A bright golden haze on the meadow
While we watch the Legislative and Executive branches of the federal government play “chicken” over the budget as parts of the government shut down and politicians dig ideological fox holes regarding global warming, whether it exists and, if so, what or who causes it, I am remembering a time when that same federal government, in its unique wisdom, had just announced a two-for-one plan that might increase its coffers, in response to a financial crisis. Said strategy had the added cache of providing some relief to the debated yet very evident problem of climate change.
Questioning the impact of this strategy generates more questions and answers that may have some fascinating consequences.
The feds are going after the nefarious gastrointestinal system of cows. You know, those storied and sung bovine beauties of the great American West who made the cowboy possible. Yup, those placid ruminant gals who stand around in the verdant fields of rural America are quietly (or not ) producing voluminous amounts of greenhouse gas that floats up into the atmosphere and causes, among other things, the elevation of sea levels with concomitant threats to the existence of cities, upscale golf courses and phalanxes of McMansions located on the nation’s shoreline.
The solution to the gaseous gals effluent, explained by the American Farm Bureau Federation, is that the department of agriculture’s research has lead to a proposal to tax dairy cows, beef cattle and pigs.
The proposal being discussed is a head tax on each dairy cow of $175. This of course applies to both ends of the cow. Seems that bovine production of gas comes equally from chewing the cud and the expulsion of the gaseous products of cellular activity through the other end of the animal. Pigs have their own problems.
How will this tax solve the problem, if there is one, of the methane production of cattle?
How does taxing farmers do this?
Is this the same thing as penalizing automobile companies who produce cars with noxious emissions?
Will it create a big demand for breeding cows with less flatulence?
Will veterinary research work on producing an additive to cow chow that contains something like Beano, Gas X or such?
Will dairy products of the future be variants of tofu or will they become expensive as Italian truffles?
Think of the TV commercials for all of this!
Thinking further about greenhouse gases and methane production I began to wonder about the effect on green house gas production by Americans entering retirement age, or the “Golden Years.”
Right now I can’t think of anything that Baby Boomers are doing that will stave off the eventual malfunction of their gastrointestinal systems. Organic eating, banning gluten and gym memberships will not help.
Will tax incentives be granted to people who can prove that they haven’t consumed indigestibles such as beans, cabbage and grapes?
On the other hand, will said foodstuffs be taxed because of their notorious reputation for producing methane?
Will retirement communities, senior citizen housing and nursing homes require special air filters?
One can only wonder. Will we all be required to add specific digestive enzymes to our daily regimen of pills? If so, this should be a good time to invest while the market is down.
What about summer barbecues?
Will permits be required to serve baked beans? Corn on the cob? Tacos? Refried beans? Coleslaw?
What about cheese pizzas? Blue cheese salad dressing? Chili? And forget about all of the people in the world who are lactose intolerant…unwittingly contributing to the decline of civilization as we know it.
No, things don’t look good for cows.
On the one hand they produce methane and on the other, dairy products incite similar gaseous outflow by humans. Poor babies…except, maybe…Hmmmm, isn’t there a commercial on TV that shows how Johnson and Johnson use the methane from a landfill to power one of their plants?
What if the farmers can capture all that methane? They can turn it into electricity. Part of a new “green” revolution.
What do we do about people, I haven’t a clue.
Even Rogers and Hammerstein weighed in on the issue. That bright golden haze on the meadow, immortalized in the opening lines of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma…” Methane!