Enemies of the People: Gen. Mark Milley

A Telescope for Social Justice: No White Men Need Apply

A cosmic storm is roiling the Astrophysics community. Focused on the name of a NASA space telescope, the controversy is one more in a decade-long whirlwind of accusation that has made clear to straight white men that their days of pursuing science free of guilt and obeisance are decisively over. 

As an academic field, Astrophysics became 'woke’ years ago and is now one of the most rigidly doctrinaire of the hard sciences. It has seen numerous purity campaigns against non-believers, first against insufficiently feminist-compliant men. A blog called Women in Astronomy promotes indignant tales of female suffering, profiling young women shattered when men expressed sexual or romantic interest, or deeply hurt when researcher Matt Taylor, whose team put a space probe on a comet, appeared on television wearing an ‘inappropriate’ shirt

In one of the field’s most public spats about female victimhood, renowned Italian particle physicist Alessandro Strumia was ejected from CERN, the prestigious European center for high-energy physics research, after he presented a meticulously documented conference paper arguing that the targeted hiring of women into STEM positions was neither necessary nor wise. For this, he was denounced as a misogynist in a histrionic open letter by Particles for Justice, a posse of modern-day Puritans who hunt academic thought criminals, led by New Hampshire University physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a self-described “activist for equality in science” and AI researcher Brian Nord of the University of Chicago.

On guard against toxic masculinity.

Strumia need not have bothered. Fealty to the principles of “diversity,” especially to the dogma that women and people of color should always be hired and promoted over white men, is now an accepted requirement in Astronomy departments across the western world. Denunciations of misogyny, heterosexism, and anti-blackness have become the primary preoccupations of many astronomy researchers, at least some of whom seem to spend far more time and energy agitating for social justice than studying the heavens. Last year, these crusaders organized a one-day Strike for Black Lives, during which they stopped work to discuss white supremacy (it says something about the nature of their work that nobody noticed the stoppage) and joined with Indigenous activists to prevent the building of the world’s largest telescope on Mauna Kea, a Hawaiian mountain deemed sacred.

The latest ideological conflict is more purely symbolic. It concerns NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the flagship NASA project due for official launch later this year. According to NASA’s website, the Webb will be “the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built and launched into space,” and will provide unprecedented opportunities for research on the origins of galaxies as well as on stars and planetary systems in process of formation. Complementing and extending the work made possible by the Hubble, Webb will revolutionize insight into our universe.

James E. Webb (1906-1992) was NASA’s administrator in the years 1961-1968, shepherding NASA through what was arguably its period of most outstanding progress. He transformed the agency into a highly focused research organization intent on achieving manned flight and a moon landing. It was as a result of Webb’s prescience that NASA developed rockets not only for military and propaganda purposes but for scientific ones as well, with the aim of using American technology to learn about Earth’s solar system and beyond. Without that focus, the Hubble would never have been constructed and astronomical research would have been set back by decades. Every astronomer working today owes a debt to Webb. 

But gratitude is in short supply among today’s warriors for social justice, who object to honoring Webb’s memory. Led by Particles for Justice founders Prescod-Weinstein and Nord, and joined by Sarah Tuttle and Lucianne Walkowicz, they are lobbying NASA to find a more suitable (i.e. non-white and non-male) candidate, one who represents “our highest values” for which they conveniently nominate themselves the arbiters. Webb is disqualified because of a less than pristine personal history as a government official during the Cold War. 

James Webb: on trial for insufficient Wokeness.

According to the four doyennes of woke Astronomy, who recently published in Scientific American their argument for why “The James Webb Space Telescope Needs to Be Renamed,” Webb was complicit “in homophobic discrimination in the federal government.” It is now well known that federal government employees who were homosexual were believed particularly vulnerable to blackmail by Soviet agents; Webb worked for the federal government at the time the policy of barring homosexual employees from the civil service was discussed and implemented, resulting in hundreds of firings over a period of more than a decade. 

