Just when you though the United States was finally going to get serious about protecting the planet from an atmospheric buildup of perfectly natural gases, it turns out we’re ignoring one of the biggest threats of all: gassy cows.

When a friend of mine sent me this article, I thought it must be a parody of real news from The Onion.  But nope … according to the article by the Associated Press (which they apparently expect us to take seriously), cows produce more greenhouse gases than coal mines and landfills.  Here are some quotes:

One contributor to global warming – bigger than coal mines, landfills and sewage treatment plants – is being left out of efforts by the Obama administration and House Democrats to limit greenhouse gas emissions: Cow burps.

Belching from the nation’s 170 million cattle, sheep and pigs produces about one-quarter of the methane released in the U.S. each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That makes the hoofed critters the largest source of the heat-trapping gas.

Heat-trapping gas, hmmm … Considering that animals who burp and fart have been around for millions of years, you’d think this information would prompt intelligent people to wonder if the whole global-warming theory is a lot of cowpie.  But that’s not how our friends at the Associated Press reacted.  The article is clearly lamenting the fact that Congress is too afraid of the farm lobby to include cow burps and farts in legislation “to limit greenhouse gas emissions.”

But of course, that legislation isn’t really about limiting greenhouse gases; it’s about collecting new taxes in the form of “air pollution” permits.  If you have a functioning brain, you ought to be suspicious when natural gases such as methane and carbon dioxide are labeled as “pollutants” – especially when plants and animals have produced the vast majority of those gases since the dawn of time, at least among living creatures.

Normally, politicians can barely contain their excitement  when they realize they’ve found something new to tax.  If you’re a Monty Python fan, you may recall the sketch in which members of her majesty’s government were trying to figure out how to tax sex. So I believe the Associated Press when it says politicians are sidestepping the gassy-cow issue because they fear the farm lobby.  But that misses the point.  The intelligent reason not to tax this form of “pollution” is that it’s a deeply, totally, and unbelievably stupid idea. 

In fact, the idea is so completely and utterly stupid, greenies and vegetarian activists couldn’t stop themselves from supporting it.  The greenies love it because they tend to be scientific illiterates who believe natural gases are imperiling the planet, and the PETA crowd loves it because it punishes people who eat meat. 

(If you want a good laugh, check out Penn & Teller’s Bull@#$% episode on environmentalism.  They got hundreds of greenies – including supposed experts on the environment – to sign a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide … otherwise known as H2O … otherwise known as water.)

Well, I have my own proposal to limit greenhouse gases.  If we’re going to tax methane, then to be consistent and fair, we need to tax all sources of it – including humans. As anyone who has worked in an emergency room near a college fraternity during initiation week can tell you, humans produce a form of methane that’s not only a greenhouse gas, but highly combustible as well.  One flick of a Bic and POOF.

However, some humans produce more cubic feet of methane than others, so the relevant question is: how do we measure the emissions?  The cheap and easy way would be to employ some sort of listening device – but that would place a disproportionate share of the tax burden on men, who tend not to be very subtle about these things.  My junior year in college, I shared an apartment with three other guys in a cheaply-constructed building. One Sunday, the morning after we’d hosted a kegger, the cranky girl next door accused of us illegally keeping ducks.

Women, on the other hand – and I’m not mentioning any names, because she proofs my blog posts – produce methane that rivals ninja assassins for its ability to sneak up and kill you without being seen or heard.  Clearly, we need an equitable form of measurement.

So I’m proposing that some government contractor produce a Toot-O-Meter that would precisely measure human methane output.  Then all we’d need is an army of methane officers to follow people around and take readings.  We can even sell the idea as another example of “creating green jobs.” 

I don’t actually believe governments can create jobs, as I explained here.  And as anyone who reads this blog knows, I think high taxes are destructive and man-made global warming is an inconvenient myth, as I explained here.  But in this case, I’m supporting the whole ball of wax … the new taxes, the increase in government employment, everything. Why? One word: revenge.

For years, vegetarian wackos such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest have been agitating to slap high taxes on the foods they don’t think we should eat:  fatty foods, fast-foods, animal foods, big foods, and pretty much everything else most of us enjoy.  They also propose one stupid, expensive regulation after another, without ever concerning themselves with the cost to consumers, who ultimately bear all costs imposed on businesses.

