George Monbiot tells us all that artificial meat is soon going to be a real product rather than a lab curiosity and he could be right about that. However, it's what happens after that which interests here. George goes on to tell us that this will, quite obviously, curb all those emissions that raising livestock currently causes. And the subsequent rewilding of pasture will reduce emissions once again.
As the final argument crumbles, we are left facing an uncomfortable fact: animal farming looks as incompatible with a sustained future for humans and other species as mining coal.
That vast expanse of pastureland, from which we obtain so little at such great environmental cost, would be better used for rewilding: the mass restoration of nature. Not only would this help to reverse the catastrophic decline in habitats and the diversity and abundance of wildlife, but the returning forests, wetlands and savannahs are likely to absorb far more carbon than even the most sophisticated forms of grazing.
OK - don't think about whether this will happen but think about what if? The answer being that climate change stops being a problem.
If we take seriously the IPCC and the like reports then there are various scenarios for how emissions will turn out in the future. The whole problem being a serious one if we're on A1FI or RCP 8.5 (dependent upon which set of scenarios we want to use). It not being a serious one if we're on A1T or RCP 2.6. And the truth is that neither A1FI or RCP 8.5 are really even possible, let alone likely for we've already done more than enough to head them off. They both insist, for example, that the world will be using more coal in 2070 than it does now. Not just more but more as a portion of total energy provision. Given what has already been done with solar and wind power that's just not going to happen at all. And certainly not when we consider what is likely to happen to solar over the coming decades.
One of the sadnesses of the climate change "debate" is that whenever we see a new report stating that if we don't do something about climate change then - the results are always based upon the assumption that A1FI or RCP 8.5 are what is going to happen - entirely ignoring that we have already done something.
And this thought about artificial meat just adds to this. If it is true, that the technology becomes mainstream, then we are again moving further away from the predicted danger and much closer to the don't worry about it scenario.
At which point, of course, then we've got to struggle mightily a great deal less, don't we? That is, all these predictions of how things are changing just keep telling us how much less change needs to be done.
Oddly, very few people indeed tell us this.