It is not known that Webb himself pursued the policy with any zeal—or even that he did anything more than passively acquiesce, as the vast majority of people today acquiesce in workplace policies that may, more than half a century from now, be deemed discriminatory and unjust—but for the proponents of LGBTQ liberation, he was “a facilitator” of homophobia who deserves to be purged in turn. The sum total of the case against Webb deserves to be quoted at length so as to reveal its lack of substance:

When he arrived at NASA in 1961, his leadership role meant he was in part responsible for implementing what was by then federal policy: the purging of LGBT individuals from the workforce. When he was at State, this policy was enforced by those who worked under him. As early as 1950, he was aware of this policy, which was a forerunner to the antigay witch hunt known today as the lavender scare. Historian David K. Johnson’s 2004 book on the subject, The Lavender Scare, discusses archival evidence indicating that Webb, along with others in State Department leadership, was involved in Senate discussions that ultimately kicked off a devastating series of federal policies.

In other words, there is no evidence whatsoever that Webb himself favored, developed, or actively implemented anti-gay legislation. He was, in the authors’ deliberately vague words, “in part responsible” and “aware” of a policy “enforced by [others].” The worst that can be said, it seems, is that “there is no record of him choosing to stand up for the humanity of those being persecuted.” Note, here, how absence of evidence becomes evidence of absence, a classic logical fallacy.

The question that remains is what any of this has to do with a space telescope; or, more specifically, why the astronomy research community should care about James Webb’s failure to be a pro-gay activist at a time when being one would almost certainly have accomplished nothing aside from the sabotaging of his own career, likely with the result that he would never have been able to promote astronomical research at NASA.

The anti-Webb activists have no answer except the melodramatic assertion that “many queer scientists fundamentally do not feel safe in their workplaces” today and a febrile rhetorical question: “What signal does it send,” they ask, “to current and future generations of scientists when we prioritize the legacies of complicit government officials over the dreams of the next generation?” 

I’m not sure who nominated these authors the adjudicators of the next generation’s dreams, but even conceding them such authority cannot disguise their use of a false dilemma. Naming a telescope after Webb doesn’t send any particular signal about gay rights, now firmly established in American law and attitudes. If the naming sends any signal, it is simply that a man like Webb deserves recognition for his demonstrated contribution to astronomical research. 

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Maybe you should.

Purging him, on the other hand, sends a stark signal about the runaway craze of cancel culture, confirming that decades after one’s death, one’s legitimate achievements can be smeared by activists who comb through every recorded utterance and action to find the taint of a retroactively-imposed ethical failure. So convinced are the authors that they have arrived at the end of history that they cannot imagine themselves condemned for an insufficient defense of another’s humanity.

The authors’ choice to replace Webb is almost laughably formulaic. They advocate the telescope’s renaming after an escaped 19th century slave woman and abolitionist, Harriet Tubman. It is not known that Tubman ever gave a thought to astronomical research, but the activists claim that she “almost certainly used the North Star […] to navigate her way to freedom.” If that seems a tenuous connection to high-level astronomical research, then you undoubtedly haven’t engaged in an extensive enough consideration of white male evil. As we are informed, “The time for lionizing leaders who acquiesced in a history of harm is over.” That puts 99.9 percent of the people who lived before us in the west firmly out of the running for commemoration.

Harriet Tubman: hidden figure?

Anyone thinking that a call of such manifest over-reach might be ignored has not taken the febrile temperature of Departments of Astrophysics over the last decade. The appeal has received widespread support, with signatories to petitions registering their opposition to Webb’s memorialization, and NASA officials now running scared. A ponderous article “NASA investigates renaming James Webb telescope after anti-LGBT + claims” explains that NASA officials are reviewing archival documents to investigate the extent of Webb’s “crimes” and will render a decision upon completion of the investigation. 

In the short term, NASA officials have little to gain and much to lose in standing firm for Webb. I won’t be surprised if the agency announces, after a suitable period of consideration, that it has found a progressive icon to replace the discredited white man. 

Like the forced acquiescence of sports teams, browbeaten into changing their names or removing mascots and logos, the chastisement and bullying of NASA will set an extraordinary precedent. Why should demands halt with Webb? How is it that the Hubble Space Telescope has retained its imprimatur: surely something insalubrious could be found in the life of its namesake? Why not purge all scientific instruments and discoveries of harmful white male names, beginning with Halley’s Comet, Newton’s Laws of Motion, and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity? Only time will tell which pale male will be next in line for elimination.

