Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, December 22, 2013

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...)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Climate change

Recent research by Henrik Svensmark and his group at the Danish National
Space Center points to the real cause of the recent warming trend. In a
series of experiments on the formation of clouds, these scientists have
shown that fluctuations in the Sun's output cause the observed changes in the
Earth's temperature.

In the past, scientists believed the fluctuations in the Sun's output were
too small to cause the observed amount of temperature change, hence the need
to look for other causes like carbon dioxide. However, these new
experiments show that fluctuations in the Sun's output are in fact large
enough, so there is no longer a need to resort to carbon dioxide as the
cause of the recent warming trend.

The discovery of the real cause of the recent increase in the Earth's
temperature is indeed a convenient truth. It means humans are not to blame
for the increase. It also means there is absolutely nothing we can, much
less do, to correct the situation.

Thomas Laprade

December 22, 2013 at 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas Laprade,

My understanding is we can either do what we can to let it happen on it's natural course, which means we are talking a couple hundred years, or speed it up with what we are doing which is considerably less.


December 23, 2013 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any Tax on Meat would be a counter to the Agricultural Subsidies they get.

I'm still convinced we can farm this without subjecting cattle to corn, chicken parts (including the shit) and other scraps that make them bloat. We don't have to have massive pig farms in the tens of thousands where the urine collects and saturates so much it makes the ground (and any water under it) toxic.


December 23, 2013 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger jim marquis said...

I think eventually we will move to meat and milk "grown" in factories.

December 24, 2013 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Thomas: Interesting theory by Henrik Svensmark. Food for thought anyway.

Erik: I'm in favor of eliminating all of those Big Ag subsidies, with or without adding a meat tax. Those factory farms need to go. Farming itself isn't the problem, just the mass scale they're using, and the megatons of piss pollution.

Jim: Factories, laboratories, 3D printers -- the possibilities are endless. Doesn't sound very appetizing, but it's better than cutting down the last rainforest to plant more grains and soybeans.

December 24, 2013 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

"The discovery of the real cause of the recent increase in the Earth's temperature is indeed a convenient truth. It means humans are not to blame for the increase. It also means there is absolutely nothing we can, much less do, to correct the situation."

Whether or not that is true (and I suspect we would find much disagreement on it within the scientific community in general), it shouldn't mean we ought to believe it's OK to keep shitting in our own nest to the point where it's no longer habitable. Some may want to argue about whether human activity increases Earth's temperature, but I don't believe there is a valid argument that human activities don't poison the planet to some extent. I'm talking about polluted streams and rivers from poor logging practices, smog in cities, radiation from Fukushima/Chernobyl/etc., DDT and other chemicals getting into the food chain... the list goes on and on.

Whether what you say is true or not is beside the point. If we choose to not be good stewards of the Earth, we choose to lie in the bed we make, and it's not going to be pretty. So if some of the measures being proposed to decrease global warming might also serve to make the planet a healthier place to live, then what's your point? Why not support those measures?

If I ask you "Do you like clean air?" "Do you like clean water?" and "Do you want an environment free of poisons?" and you answer "Yes" to all three of those (as I imagine you would), then it seems you would support measures designed to increase the likelihood of those things happening for all of us.

December 24, 2013 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

All of us "liberals" have been beating this horse for decades. Read Robbins' book Diet For A New America, or better yet, Carson's Silent Spring. I cannot think about it, it makes me too sad.

Check this out: http://youtu.be/8x98KFcMJeo

Now, enough of that... Peace and Love to you and yours Tom.

December 25, 2013 at 4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Corporations say they want clean water, clean air and such then they always ad: "But it'll cost you" and that's when the conservatives bolt and people seem to lose interest.


December 25, 2013 at 8:18 PM  

Erik - that's why we pass laws collectively, such as emission standards. We can't rely on the marketplace to do this. Markets just want to grow. Thus, we are doomed. Consider China. After half a century of strict population control, the population there is still quite large. In fact, it's freaking humongous! :)

Great Suzuki vid. btw!

December 26, 2013 at 5:34 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: We definitely need to do everything possible to minimize how much shit we spew into our own nests.

Mr. C: Thanks for the Suzuki link. Sobering (to put it mildly) but we need to keep hearing this. Peace and Love to you and yours too.

Erik: Hopefully more and more people will decide it's worth the additional cost of clean air and water.

FCFEH: Even worse, China is about to loosen their one-child rule. Just what the world needs.

December 26, 2013 at 8:17 PM  

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