Last week, President Joe Biden said at the global climate summit that the United States will make a collective effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. His remarks were applauded by several global leaders but many have been asking how it will be achieved. Biden elaborated his plans and since then a claim has been doing the rounds on social media that in a bid to reach the goal, President is planning to cut 90 percent of red meat from the diet of Americans.
The claim has since gone viral, with many even trying to find a connection between red meat consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Also, many are still trying to ascertain if Biden will introduce a new policy wherein red meat consumption will be reduced by 90 percent from the diet of every American.
Biden's Big Promise
On April 22, Biden, while speaking at the Virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, said that his administration seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. He added that the effort to curb greenhouse emissions would be an opportunity for "millions of good-paying, middle-class, union jobs." By investing in these new jobs, Biden said, he hopes the United States can cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.
"I see an opportunity to create millions of good-paying, middle-class, union jobs. I see line workers laying thousands of miles of transmission lines for a clean, modern, resilient grid. I see workers capping hundreds of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells that need to be cleaned up, and abandoned coal mines that need to be reclaimed, putting a stop to the methane leaks and protecting the health of our communities," he said.
Biden's idea is to reduce greenhouse emissions in half, which definitely is a big challenge. However, it was applauded my top leaders of the world.
What Biden's Didn't Say
Given that the challenges are aplenty a lot of avenues need to be identified to make this a success. Following Biden's speech, The Daily Mail published a story that says, in entirely theoretical terms, achieving this goal "could" require Americans to reduce their meat consumption by 90 percent.
It was completely an analytical story and there was nothing wrong in the article. However, questions starting arising in the minds of many when some politicians like Rep. Lauren Boebert retweeted the Daily Mail's speculation as fact.
This made many take to social media and ask if Biden is actually planning to come up with a policy where 90 percent red meat will be disappear from average American's daily diet. Given that red meat comprises major part of the diet in the United States, many started worrying and asking the authenticity of the claim.
The Daily Mail never wrote the story as fact but only as speculation and drew a comparison with Biden's ambitious plans of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to half by 2030. In reality, at no point n this speech did Biden spoke about any such initiative that would impose a limit on red meat consumption. And also at no point in his presidency he suggested to introduce any such policy that would limit red meat consumption.
The Daily Mail story cited a report published by the University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems that did a speculative study wherein it tried to ascertain how much of a reduction would result from various dietary changes. As reported by the Center for Biological Diversity, the researchers concluded: "That replacing half of all animal-based foods with plant-based alternatives would reduce diet-related emissions by 35%. And if half of all animal-based foods were replaced with plant-based alternatives and beef consumption fell by 90%, dietary emissions would drop by 51%."
Fox News' Todd Starnes argued that the January 2020 Michigan study was actually an analysis of a Biden plan that, at the time of this reporting in April 2021, has not been released. Also, the Daily Mail in the story clearly mentions that Biden is yet to share a concrete plan to achieve this goal. Hence, the claims were a result of misinterpretation and became viral just because the story was retweeted by many right-wing politicians and some news outlet who started stressing on the claim.