Bogus science busting at New Matilda

Here’s a great piece of bogus-science-busting from Anna Greer at New Matilda. I’m posting it here to make up somewhat for my month of absence…

Conservative media around the world flipped a collective bird at “smug” vegetarians last week, claiming that a report commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund had found that changes to land use meant that a vegetarian diet was more harmful to the environment than eating meat.

The London Times reported that “Becoming a vegetarian can do more harm to the environment than continuing to eat red meat, according to a study of the impacts of meat substitutes such as tofu”. The Daily Mail made even more sport out of the study’s findings, announcing that “Meat free diets can be bad for the planet”.

Unfortunately plenty of other mainstream media outlets, including the Australian, gleefully picked up this reading. In an I-told-you-so editorial, titled “Tuck in and save the planet”, the Australian again ridiculed the idea that eating a lot of meat was a problem: “Now a study for environmental lobbyists WWF, a body not usually noted for its conservative viewpoint, concedes our argument was correct. The study, by Cranfield University, found that turning vegetarian can do more environmental harm than eating red meat.”

In fact the study found nothing of the kind.

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Thanks to @lauren_hp for the heads-up.