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Here's something nobody ever seems to ask: What's the alternative? Surely we aren't picturing a pastureland that would have been paved over with asphalt, if not for this heroic rancher? Certainly in a "natural" state, something would be growing there, and of course that would mean something else would be there eating it.

Without human intervention, most pastureland on the Great American Prairie would still be growing grasses. Prior to the industrial age, this prairie was covered with hundreds of millions of large herbivorous mammals, topped by the American Bison (which is a Bovine closely related to domestic cattle). Individual herds of Bison used to be more than a million strong. These were effectively roving cities of the creatures. The following map shows their historical range during the Holoscene (darker for more recent species).

enter image description here

What this means is if you are interested in the earth's carbon throughput compared to what it would naturally have been prior to human activity, cattle and their pastures are kind of a wash. It really doesn't make much sense to include them in your numbers, unless you are attempting to make them look artificially better one way or the otherworse by taking credit for something that was already going on before humans ever got here.

Here's something nobody ever seems to ask: What's the alternative? Surely we aren't picturing a pastureland that would have been paved over with asphalt, if not for this heroic rancher? Certainly in a "natural" state, something would be growing there, and of course that would mean something else would be there eating it.

Without human intervention, most pastureland on the Great American Prairie would still be growing grasses. Prior to the industrial age, this prairie was covered with hundreds of millions of large herbivorous mammals, topped by the American Bison (which is a Bovine closely related to domestic cattle). Individual herds of Bison used to be more than a million strong. These were effectively roving cities of the creatures. The following map shows their historical range during the Holoscene (darker for more recent species).

enter image description here

What this means is if you are interested in the earth's carbon throughput compared to what it would naturally have been prior to human activity, cattle and their pastures are kind of a wash. It really doesn't make much sense to include them in your numbers, unless you are attempting to make them look artificially better one way or the other by taking credit for something that was already going on before humans ever got here.

Here's something nobody ever seems to ask: What's the alternative? Surely we aren't picturing a pastureland that would have been paved over with asphalt, if not for this heroic rancher? Certainly in a "natural" state, something would be growing there, and of course that would mean something else would be there eating it.

Without human intervention, most pastureland on the Great American Prairie would still be growing grasses. Prior to the industrial age, this prairie was covered with hundreds of millions of large herbivorous mammals, topped by the American Bison (which is a Bovine closely related to domestic cattle). Individual herds of Bison used to be more than a million strong. These were effectively roving cities of the creatures. The following map shows their historical range during the Holoscene (darker for more recent species).

enter image description here

What this means is if you are interested in the earth's carbon throughput compared to what it would naturally have been prior to human activity, cattle and their pastures are kind of a wash. It really doesn't make much sense to include them in your numbers, unless you are attempting to make them look artificially better or worse by taking credit for something that was already going on before humans ever got here.

2 added 133 characters in body
source | link

Here's something nobody ever seems to ask: What's the alternative? Surely we aren't picturing a pastureland that would have been paved over with asphalt, if not for this heroic rancher? Certainly in a "natural" state, something would be growing there, and of course that would mean something else would be there eating it.

Without human intervention, most pastureland on the Great American Prairie would still be growing grasses. Prior to the industrial age, this prairie was covered with hundreds of millions of large herbivorous mammals, topped by the American Bison (which is a Bovine closely related to domestic cattle). Individual herds of Bison used to be more than a million strong. These were effectively roving cities of the creatures. The following map shows their historical range during the Holoscene (darker for more recent species).

enter image description here

What this means is if you are interested in the earth's carbon throughput compared to what it would naturally have been prior to human activity, cattle and their pastures are kind of a wash. It really doesn't make much sense to include them in your numbers, unless you are attempting to make them look artificially better one way or the other by taking credit for something that was already going on before humans ever got here.

Here's something nobody ever seems to ask: What's the alternative? Surely we aren't picturing a pastureland that would have been paved over with asphalt, if not for this heroic rancher?

Without human intervention, most pastureland on the Great American Prairie would still be growing grasses. Prior to the industrial age, this prairie was covered with hundreds of millions of large herbivorous mammals, topped by the American Bison (which is a Bovine closely related to domestic cattle). The following map shows their historical range during the Holoscene (darker for more recent species).

enter image description here

What this means is if you are interested in the earth's carbon throughput compared to what it would naturally have been prior to human activity, cattle and their pastures are kind of a wash. It really doesn't make much sense to include them in your numbers, unless you are attempting to make them look artificially better one way or the other by taking credit for something that was already going on before humans ever got here.

Here's something nobody ever seems to ask: What's the alternative? Surely we aren't picturing a pastureland that would have been paved over with asphalt, if not for this heroic rancher? Certainly in a "natural" state, something would be growing there, and of course that would mean something else would be there eating it.

Without human intervention, most pastureland on the Great American Prairie would still be growing grasses. Prior to the industrial age, this prairie was covered with hundreds of millions of large herbivorous mammals, topped by the American Bison (which is a Bovine closely related to domestic cattle). Individual herds of Bison used to be more than a million strong. These were effectively roving cities of the creatures. The following map shows their historical range during the Holoscene (darker for more recent species).

enter image description here

What this means is if you are interested in the earth's carbon throughput compared to what it would naturally have been prior to human activity, cattle and their pastures are kind of a wash. It really doesn't make much sense to include them in your numbers, unless you are attempting to make them look artificially better one way or the other by taking credit for something that was already going on before humans ever got here.

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source | link

Here's something nobody ever seems to ask: What's the alternative? Surely we aren't picturing a pastureland that would have been paved over with asphalt, if not for this heroic rancher?

Without human intervention, most pastureland on the Great American Prairie would still be growing grasses. Prior to the industrial age, this prairie was covered with hundreds of millions of large herbivorous mammals, topped by the American Bison (which is a Bovine closely related to domestic cattle). The following map shows their historical range during the Holoscene (darker for more recent species).

enter image description here

What this means is if you are interested in the earth's carbon throughput compared to what it would naturally have been prior to human activity, cattle and their pastures are kind of a wash. It really doesn't make much sense to include them in your numbers, unless you are attempting to make them look artificially better one way or the other by taking credit for something that was already going on before humans ever got here.