But with my plan, I believe much of the burden and the cost will, at long last, fall largely on the vegetarian activists themselves.  To explain why, I must first recount my run-in with a can of vegetarian chili.

Some years ago, I flew from Chicago to Las Vegas for an acting job.  It’s not a long flight – at least not under normal circumstances.  But this flight seemed to take forever, thanks to the can of vegetarian chili I consumed just before catching a taxi to the airport.

The first belly-rumble began just before the drink cart came around.  I asked a flight attendant if they kept any antacids on board.  She said sorry, we have Bufferin for headaches, but that’s it. 

The next rumble was louder and actually hurt.

By halfway through the flight, I was literally holding onto my aching, bloated guts.  Yes, I should’ve visited the restroom, but I couldn’t predict what the result would be.  And worse, there was a line.  That meant someone would be 1) standing just outside the door, which wasn’t soundproof, and 2) entering the bathroom as I exited.  Maybe it’s my Catholic upbringing, but I didn’t want people pointing at me and whispering.

So I clenched my aching guts for the rest of the flight … and while waiting for my bags … and while waiting for a taxi … and while waiting to check in at the hotel … and I was growing ever-more bloated and miserable the whole time.  The desk clerk even asked if I was okay.

Finally, in the sanctity of my room, I un-clenched my guts, at which point I produced the longest continuous methane emission of my life.  I had to re-hitch my belt twice before it was over.  My nether regions grew numb from the prolonged vibration.  The planet was unaffected, but the hotel room definitely underwent a climate change.  And yes, the ice in the nearby ice bucket became thinner.

The culprit, of course, was the vegetarian chili.  It was full of beans – one of the few sources of protein vegetarians can eat without facing a moral crisis. 

Based on this experience and a few others from my vegetarian days, I’m pretty sure vegetarians emit more greenhouse gases than the rest of us, and they should bear the cost of all that extra pollution.  Since we know they’ll never resort to eating meat instead of beans, we could even design a methane cap-and-trade system.

Revenue benefits aside, this would provide the rest of us with some serious entertainment value.  Imagine how much fun it would be to see a bunch of self-righteous PETA wackos gather for a protest in front of a meat-packing plant, then scatter like rats when a Toot Detector van screeches onto the scene. 

In fact, I’d volunteer to be a methane officer myself, as long as I was guaranteed to be personally armed with a Toot-O-Meter and assigned to monitor Michael Jacobson of CSPI.  I’d love to see his face when his own dietary choices cost him some extra dough.

“How was your lunch, Mr. Jacobson?  Yes, I hear the vegetarian burritos are quite good.  Would mind stepping over to the curb for a moment, sir?  No, no, please remain clothed.  Other people are still eating.” 

As an added benefit, Jacobson would have to control his excitement upon discovering that yet another food contains saturated fat.  Otherwise, when media dutifully assembled to record his outraged comparisons to a stick of butter, the performance would be marred by the sound of my Toot-O-Meter ringing up fresh charges.

The only real problem I see with my proposal is that it would be expensive, burdensome, difficult to implement, inconsistently applied, prone to corruption, and ultimately useless.

Which means it would probably sail through Congress with overwhelming support.

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24 Responses to “Cows and Climate Bull”
  1. SnowDog says:

    Cows can’t contribute to global warming, (even if that hypothesis were true), because the carbon they belch into the atmosphere was recently sequestered from the atmosphere into the grass they eat. This represents a cycle that’s in balance.

    The only source of additional carbon being put into the atmosphere, is that from oil and coal, as this carbon has been sequestered underground for millions and millions of years, and is the source of the new carbon being put into the atmosphere.

    Yup. This is chicken-little stuff.

  2. So…. Cows create emissions, and the CSPI wants us all to become vegans? One question – when we are bombing our crops with pesticides, polluting transporting the vegetables, over producing our land, and pushing genetically modified produce, where are the taxes there? Big meat is easy to scapegoat for this problem.

    Agriculture is not kind to the land, no matter what they think.

  3. Dave Dixon says:

    Not all vegetarians are wackos:

    http://www.beyondveg.com/

    This is actually a fantastic site, lots of info.

    I often complain about the government being too far up my backside. How long before they’re literally camped there too?

