Politics Fact check: False claim ties Biden's climate plan to reducing meat consumption
Fact check: Scientific consensus says humans are dominant cause of climate change
A Facebook user claims man-made climate change is a hoax. That is false.“The science is undeniable,” Biden said during the April 22 summit. “The cost of inaction keeps mounting.
The claim: Biden's climate plan will limit American's meat consumption to one burger per month
Users on Facebook are sharing articles that claim President Joe Biden's climate plan will require Americans to reduce their meat consumption to one burger per month.
On April 22, Bidena plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with a goal of 2030 emissions being half the level of 2005.
The Latest: Tracker credits Biden summit on emissions gap
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Joe Biden's global climate summit (all times local): 9:10 a.m. An analysis shows President Joe Biden’s climate summit and the run-up to it cut the so-called emissions gap, a crucial measurement used to see if the world can limit global warming, by about one-eighth. Climate Action Tracker is a group of scientists who monitor nations’ pledges of carbon pollution cuts. It calculated that targets announced since last September cut about 12% to 14% from the emissions gap. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb.
Theshared on social media reads: "NEW: Biden's 'Climate Change' Plan Will Try to Limit You to Only One Burger Per MONTH."
Trending Politics, a self-described conservative commentary website, shared the article on April 25 but the Facebook post appears to have been deleted. The same orhave been posted by others on Facebook.
The claim was shared as fact and attacked by many Republican politicians.
USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment.
Biden has released few details about the specifics of his plan. But we know putting Americans on a strict diet of less meat isn't part of it.
Claim based on 2020 study unrelated to Biden
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, "there is no effort designed to limit people's intake of beef coming out of President Biden's White House or USDA."
Fact check: No, Biden is not trying to force Americans to eat less red meat
Republican members of Congress, Fox News personalities and other prominent right-wing figures are falsely claiming that President Joe Biden is trying to force Americans to eat far less red meat. © Evan Vucci/AP President Joe Biden speaks to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) "Joe Biden's climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn't Joe stay out of my kitchen?" Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
The claim originated at The Daily Mail, which publishedconnecting Biden's plan to a 2020 study from the University of Michigan.
focuses on changes in greenhouse gas emissions solely from our diet. Researchers estimated diet-related greenhouse gas emissions would decrease to 51% by 2030 if beef consumption decreased by 90% and the consumption of all other animal-based foods decreased by 50%. The beef decrease would result in each person eating four pounds of beef per year.
But that's purely a hypothetical. And one that has no connection to Biden's plan.
The study was published in January 2020, a year before Biden took office. At the time, Biden was still campaigning for president and seeking the Democratic nomination, which he got in June 2020.
The study doesn't mention Biden's climate plan or his administration. In fact, it says it's based "on a number of simplifying assumptions," and explores a "hypothetical reduction" of animal-based foods, and their impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
Fox News Corrects False Claim That Biden Is Coming For Your Burgers
Fox News on Monday afternoon issued a brief correction after spending several days pushing the blatant falsehood that President Joe Biden’s climate plan calls for limits to American red meat consumption. “On Friday, we told you about a study from the University of Michigan to give some perspective on President Biden’s ambitious climate change goals,” Fox News anchor John Roberts said on Monday’s broadcast of America Reports. “That research, from 2020, found that cutting back how much red meat people eat would have a drastic impact on harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Martin Heller, one of the authors of the study, told USA TODAY the study wasn't developed to be considered as a policy recommendation, and it isn't connected to Biden's plan.
"Our study merely identifies opportunities for emissions reductions that are possible from changes in our diet," Heller wrote in an email. "By no means does it suggest that these changes in diet would be required to meet climate goals."
Reaction to study
Republican members of Congress and other conservative figures reacted strongly to the study's findings, taking as a fact that the Biden administration will require the drastic reduction of beef consumption.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.,Saturday: "Joe Biden's climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn’t Joe stay out of my kitchen?"
Two GOP governors,from Texas and from Idaho, also took to Twitter to state their opposition. They shared a FOX News graphic that cited the Michigan study and the Department of Agriculture as sources supposedly verifying the claims.
President Biden's first 100 days: What he's gotten done
President Joe Biden has moved fast since his January 20 swearing-in, signing a $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill into law less than two months into his term and issuing more executive orders so far than his three predecessors. © Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images A first-grader works on an English exercise on the first day of class in Los Angeles on April 13, 2021. Those efforts have paid off, with the administration reaching the milestones of 200 million coronavirus shots delivered and vaccine eligibility opened to everyone 16 and over before Biden's 100th day in office.
The Agriculture secretary in fact said the exact opposite. And Fox News has.
Our rating: False
Claims that Biden's climate plan will require Americans to reduce their meat intake to one burger per month are FALSE, based on our research. The study the claims are based on was not developed as part of Biden's plan, one of the authors told USA TODAY. The secretary of agriculture confirmed the same thing. The study's findings that greenhouse gas emissions would decrease to 50% by 2030 if beef consumption decreased by 90% is a hypothetical and not meant to be taken as a policy recommendation, according to the study authors.
Our fact-checking sources:
- USA TODAY, April 22, 2021,
- Politico, April 26, 2021,
- The Daily Mail, April 22, 2021,
- University of Michigan, Center for Sustainable Systems, January 13, 2020,
- The White House, April 23, 2020,
- Lauren Boebert, April 24, 2021,
- Greg Abbott, April 25, 2021,
- Brad Little, April 25, 2021,
- Fox Business, April 23, 2021,
- Justin Baragona, April 26, 2021,
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Joe Biden isn't going to take away your burgers (opinion)
It's just a ludicrous rumor cooked up by American conservative politicians (and their media confederates), who have proven themselves less and less interested in engaging on policy questions on the merits, instead trying to distract with make-believe culture war claims that have no bearing on leadership and legislation-- from "cancel culture" to "wokeness" to, now, red meat, writes Jill Filipovic.First things first: Joe Biden isn't going to take away your hamburgers.
Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
Fact check: Biden's speech had an estimated 26.9 million viewers .
The president’s first address to Congress had 26.9 million viewers, not 11.6 million as claimed in a social media post.An April 29 Facebook post from James T. Harris, a conservative radio host and social media personality, lists television ratings for five past presidential addresses — four from former President Donald Trump and one from Biden. The post says Biden’s address to Congress had only 11.6 million viewers, compared to 37.2 million viewers for Trump’s 2020 State of the Union speech.