When Police Get Woke, Society Gets Broke

One of the blessings of growing older is, when tensions roil the social landscape, being able to look back on the troubled times of an earlier day and say, “Those tribulations I survived, these I shall also.” I am a Baby Boomer, born in the late ‘50s to a World War II Navy veteran and a stay-at-home mother, both of whom were conservative Republicans who did their best to usher their children through the tumult of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Nearly all of my friends growing up came from similar backgrounds, but we came of age as the Vietnam war came to its ignoble conclusion and as the Watergate scandal gripped the nation. It was a time when “questioning authority” was oh so fashionable among my generation, and, like nearly all of my friends, I rejected my parents’ conservatism and embraced liberalism, at least as the term was understood in, say, 1976.

I’m ashamed to admit it took some years to accept that my parents weren’t wrong about absolutely everything, and that the “authorities” I had so enthusiastically questioned and rejected had achieved that status for the simple virtue of having been correct. And I became a cog in the authority machine itself when I joined the Los Angeles Police Department after graduating from college, but even then it was only after a few years of patrolling the streets of L.A. that the scales fell from my eyes and I came to realize the liberalism I had embraced, far from improving the lives of those it purported to help, made them worse.

Los Angeles then.

I spent the greater part of my police career working in South Los Angeles, where I was confronted daily with the grim harvest of liberal policies that, however well intentioned in their origins, resulted in the dissolution of families and sent forth thousands of fatherless young men who, lacking guidance in the home, found it on the streets though membership in gangs like the Crips and the Bloods, both of which originated in Los Angeles and have since spread like cancer across the country.

The city’s gang culture brought horrific bloodshed to Los Angeles, most especially in South L.A. In 1976, the LAPD handled 517 murders. By 1980 the number had almost doubled, to 1,028, and when gang culture coalesced with the crack cocaine epidemic in the early ‘80s the result was even more explosive. It wasn’t until 1997 that the city’s murder total fell back below 700, and by 2010 the number was below 300, where it remained for ten years.

That reduction in violence was brought about largely through the efforts of police officers willing to go into the neighborhoods most affected by crime and confront those responsible for it. Yes, some of those confrontations were violent, and yes, it resulted in many black and Latino young men being arrested and sent to prison, as it was blacks and Latinos who committed 90 percent of the violent crime in Los Angeles, an uncomfortable but nonetheless persistent fact mirrored in any American city you can name.

There existed among police officers, in Los Angeles and elsewhere, an ethos that demanded we challenge the status quo that said violence and disorder were the inevitable byproducts of long overdue social transformations. These transformations were welcomed and applauded by the elites, but when a police officer sees a shooting victim take his last breath, when he sees the victim’s mother running down the street to see it too, he cares little for the opinions of elites fortunate enough to live and work safely distant from the violence they have fostered, and it arouses in him the will to act so as not to see such a scene repeated.

Or at least it used to.

L.A. now.

Since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014, and most especially since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year, police work has changed so radically as to be unrecognizable to those of us who worked the streets in the ‘80s and ‘90s. America’s police, already in retreat against the advancing woke mob, now recognize that their leaders have abandoned them and the battle against crime is no longer worth fighting.

But as demoralized as police officers are today, it is not they who are paying the heaviest price. If the Black Lives Matter movement has proved anything, it is that the only black lives that matter to its adherents are those few that are lost in confrontations with the police. The thousands upon thousands of others who die at the hands of their fellow blacks inspire no protests, no outrage, no calls for systematic changes, but rather are greeted with a blithe shrug of acceptance. The police, rendered inert by political overseers kowtowing to the mob, are now bystanders to the carnage, reduced to documenting murders while doing little to prevent them.

This is not an accident or an unfortunate side effect of an otherwise benign development. This is the aim of the modern left that now dominates the political, academic, and media classes who shriek to the skies whenever a police officer uses force against a member of some favored minority, but who stand mute when some member of that same minority murders another.

When police officers are no longer useful to fight genuine evils, they will be re-tasked to fight imaginary ones, as has in fact already occurred with cops enforcing mask mandates and other restrictions on liberties most Americans viewed as inviolable only a year ago. When this occurs – and the process is already well underway – those cops best suited to fighting violent crime will drift away from the profession and find employment elsewhere, to be replaced by the type of meek, enervated drones that reflect the political eunuchs ushering in this transformation.

This summer the country will experience violence at levels unseen in decades, and by the time it awakens from its woke torpor, there may be no one left who knows what to do about it.