    I love SnowDog’s point, one of those things that almost nobody (including myself, until now) seems to realize, but which is ridiculously obvious. That actually makes ethanol seem a little less stupid, assuming you can fertilize the corn without petroleum products . . .

    I don’t think they’re all nuts by any means — just the ones who want to use taxes and regulations to impose their dietary preferences on the rest of us.

  4. Felix says:

    You could make a movie about this global warming bologna and call it “farthead”. :-)

    I love it!

  5. dulcimerpete says:

    I’m growing tired of hearing about how livestock production is an inefficient use of land and a contributing factor in global climate change (aka GLOBAL WARMING). So I thought I’d have a little fun and dust off some of my old pasture management information (I know from your wonderful film that you like to “do” math, so let’s do some). We can debate the numbers, but I don’t think I’m too far off …

    Let’s assume the following:

    - Dry matter yield from perennial ryegrass & white clover pasture of 10,000 lb per acre
    - 75% of the pasture dry matter produced is consumed by the grazing animal
    - A conversion rate of 14 lb of pasture dry matter per lb of hanging weight
    - An edible yield of 65% of the hanging weight
    - A cooked yield of 56% of the raw weight
    - A per meal protein requirement of 4 ounces of cooked meat
    - 3 meals per day

    Under these conditions, a piece of pasture less than 209 x 209 feet (an acre, in other words) could produce enough meat to supply a person’s daily protein needs for 260 days (not to mention the lovely fat!). And this could easily be increase by adopting a multi-species farming system.

    This from a perennial “crop” that requires minimal fertilizer, pesticides, equipment, or petroleum to produce. But it isn’t “green” ‘cause it’s not vegetarian!

    *sigh*

    Oh, and by the way, perennial pasture produces about as much root dry matter as it does above-ground dry matter, thus fixing more carbon. They’re probably NOT including that in their calculations …

    And, oh, by the way, perennial grass & clover (or other forage legume) pasture is the basis of truly sustainable crop rotations. Soil fertility increases; soil structure improves; water infiltration improves; soil erosion is reduced. It is, in fact, arguable that the industrial revolution in Great Britain was fueled by the profits produced from the adoption of this practice!

    Oh, and ANOTHER thing – feeding grain to livestock increases their “emissions”. After all, RUMINANTS were “designed” to digest cellulose, not starch!

    dulcimerpete

    Excess crop production is way worse for the land than cattle. I agree that feeding cows corn makes them more methane-prone (same for the rest of us), but I also recall from family vacations on a ranch that horses eating grass aren’t immune.

  6. Matt says:

    I think what is needed is for the environmentalists who believe this to be a necessary problem to solve, to in the interim personally ensure gas emission reduction by standing behind a cow of their choice so that they may breathe in the emission.

    I’d vote for that.

  7. Dave Dixon says:

    So, let’s see: our taxes go to subsidize corn. That corn is thus cheap to feed to livestock, making them increased greenhouse emitters. So the solution to this problem is to tax livestock production, giving the government more money to subsidize corn. Brilliant. Nothing like positive feedback to stabilize a system (not).

    If Thomas Jefferson were alive, he’d be shooting at someone.

  8. JaneM says:

    I did read an interesting piece recently that said an experiment was done by feeding cows alfalfa…(isn’t that what they’re supposed to eat?) instead of corn and their methane emissions actually decreased. How about that? Duh! I get so furious when vegans get a hold of this to prove we should all become vegans – never in my lifetime!

    Maybe the global-warming fanatics will use their clout to legislate requirements for grass-fed beef.

  9. Dave, RN says:

    It’s amazing that they think cows are such a problem when 200 years ago millions of buffalo roamed the land, and yet even though they are bigger than cows (and presumably larger methane producers) they weren’t a problem.

    Years from now, perhaps Buffalo Bill will be seen as the first global-warming activist, putting a cap on all that methane.

  10. maurile says:

    There was an article on this topic in the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Spring 2008 journal called “The Inconvenient Cow.”

    You can read it here:

    http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?s=&showtopic=471328&view=findpost&p=10423297

    Good article. I like this bit:

    “Here we have a process as elegantly natural as the fermentation of forage in the rumen, a process that has occurred since time immemorial, probably on much vaster scales than today, being declared an environmental crime. “

  11. Ben P says:

    Thanks dulcimerpete, that was interesting.

