would cross two degrees C in 2036.

                  Nice try though!

                  • Like I said. Some ignore the new data, depending on their POV.

                    • by Layzej (1976930)
                      You are focusing on TCR - which is important, but doesn't negate ECR which is just as important.
                    • by Layzej (1976930)
                      And lets say ECR is towards the low end. We will have committed ourselves to 2C by 2046 if ECR is only 2.5. That would be good, but it doesn't exactly solve the issue.
                    • by Layzej (1976930)
                      And we have ECR observations that show remarkable fluctuations in climate resulting from rather small forcings. These are what push the high end up - not models. Why would we ignore these observations?
    • by plopez (54068)

      Unless they all die due to desertification.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by rossdee (243626)

      CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it aborbs infra red that would otherwise escape.

      "3.6% of that 1% is CO2"

      Its up to 400ppm now, so that should read 4% of that 1% is CO2

      So thats a 10% increase in a couple of decades

      How would you like a 10% increase in temperature
      Note that we would have to use an absolute temperature scale, not some arbitrary 0 like C or F

      So an overnight temp of freezing (32f) would become about 80F
      and a daytime temp of 71F would become 124F or so

      • Way Way off. (Score:4, Informative)

        by crmanriq (63162) on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:56AM (#46918651)

        A 10% increase in atmospheric CO2 does not equate to a 10% increase in temperature. Not by a long shot. According to the IPCC, a _DOUBLING_ of CO2 will lead to an increase in temperature of between 1.5 and 3 degrees. (With a lot of debate as to where this number lies. The IPCC itself has declined to issue a "best guess").

        The current rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 is somewhere between 2-3 ppm/year. (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/#mlo_growth) At this rate, (and even taking into account that there is acceleration in the rate), the 400ppm will double in somewhere around 130 years.

        So even at the more extreme case (3 degrees per doubling of CO2), we are looking at 1 degree increase in temp every 43 years.

        I'm not really certain that this equates to a "race" to get poultry to adapt. (Especially if it would just mean a slow migration of poultry farming to more northern areas.)

    • Google CO2 generators and you will see that they are for sale to increase plant growth in green houses and aquariums.

      Yeah, riiiight. And did you bother to find how much CO2 gets pumped into those (enclosed) greenhouses and what level of global greenhouse effect the same kind of CO2 increase would cause in the atmosphere at large?

      • Hey, plants grow better and humans ... work as fertilizer.

        I can't see the problem. On a global scale, of course. Sucks to be a human, but if you're a plant, it's awesome!

    • I have to wonder (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aepervius (535155) on Monday May 05, 2014 @08:06AM (#46918307)
      I have to wonder , I always see such uneducated comment in global warming thread. In the mean time I have come to the conclusion that people truly never try to educate themselves, they grasp at the slightest of the information they might have overheard in their live, without checking if that experience is actually supported, then stick to it forever.

      To the op, it is not about absolute quantity but about relative effect. A very small change in CO2 is enough to retain much more warmth (trap IR longer). Same with other molecules by the way , like CH4, SF6... Only the half life of those limit their effect. But why bother, you (or any of the ignorant posting the same drivel) will simply skip it and post their ignorance again at the next GW thread.
    • by Layzej (1976930)
      Incredulity != skepticism.
    • You might want to know that 10% of CO2 in your air is quite likely going to put you to sleep. Considering that CO2 is heavier than the average air, sleeping on the floor might put you to sleep forever.

      But hey, why should I care? I live way, way above the sea level, pump all the CO2 into the air you want! Should clean up the beaches!