The Great Woke Replacement Continues Apace

The year was 1990/91. I was chief economist at State Bank Victoria. Economic times were tough. Soaring oil prices had pushed economies into recession. In Australia unemployment topped 10 percent. My bank, lumbered with a failed subsidiary, was hard hit and would have gone under. The government forced a takeover. The Commonwealth Bank took us over.

Best person for each job was the announced deal. It turned out that the Commonwealth Bank invariably had the best person. I was out. This isn’t a sob story but it’s no fun to be out of work with children to support. It took me months of “networking” (aka groveling) to find a job. And my point?

I knew why I’d lost my job. It was explicable. Oil prices had risen because of the Gulf War. I had picked the wrong bank. Those who worked for this bank were never going to be preferred over those in similar positions in the dominant bank. Human nature and self-preservation were at work.

I wasn’t sacked because I didn’t toe the politically-correct party line. My future employment wasn’t compromised. I didn’t become persona non grata -- an unperson as Orwell put it.

Your existence is neither required nor desired, comrade.

This came to my mind in context of a recent report in the New York Post. The report referred to Karen Ames, a middle-aged school superintendent, threatened with termination because she wasn’t in sync with ‘critical race theory’ and, sadly, forced to accept demotion to try to preserve her pension.

A veteran Bronx superintendent once praised by Chancellor Richard Carranza for her successes in the classroom claims her career was derailed by his “equity” agenda — forcing her to take a demotion in a desperate bid to preserve her pension, according to a $150 million lawsuit.

Karen Ames, a 30-year Department of Education employee, says she was targeted by Carranza’s “Disrupt and Dismantle” campaign to oust or marginalize longtime employees because she is over 40, and Jewish.

Ames was grilled about her “ethnic background,” chastised by a colleague at a training session when she shared her grandparents’ experience during the Holocaust in Poland, and “admonished” when she declined requests at superintendents meetings to take part in the comic book movie-inspired “Wakanda Forever” salute to “black power,” she charges in the legal filing.

To be pushed out of employment, under a cloud for having the ‘wrong views’, is no small thing. When your employment is at stake you can be cowed; threatened with the destruction of your ability to provide for yourself and your family. It is an evil thing to do to someone. Hold that thought.

Peter Ridd loses his employment with James Cook University for criticising his colleagues’ conclusions on threats to the Great Barrier Reef. That’s the reef which has to be kept under continual and ever-evolving threat to keep the research dollars flowing. Truth be damned.

Margaret Court in 1963: game, set, and match.

Israel Folau and Margaret Court are harassed unmercifully. He loses his ability to play rugby in Australia for accurately paraphrasing Corinthians 6:9-11. Court, holder of a record twenty-four tennis Grand Slams, and now a pastor, is vilified at every opportunity for daring to oppose gay marriage. The Bible be damned.

Thankfully, Ridd, Folau and Court, have the standing and ability to take care of themselves and fight back. What of those not so positioned, like Ms Ames? Who will protect them from the scolds? The answer, unfortunately, is no-one. Those who might once have protected them are gone; replaced.

The great (progressive-cum-woke) replacement is all but complete across public services, universities, schools, the mainstream and social media, big tech, big banks, big corporates, union leadership and even among the upper echelons of police and defence forces. And, almost unbelievably, science is succumbing.

Bob Carter, who I reference in my previous post, bemoaned the loss of the null hypothesis when it came to global warming. The null hypothesis is standard scientific fare, or used to be. In this case it would be framed as man-made CO2 having no material effect on warming. A high bar would have to be met before rejecting that hypothesis. Instead, as Carter pointed out, the onus of proof had been reversed. Proving the alternative hypothesis to be wrong became the standard. And to confound Popper, showing how it might be falsified became passé.

Conservatives struggle to grasp the latest inanity being foisted on (western) mankind. The mistake made is to treat each instance as being isolated. They all emerge from the same hellhole.

Take Rachel Levine (Please do!). How is it possible that Joe Biden’s nomination for the position of assistant secretary of health is a man comporting himself as a woman, who is on record as advocating puberty blockers for children who express discomfort with their bodies?

How is it possible that despot Dan Andrews -- who recently locked down his whole state of Victoria here in Australia again on account of a few positive Covid tests -- can say, “each of us deserved to be safe, valued and respected for being who we are,” when referring to an Act of the Victorian Parliament which abuses children by prohibiting them from being counselled and challenged on the risks of changing their secondary sexual characteristics?

