[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 6-Jul-2005
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Contact: David Reid
david.reid@iop.org
44-20-7470-4815
Institute of Physics

Cut global warming by becoming vegetarian

Global warming could be controlled if we all became vegetarians and stopped eating meat. That's the view of British physicist Alan Calverd, who thinks that giving up pork chops, lamb cutlets and chicken burgers would do more for the environment than burning less oil and gas.

Writing in this month's Physics World, Calvert calculates that the animals we eat emit 21% of all the carbon dioxide that can be attributed to human activity. We could therefore slash man-made emissions of carbon dioxide simply by abolishing all livestock. Moreover, there would be no adverse effects to health and it would be an experiment that we could abandon at any stage. "Worldwide reduction of meat production in the pursuit of the targets set in the Kyoto treaty seems to carry fewer political unknowns than cutting our consumption of fossil fuels," he says.

Also in this month's Physics World:

Universe in crisis as experts question Big Bang model

The widely accepted idea that the universe began with a Big Bang could be wrong, according to astrophysicists who took part in a "Crisis in cosmology" meeting in Portugal and reported in this month's Physics World magazine.

According to the standard Big Bang theory, the universe began in a hot dense fireball about 13 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since. But despite plenty of evidence to support the theory, not everyone is convinced. Eric Lerner of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, who organized the Portuguese meeting, says that certain properties of the cosmic microwave background - the so-called "echo of the Big Bang" - do not match predictions from the theory. Others are unhappy that cosmologists have had to introduce weird concepts like dark matter and dark energy to explain the universe. Mainstream scientists, however, have hit back, saying that we just need to tweak the Big Bang model and tie up "loose ends".

And articles on:

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PLEASE MENTION PHYSICS WORLD AS THE SOURCE OF ALL THESE ITEMS AND, IF PUBLISHING ONLINE, PLEASE CARRY A HYPERLINK TO: http://physicsweb.org

For interviews and copies of Physics World and advance copies of the articles reviewed here contact: David Reid, press officer, The Institute of Physics, Tel: +44 (0)20 7470 4815 or +44 (0)7946 321473, email: david.reid@iop.org

Notes for editors:
1. Physics World is the international monthly magazine published by the Institute of Physics. For further information or details of its editorial programme please contact the editor, Dr Peter Rodgers on +44 (0)117 930 1007. The magazine's Website physicsweb.org is updated regularly and contains physics news, jobs and resources. Visit http://www.physicsweb.org.

2. The Institute of Physics is a leading international professional body and learned society, promoting the advancement and dissemination of a knowledge of and education in the science of physics, pure and applied. It has a world-wide membership and is a major international player in:

The Institute works in collaboration with national physics societies, plays an important role in transnational societies such as the European Physical Society and represents British and Irish physicists in international organisations. In Great Britain and Ireland the Institute is active in providing support for physicists in all professions and careers, encouraging physics research and its applications, providing support for physics in schools, colleges and universities, influencing government and informing public debate.



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