  • by Akratist (1080775) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:18AM (#46917979)
    It's long past time that we got out of the nationalist, playground bully mentality that we're stuck in, and start collectively working together to address global warming, resource depletion, and the fact that we will go extinct much sooner if we don't start looking at ways to get off of the Earth permanently. I don't really know how to get that ball rolling, except to say that people need to start decoupling these issues from politics and moral/religious squabbles, and recognize that it's a matter of shared survival.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DiamondGeezer (872237)

      You could start by cracking a book or three and realising that we've been through end-of-the-world-unless-we-repent apocalyptic scares for as long as man has been upright.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by plopez (54068)

      Because there's a lot of money to be made in fossil fuels. Just ask the Koch (pronounced "kock") brothers. Greed is not good.

    • To do what you suggest then you've got to bring everyone to the table. You have to hold everyone to the standards. That means you are going to starve growth in the third world. That means you have to get China to play ball. If you don't do that you will push first world businesses to operate in third world countries because it is cheaper to not be clean than to be clean. And who knows how you get China to play by the same rules as everyone else.
  • We've already passed "Peak Child" and the human race is in decline. So, the premise that we need to ramp up food production to cope with a growing population is a false one. If there's not enough meat for everyone in the short term, we feed the young and able bodied first, then the parents of the young and able bodied, then whoever is left, in that order.

    • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:25AM (#46918027) Homepage Journal

      We've already passed "Peak Child" and the human race is in decline.

      Non sequitur. People are not dying fast enough. Life expectancy increases everywhere.

      So, the premise that we need to ramp up food production to cope with a growing population is a false one.

      Non sequitur. Even if the population decreases, demand for meat is currently soaring, especially in the so-called emerging markets. This means drastically more land area and more water is needed than for growing traditional, primarily vegetarian diets.

      If there's not enough meat for everyone in the short term, we feed the young and able bodied first, then the parents of the young and able bodied, then whoever is left, in that order.

      More like, people with money will get the meat by paying for the land and water in other countries, while the people there starve. All this is already happening.

      • Actually developed countries started to naturally reduce population growth... many were worried about this phenomena leading to many economists recommending people have more kids to keep the economy growing due to population growth... there is no real benefit to continuing to grow populations indefinitely with a resource constrained planet.. It would seem to be better adapt economies to a model more suited to static population size.
      • by Alomex (148003)

        Non sequitur. People are not dying fast enough. Life expectancy increases everywhere.

        Population will start declining around 2040. So we need to ramp up food production until then and thereafter problem is solved.

        Even if the population decreases, demand for meat is currently soaring, especially in the so-called emerging markets.

        Beef consumption per person has been falling worldwide since 1975. Most of the increase in consumption has been in poultry and pork, which demand much less resources than beef. I do expect all meats to go up in price somewhat over the next thirty years, but none of this is a "sky is falling" scenario.

        Of course, I will be rapidly down moderated by the malthusians who have been wrong

    • Sounds like you have fallen in line to the "indoctrination" that you were speaking of. In fact, you seem to have surpassed it.
      http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

      With the right indoctrination, you can teach a man that his enemy is not human.

      • I don't want my children to starve while my parents eat, and I don't want my parents to starve while a rich old man eats. I don't imagine too many other people want that either, unless their parents abused them. And, of course, if the people working don't eat, the whole game is over. But really, there's no reason for anyone to starve, so lets feed him too if we can. But only because we have compassion, not because he is entitled to the fruit of our labour over our children and the parents who raised us.

  • why cows? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by O('_')O_Bush (1162487)
    Already, chickens are about 10x more efficient for production of meat calories than beef is. Most of the world does not consume milk like European descendants do. 40% of the world's arable land is already being used for agriculture. Red meat offers very little and is harmful to the human body in many ways.

    I'd prefer we just leave beef alone, let the price increase as demand increases, and place artificial limits on production. Seems like everyone would be better off, and the environment would be as well.
    • I'd prefer we just leave beef alone, let the price increase as demand increases, and place artificial limits on production. Seems like everyone would be better off, and the environment would be as well.

      Slashing subsidies for meat production would be a start.

    • Re:why cows? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HornWumpus (783565) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:31AM (#46918071)

      Fair enough: One vote for a police state. We will all be better off without red meat. Farmers should never be allowed to respond to market conditions. What could go wrong? It's not like anything similar has been tried previously.