You see the problem. Whether it is confounding science by dressing up hypotheses as facts, or sowing confusion among children by teaching them that they might be in the wrong bodies; or ruining women’s sports by forcing them to compete against biological males; or preaching divisive ‘critical race theory’; cancelling people whose views are out of sync with goodthink; mindlessly tearing down statues;  risibly ‘taking the knee’; or, idiotically, renaming mothers as gestational parents and breastfeeding as 'chest feeding'. No rational sense can be made of any it in isolation. Try to and risk your mental health.

And on the topic of messing with rational minds? How about locking people away for months on end, double-masking them, and destroying livelihoods in order to ward off a virus which has no serious effects on well over ninety-nine percent of those who catch it. Consult Worldometer. As at February 27: 21,915,328 active cases; serious or critical cases 91,057, or just 0.4%. Confected Covid alarmism trumps even its climate counterpart.

What’s going on? It’s not gaslighting; though it has that appearance. It’s a multi-faceted agenda, however loosely held together, which is aimed at undermining who we are. To spread division and fear, to tear down our values; to assault Christianity, the traditional family and patriotism and, of course, to reset, i.e., destroy, free-market capitalism. In other words, to bring our peerless civilisation to its knees. It’s an offshoot of Marxism but worse. Marxism has a creative end game -- albeit a delusional workers’ utopia. This has no end game like that. Its end game is destruction.

Destruction is the opposite of creation. One is evil; one good. In my view we have to start identifying evil for what it is and put aside our inclination to give the benefit of the doubt to those who, for example, want our children taught gender theory from pre-school onwards. This isn’t just a matter of having different opinions. This is a battle and, figurately speaking, we better get armed. While I suspect most of those who go along with the destructive agenda are dupes, some are pulling the strings.

What Price 'ESG'?

In March 2019, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) announced that it would sell off around $7.4 billion ( £5.7 billion) worth of stocks held in oil and gas exploration and production companies that according to the government had thus far failed to invest in renewable energy. In the days following, the combined market capitalization of Tullow Oil, Premier Oil, Soco International, Ophir Energy and Nostrum Oil & Gas fell 3 percent, or about $168.8 million (£130 million).

Then this past February, as supply was overtaking demand in the global oil markets, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan both announced green investment strategies. That’s right, the fast-living, meat-eating, boat-owning, McMansion-dwelling investment bankers found God, or least least Gaia.

Goldman will place restrictions on coal mining and coal fired power plant investments while JP Morgan would stop funding E&P exploration in the Arctic and would target $200 billion in green financing in 2020. It was a curious business decision since a slew of their private banking clients attained their wealth through O&G royalties and since both banks were underwriters in the Aramco IPO that yielded investment bank fees totaling around $90 million.

While the specifics of any one of these examples are not significant by themselves, they are illustrative of a trend within certain quarters of investment banking and on executive boards to pander to a set of criteria that at best are squishy and at worst represent Wall Street wokeness.

‘ESG’ is an acronym for 'environmental, social and governance'. It describes a set of often broadly- interpreted, rather fluid investment criteria (data and factors) applied by reflexive investment bank boards and activist investors to companies’ operations.

Choose one or the other.

While almost all are in agreement of the importance of good governance, the other elements of this criteria are frankly little more than ‘feel-good’ foolishness, open to any and all interpretation and activist pressure. Think symbolism over substance. Consider the following:

In May 2020 a Google spokesperson confirmed that the company will stop building custom AI/ML algorithms to facilitate upstream extraction in the oil and gas industry. After all, goes the narrative, working with O&G companies impedes stated climate goals and accelerates the climate crisis. There was no mention by the Google representative about whether they would also be removing the light fixtures, carpet, paint, tile, toilets, chairs and desks from their offices since petroleum products are part of the manufacturing process for those products.

The Google representative further clarified that Google Cloud only generated approximately $65 million in revenue from oil and gas company contracts in 2019, accounting for less than 1% of total Google Cloud revenue… as if the small percentage diminished the grievous nature of their environmental breach by working with the O&G industry.

Using AI in O&G after all would create business efficiencies that would make fossil fuel extraction faster, more safe, more accurate and less expensive. Imagine the societal damage brought by such a reality. Job stability, and increased tax revenue for the communities in which oil and gas plays are located would underpin this dystopic future that would emerge were Google to continue to develop AI technology with the O&G industry. What courage it must have taken for Google to reach such an important decision.

