Conservatives Furious Over Non-Existent Biden Plan To Deny Them Cheeseburgers
Over the weekend, conservatives on social media had a mass crying jag over Joe Biden's nefarious plan to ration red meat in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as originally reported in a Fox News segment on Friday and repeated on the network several times throughout the weekend. Defiantly, they shared pictures of the very large pieces of meat they planned on eating, just to show Biden who is boss, and crying "They may take our lives, but they will never take our CHEESEBURGERS" into the night.
Here are some tweets from GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott and one of Donald Trump's children:
LAUREN BOEBERT: "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?"
GREG ABBOTT: "Not gonna happen in Texas!"
Matt Couch: "So Biden says we can have four pounds of meat per year ... My officially response today..." [pic of excessively large steak]
DONALD TRUMP JR.: "I'm pretty sure I ate 4 pounds of red meat yesterday. That's going to be a hard NO from me."
Fox Business talking head and former Trump adviser Larry Kudlow really had a reaction on Saturday:
"Ok, got that? No burger on July 4. No steaks on the barbecue. I'm sure Middle America is just going to love that. Can you grill those Brussels sprouts? So get ready," Kudlow said. "You can throw back a plant-based beer with your grilled Brussels sprouts and wave your American flag. Call it July 4th Green."
He's real upset about that "plant-based beer." As opposed to the meat beers we all know and love.
Of course, as it turns out, Joe Biden is not trying to take their cheeseburgers and neither is anyone else. Except perhaps the Hamburglar.
Here's what happened.
The Daily Mail, a British tabloid that's never wrong, published an article claiming one of the ways Biden could reach his goal of a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 would be by people reducing the amount of red meat they eat.
How Biden's climate plan could limit you to eat just one burger a MONTH, cost $3.5K a year per person in taxes, force you to spend $55K on an electric car and 'crush' American jobs
Even the Daily Mail article made it clear that this was not Joe Biden's actual plan, but rather a list of things some people have said would help accomplish that goal. They cited a University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems study that analyzed the effect of the American diet on greenhouse gas emissions.
The Center for Biological Diversity provides a summary of the study:
New research released by the University of Michigan and Tulane University today found that replacing 50% of animal products with plant-based foods in the United States would prevent more than 1.6 billion tons of greenhouse gas pollution by 2030.
If beef consumption were reduced by 90% alongside the 50% reduction in other animal products, it would prevent more than 2 billion tons of greenhouse gas pollution. That's roughly equivalent to taking nearly half the world's cars off the roads for a year. [...]
Today's study, Implications of Future U.S. Diet Scenarios on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, found that replacing half of all animal-based foods with plant-based alternatives would reduce diet-related emissions by 35%. And if half of all animal-based foods were replaced with plant-based alternatives and beef consumption fell by 90%, dietary emissions would drop by 51%. If American diets remain unchanged, emissions associated with producing the food we eat will climb 9% by 2030.
What? A study about the environment said eating meat was bad for the environment? Whoa if true. It would be totally shocking if there had not been approximately 40,000 other studies that have said that since pretty much forever. Because it's true.
But saying that this one study means that Joe Biden is going to take away all your cheeseburgers and limit you to four pounds of red meat a year is like looking at a study saying "people should drink eight glasses of water a day" and thinking it means the president will be personally coming to your house and pouring half a gallon down your gullet.
This study, by the way, was published in April of 2020, when Joe Biden was not president. Following Daily Mail/Fox News logic, this would mean it was actually Donald Trump who was going to take away people's cheeseburgers.
We can assume that even the less-than-brilliant minds over at Fox News were well aware — even if all they read was the headline of the already bad Daily Mail article — that Biden has not released his climate change plan yet. They had to know this was not his actual plan, given that, rather than citing the currently non-existent plan, they cited the University of Michigan research. But what they also knew was that the very idea of Biden hypothetically banning cheeseburgers was red meat for their audience.
But for Fox, it doesn't really matter if it's true so long as people are willing to pretend it is, and the more people you have out there going "Banning cheeseburgers? Well that's a step too far if you ask me!" without checking to see whether or not it is actually true, the more Fox News viewers you create.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse