Fight Climate Change by Taxing Meat?
Granted the idea doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of ever being implemented. This is even more of a non-starter than the carbon tax. But the fact remains it's a great idea. (And no I'm not vegan or vegetarian or anything like that.)
A group of scientists — including the head of the U.N.'s climate science panel — and Lord Stern, an economist, have recommended reducing methane emissions by making meat more expensive. This would be done through a tax or some sort of emissions trading scheme.
Again, this is way too unpopular for anyone in power to even think of establishing it. But still...
This recommendation was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The article says:
“Influencing human behaviour is one of the most challenging aspects of any large-scale policy, and it is unlikely that a large-scale dietary change will happen voluntarily without incentives. Implementing a tax or emission trading scheme on livestock’s greenhouse gas emissions could be an economically sound policy that would modify consumer prices and affect consumption patterns.”
The article is based on the U.N. finding that methane emissions from livestock are the cause of 14.5% of all human-caused greenhouse gases.
In addition to the farts from billions of sheep and cattle, another culprit is the millions of acres of land being used solely to grow corn and soybeans to feed all the livestock; not to mention the billions of trees that were cut down in order to plant these crops.
As some of the commenters at the linked article pointed out, let's start by eliminating ALL subsidies for corn and soybeans. (As long as we're dreaming...)