Greenpeace, an evangelizer from the religious-right of the church of EGS was there to celebrate Google’s decision. After all they had helped apply the thumb screws to Google. The narrative was predictable -- the EGS crowd won a moral victory against an immoral industry.

However, the same EGS advocates, the ones with more holy insight into what ‘E’ and ‘S’ should represent in the EGS pact had no comment or moral opinion about Google’s collaboration with the Communist Chinese regime only months earlier. They had nothing to say about Google’s efforts to develop a Chinese version of Google’s already creepy search engine. Known as “Project Dragonfly”, Google worked quietly developing the search engine that would censor searches by Chinese citizens of terms that the dictatorial Chinese Communist regime determined were acceptable. It wasn’t until The Intercept broke the story in July, 2019 that Google reluctantly abandoned the effort.

Don’t fret though, Google still has offices in China. They are now focused on developing AI technology and manufacturing for Chinese government-controlled companies. That’s right, the thing they abandoned with U.S. oil and gas because of its immorality they are now doing on behalf of the tyrannical Communist Chinese government. What letter should be used to describe that kind of moral and intellectual flexibility?

And no backing up!

The regime, known to forcibly sterilize and imprison its minority Muslim population known as Uighurs began disappearing and re-educating these innocents. It is now believed there are around 380 detention facilities to which anyone who pushes back on the tyrannical regime is sent. Instead of supporting the job-creating, liberty-centric O&G industry, these gentle-hearted EGS-minded investors and investment banks are content with this genocide of the Uighurs. What’s the letter for that?

Then just yesterday a former Facebook employee revealed that the censorship giant employs an Orwellian team in Seattle known as ‘Hate Speech Engineers.” Imagine the pride of ESG-minded investors when they found out that six members of this elite team of censors are Chinese expats in the U.S. on H-1B visas. Who better to be censoring all sorts of legitimate news stories than those who are expert at exploiting false narratives back in their motherland and on behalf of their motherland?

To the executives in the O&G industry, standing silent in the face of what is clearly politically correct wokeness, your silence will lend to the destruction of the one industry in North America that has single-handedly changed the geo-political landscape of the world and delivered the U.S. energy independence. To those in the investment banking world who favor the ESG standards and their random application to good versus bad industries, perhaps a new letter should be added to the criteria. How about “F” for fraud?

One Reduced Methane Emissions Burger, Please!

One solution to the "climate crisis," courtesy of a climatologically woke company that wants to disgust its customers and put itself out of business:

In case you think this is a joke, read on:

Burger King announced Tuesday that it has made a shift in its operations to ensure its cows fart and burp less to fight climate change.

The company — the second-largest fast-food hamburger chain in the world — said it added 100 grams of lemongrass leaves to its cows’ prescribed diet during the animals’ last four months of life to help them release less of the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, according to a news release.

The new diet is said to reduce up to 33% of methane emissions per day, on average, in the months before they are turned into the company’s famous Whopper burger.

Think about that the next time you're in the mood for a Whopper and fries:

According to NASAcows release more of the gas when they burp rather than when they fart. A methane-filled belch is the product of the conversion of sugars into simpler molecules for absorption into the bloodstream. A smaller percentage comes from the cow’s large intestine when released via fart, NASA said.

The “reduced methane emissions beef Whopper sandwich” is available in select locations in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Austin, Texas, and Portland, Oregon, as of July 14.

NASA? What have cow farts got to do with outer space? Here's the real science, and from a "green" source to boot:

Ruminants, and particularly cattle, are habitually cast as climate villains, responsible for large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. According to a much quoted United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) figure, livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of human greenhouse gas emissions.1 Eighty percent of these emissions come from ruminants, half being methane, and a quarter nitrous oxide.

As a result, there are innumerable scientific papers comparing the environmental impact of dairy and beef unfavorably with pork and poultry, with vegetarian diets, with milk substitutes, with test-tube meat and so on. Virtually all of these papers and the FAO’s figure of 14.5 percent are flawed because they employ a formula for equating the climate impact of methane emissions with that of carbon dioxide—through the unit known as “CO2 equivalent”—which is highly misleading.

Read the whole thing. In the meantime, this Burger King campaign sounds like BS to us.