Tom Quaife has been at the helm of monthly trade publication Dairy Herd Management for two decades now. From his faraway perch in Lenexa, Kansas, he writes that he was relieved – and somewhat surprised – that the LA Times and other major publications did not run with news of a very questionable new study that suggests ammonia emissions from California cows cause more LA smog than cars.
Anticipating an onslaught of media attention, Quaife posted a rebuttal at the beginning of the week. But with only the Washington Post running a brief Reuters wire item and a few other bits of scattered coverage, he takes stock:
Maybe there is hope after all that the media will be discerning and not run stories that seem just too preposterous…
The more I got into the story, the more the research from scientists at the University of Colorado and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just didn’t meet the “smell test.” As one of our readers pointed out, he’d rather be trapped in a garage with a bunch of cows rather than ONE running car.
Quaife notes that both prevailing SoCal winds and the study’s way-off estimate of regional cow herd sizes further adds to the fuzziness of the findings.