      Read some history. Too much government power is very bad.

    • by pablo_max (626328)

      I'd prefer we just leave beef alone, let the price increase as demand increases, and place artificial limits on production. Seems like everyone would be better off, and the environment would be as well.

      That is all well and good in western countries, there is however a down side to the increased price of beef.
      For example, the massive deforestation of Brazil due to illegal cattle farming which is sold to the West at a very tidy profit. If you double the price of beef there would be loads more people trying to illegally farm.
      Not to say there is anything wrong with making a living, but unregulated cattle farms play hell with the local ecology.

    • Re:why cows? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:37AM (#46918115) Homepage

      "Red meat offers very little and is harmful to the human body in many ways.".

      Yes the harm it does to Olympic athletes and cyclists is a warning for everybody. Nobody needs iron, zinc and those fat-soluble vitamins from meat if Walgreens has them in little bottles.

    • by geekmux (1040042)

      ...I'd prefer we just leave beef alone, let the price increase as demand increases, and place artificial limits on production. Seems like everyone would be better off, and the environment would be as well.

      I can't stop laughing over the absurdity of this statement, as if we've left chickens "alone". Do you have any idea how modified chickens are today compared to even 20 years ago? Give me a break. The only artificial limits on chicken production is the artificial sense that you think there are limits. You're not even allowed to see those "chickens" being manufactured, which should tell you something about what you call food.

    • And in a hurricane, both fly equally well, but the chickens are better at landing.
      • And in a hurricane, both fly equally well, but the chickens are marginally better at landing.

        FTFY. (I used to raise chickens)

    • Already, chickens are about 10x more efficient for production of meat calories than beef is..

      Cows, chickens, whatever. Just leave pigs out of it. BACON RULES!

    • For a healthy food supply it is wise to have more diversity in food not less. Cattle help with creating greater food supply diversity. A virus could kill of a lot of animals hitting the food supply. If Poultry is our only source of meat, we could cause major problems.
      Milk isn't as much "European descendants" European based ancestry allows them to digest milk, and it had became part of our dietary needs. They can survive without milk, however they are better off with it. Other nationalities, don't need

  • Vegetarian (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dthirteen (307585) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:31AM (#46918075) Homepage

    Hate to be the one to point out the obvious... but the solution is not in changing the meat it is in reducing and/or eliminating the meat. A very large part of world has done very well for a very long time on limited or no meat, eating beans and rice, lentils and rice, and tofu and rice. Meat requires vast quantities of water, creates vast quantities of waste, and is a huge caloric loss if you are feeding the animal grains or other foodstuffs that humans can eat directly. Beef being the worst offender for water use, and pollution.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

    • by geekmux (1040042)

      Hate to be the one to point out the obvious... but the solution is not in changing the meat it is in reducing and/or eliminating the meat. A very large part of world has done very well for a very long time on limited or no meat, eating beans and rice, lentils and rice, and tofu and rice. Meat requires vast quantities of water, creates vast quantities of waste, and is a huge caloric loss if you are feeding the animal grains or other foodstuffs that humans can eat directly. Beef being the worst offender for water use, and pollution.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

      Ah, excuse me, Mr. Common Sense? Ah, yes if you could please face the corner when you speak. You are annoying Greed N. Corruption, and since he's in charge, well it's best not to piss him off.

    • Where you saying something?

      All this talk of beef is making me hungry.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Insightfill (554828)

      Hate to be the one to point out the obvious... but the solution is not in changing the meat it is in reducing and/or eliminating the meat.

      Slate recently had [slate.com] a decent article examining all of the impacts of a world that's entirely vegetarian. Interesting stuff.

      (My family is vegetarian, even my kids. People stopped asking "where do you get your protein?" when they see my kids, who each were tallest in grade school. My youngest daughter was 5'6" at age 10.)

