& GLOBAL WARMING OVERREACHES
William Hunt, M.S.
August 3, 2009
I am concerned about some really crazy laws being introduced and even passed in our state legislatures and U. S. Federal legislative branch. We are having an epidemic of “do-badders” (thinking they are "do-gooders"), primarily in Federal circles and blue states, coming up with “creative” and very inexpensive ways to “stop” the non-problem of global warming. There are ridiculous predictions of global warming-caused scary Venus-like conditions with dry desert-like areas interspersed with storms causing death and destruction on a Diluvian scale. You would think this was a bad movie script if it were not based on educated yet delusional thinking.
I have detailed the causes of such mis-thinking in my recent book release, Global Warming Challenged, and the the results of such illogical thinking are not only all related, but have the same end effect: the increase of costs to taxpayers and businesses, restrictions on freedoms, resulting in NO effectual changes to the climate for the intended results. In our legislative fervor, based on myth and not truth, we are at risk of tearing down our precious personal American freedoms and our powerful free-market society. Let's not let this happen...
Cows: Not Just for Dinner Anymore
Did you know that a punitive tax on cow burps and cow flatulence was lifted at the last moment in the House version of the Waxman-Markey bill - led by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.) just prior to it being approved by the House of Representatives. The bill creates a cap and trade system for carbon dioxide emissions— a massive tax increase on all forms of energy— and has a large number of amendments whose ink wasn’t dry before the final vote was taken. Prior to Midwest Democrat congressmen complaining about this tax on cattle emissions, it was revealed that a tax aimed at cutting methane from cows, presumably by reducing the number of cattle , would actually force us to eat other foods. Oh my!
The idea behind that part of the bill was that cows produce methane from both ends, via the action of bacteria. Methane has a higher heat capacity than carbon dioxide and thus the pseudo-environmentalists were complaining that it was X times worse (depends entirely upon the group) than carbon dioxide that affect Global Warming.
FACT: Methane is produced abundantly by natural mechanisms, both biologic and geologic, but makes up only a tiny fraction of the atmospheric gases. Methane is quickly and naturally removed from the atmosphere by several pathways, including atmospheric processes and microorganisms. The factual science of methane creation and removal from the air doesn’t matter to the environmental lobby (environmentalists and the politicians who produce this sort of chartreuse legislation). These gastric (no pun intended) provisions were just recently removed from the Waxman-Markey bill that would have laid a large burden on farmers, ranchers and consumers countrywide.
The proposed tax would have increased the price of milk and milk products, such as cheese, beef and leather goods. The tax was $175 per dairy cow per year and $ 87.50 per year for beef cattle. This would have to be passed along to the consumers by the farmers, but some consumers would buy less, which would result in some of the smaller farmers going out of business.
To give an idea of how silly this is, if the idea of taxing cow burps and cow plops is not silly enough, let’s compare some numbers. According to various sources, there are roughly a billion cows in the world, used for milk, meat and religion (India). The U.S. has approximately a tenth of them with less than one hundred million head. If methane from cows were a problem, what about the other 90% of the cows?
What about the other ruminants in the U.S.? They produce methane the same way. Is there any concern for the thirty million white deer? Several million mule deer? A million elk? A million pronghorns? Moose? Caribou? Some of the eastern U.S. states have more deer than cows.
Why stop there? Non-ruminant mammals produce methane from digestion. Several billion mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, foxes and other animals in this scenario also could be the culprits.
A SCARY SIDE NOTE: Some have claimed to reduce the amounts of methane produced by feeding a special diet to cows, but this is expensive, and it would be difficult to verify their claims. The bacterial colonies in intestines are benign and help with food digestion. They have existed as long as intestines have and given what happens when antibiotics kill them off, it’s probably not a very good thing to tamper with them. I’m sure someone will eventually try to come up with a genetically-modified cow that uses some other system, perhaps the alkaline digestive tract that butterflies and moths use to digest food? Given the failure rate for genetically-engineered plants in the lab and the innumerable side effects and failures of engineered plants that are marketed have been shown to possess, that too, would not be a good idea.
Thankfully this particular bit of taxing nonsense was removed from the Waxman-Markey bill at the last minute. It’s frightening that Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and company wanted it in the first place.
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Beware, as the Environmental Lobby and its groupies are assuming that this or that awful thing will happen as the world “warms.” If the world was actually warming up do to man’s actions, their zeal would be understandable. Yet the preponderance of our science says that Global Warming/Climate Change is 'make believe' and not verifiably scientifically based. (Stay tuned for Part II and Part III of this series debunking Global Warming/Climate Change.)
© 2009 William Hunt - All Rights Reserved