TODAY ON TAP ONLINE: COWS AND GLOBAL WARMING.

In an article from our last print issue, Ben Adler wonders why the idea of reducing meat consumption as a way to fight global warming is so often mocked:

These days almost any proposal to reduce global warming gets taken seriously, even by conservatives. Solar panels are proposed for powering everything except submarines. Oilman T. Boone Pickens wants to put windmills on every empty patch of land in Texas, and Republicans have finally found something to like about France: nuclear power.

But when Rajendra Pachauri, who runs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), made a suggestion that could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 18 percent, he was excoriated. Why was his proposal so unpalatable? Because he suggested eating less meat would be the easiest way people could reduce their carbon footprint, with one meat-free day per week as a first step. "How convenient for him: He's a vegetarian," sneered a Pittsburgh Tribune Review editorial. "Dr. Pachauri should be more concerned about his own diet. A new study shows that a deficiency of vitamin B-12, found primarily in meat, fish and milk, can lead to brain shrinkage." Boris Johnson, London's outspoken mayor, posted a long screed on his blog, declaring, "The whole proposition is so irritating that I am almost minded to eat more meat in response."

And Sarah Posner has the latest on the religious right:

Barack Obama doesn't support gay marriage, but his transition Web site lists a panoply of other LGBT rights he will push for when he takes office in January. His laundry list includes expanding federal hate-crimes legislation to protect people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected groups categories under federal anti-discrimination in employment laws. Obama also backs civil unions and full federal rights for LGBT couples, as well as repealing two Clinton-era measures, the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which provides that no state or the federal government can be forced to recognize a gay marriage performed in another state, and the military's "don't ask, don't tell?" policy.

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--The Editors

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