    • Re:Vegetarian (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Monday May 05, 2014 @09:10AM (#46918751)

      I also hate to be the one to point this out, but given a free choice much (not all) of the world population starts consuming meat once given the economic means to do so.

      In a world that seems to be lurching towards greater individual autonomy and personal choice, your solution does not strike me as likely to get off the ground. At the end, you'll either have to adopt more and more coercive action to meet your goal or accept that there are billions of independent agents with different preferences.

  • I would simply buy some land a little farther north.

    Or maybe it's not such a big problem.
    More than 7,000 years ago, domesticated cattle appeared along the Tigris and Euphrates river valley, the origin of the first agricultural society of the Sumerians. The ancient Egyptians made cheese, and Isis, the Egyptian goddess and patroness of agriculture, is often represented as a woman with the horns of a cow, a sacred animal.
    http://www.floridamilk.com/dai... [floridamilk.com]

    Isn't it hot there?

  • ...to become vegetarians or vegans.

    I promise you it'll happen naturally as scientists keep screwing around genetically modifying our meat until that deadly strain of bird/cow/pig flu manages to get carried into the masses as a result and wipes out half the planet.

    People won't touch anything that has beaks or hooves ever again.

  • Is there a sweetheart deal for Slashdot's owners to post every deranged end-of-the-world scare story from HughPickens?

    Inquiring minds would like to know, because every single scare story has been rebutted many times (although Slashdot never gets to see those stories because the debunkers are in league with the devil/big oil/republicans/illuminati/adam sandler (delete as appropriate))

    The modern term for this is "motivated reasoning" but in the past it was called "moral hazard" or "moral depravity". Different

    • by Layzej (1976930)
      Agreed that this is a horrible summary that neither 'side' will have liked. At the heart of the story we have researchers working to develop more resilient livestock. That is a non-story that Slashdot would never have posted so Hugh sexes it up to the point of absurdity. Slashdot encourages this poor journalism.
    • by Qzukk (229616)

      in the past it was called "moral hazard"

      It was never called "moral hazard [wikipedia.org]". I'm pretty sure it wasn't called "moral depravity [nnu.edu]" either.

      "Motivated Reasoning" is a good term for it though.

  • Aren't they starting at the wrong end of the food chain? Or have they already verified that all the organisms on which livestock depend will be able to survive?
  • Sheep do just fine in bitter evil cold and 120 degree summers. Certain long hair breeds of goats as well.
    Problem is a lot of the long hair cows have been bread away to the easy to care for short hair. and there are chicken breeds that do fine.

    Lastly pigs, just start with wild pigs instead of the naked ones we have that only exist for easy cleaning.

    Rabbits are also very hearty and are perfect livestock.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      ^Fgoat

      Thanks, Lumpy. You stole all my fire. And speaking of fire, you can use it to clean the hair off of the goat before you put it into a pit with coals. Or the pig. The wild ones tend towards hairiness. And deliciousness. They are also a serious environmental problem in the USA right now. We need more hunting, stat.

  • by retroworks (652802) on Monday May 05, 2014 @07:55AM (#46918233) Homepage Journal
    You want a side of cactus fries with that?
  • humanity throws away half of the food produced.

    wake me up when we get real, please!

  • Made up crisis (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alomex (148003) on Monday May 05, 2014 @09:10AM (#46918757) Homepage

    develop new breeds of farm animals that can stand up to the hazards of global warming.

    Currently we graze cattle from the frozen plains of North Dakota to the deserts of Africa. From the dry lands of Texas to the Alpine mountains of Vevey, Switzerland. From the Northern outback in Australia to the Amazon jungle of Manaus.

    It seems to me that we already have the breeds for all possible climates and the whole article is just scientists doing whipping up yet another crisis to score more funding.

  • But the consumers may not like seeing herds of cattle and chickens replaced by giant cockroaches. We need to think of a new name for them, and perhaps give them some kind of fancy hats.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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