    This paragraph changed my mind on cows and methane for good:

    “Another problem is the simplistic assumption about modern-day vs. ancient production of CO2 and methane from cattle. Actually, I’m not even sure the vegan “climate change” activists or their followers want to consider this. There are currently about 100 million head of cattle in the United States. Most of our cattle are grain-fed for at least part of their lives and grain-fed cattle produce about twice as much methane as grass-fed cows. However, they are not grain-fed their entire lives. My best estimate is that at any given point, around 25 million head are being fed this way. Estimates of the number of bison present in pre-settlement times is also as high as 100 million head, with bison being about twice as big as cows. I’m sure many people find it difficult to believe that the American continent could foster twice as much ruminant biomass as it currently does, but the fact is that the Americans plains soil was extremely fertile before modern grain- and soy-based agriculture washed much of it into the ocean, with enormous amounts of primary production (much of it underground in the form of prairie grass). I’m not sure how many head of bison were turned over yearly to predation or hunting. Today, approximately 1/4 of the national herd of cattle makes its way into the food chain yearly. But assuming that grass-fed bison produce similar amounts of methane to grass-fed cows, and that there could have been twice as much bison biomass as current cattle biomass, that means there were probably very similar amounts of methane being produced all along and that this hasn’t changed much historically. This pretty much blows away the argument that we should consider cattle per se a significant problem when it comes to global warming.”

    http://www.fa-rm.org/blog/2009/03/thoughts-on-environmental-effects-of.html

    And of course the US Army virtually wiped out the bison so they could take the land and ship all the Native Americans off to reservations, where they went from being laregly meat eaters to eating largely government rations of grain.

    http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutbuffalo/bisonnativeamericans.html

    “In the 1870s, more buffalo were killed than in any other decade in history. The three years of 1872, ’73, and ’74 were the worst. According to one buffalo hunter, who based his calculations on first-hand accounts and shipping records, 4.5 million buffalo were slaughtered in that three year period alone (Mayer, 87).

    Influenced by forces discussed above, the U.S. government pursued a policy to eradicate the buffalo and thereby extinguish the Indians’ very sustenance, forcing them onto reservations. The following speech, recounted by John Cook–a buffalo hunter, was delivered by General Phil Sheridan to the Texas legislature in 1875. The legislature, as the story goes, was discussing a bill to protect the buffalo when the General took the floor in opposition:

    These men have done more in the last two years, and will do more in the next year, to settle the vexed Indian question, than the entire regular army has done in the last forty years. They are destroying the Indians’ commissary. And it is a well known fact that an army losing its base of supplies is placed at a great disadvantage. Send them powder and lead, if you will; but for a lasting peace, let them kill, skin, and sell until the buffaloes are exterminated. Then your prairies can be covered with speckled cattle (Cook, 164).

    This testimony, spoken by an Army leader in the Indian wars, spells it out: The buffalo and the Indian were obstructing the march of civilization. Kill the buffalo and not only would the Indian wars be won, but the vast tracks of public land would be opened for cattle.”

    And I’ll conclude with H.L.Menken, whom, I suspect, would agree with Tom.

    “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.”

    Here’s to discontent.

    Here-here! Great quote.

  12. Lynda says:

    I agree with you, this is total rubbish. We here in New Zealand are also, apparently, big cow offenders! Our Government was trying to bring in a “fart tax” for the farmers. I kid you not, google it – you will see it is the truth.

    My opinion of global warming being solely man-made is the same as your opinion on carbs (ie, the entire point of your movie). There seems to be some sort of “flat earth society” mentality about both these things. Why are there so many educated people out there who believe such things?

    Unfortunately, the opinions go where the funding is. I had a friend suggest that all global-warming skeptics were funded by oil money, so I looked up how much money goes to non-skeptics in the form of grants. The answer is $6 billion per year ’round the world. That ought to buy a few white coats.

    One scientist was even quoted as saying if you want to conduct a study on the migratory patterns of birds, you need to add “and how those patterns are affected by global warming” to the proposal, or you won’t get a grant.

    See professor Carter’s YouTube lecture in my global-warming post for a refreshing glimpse of a real scientist picking apart this claptrap.

  13. Don Matesz says:

    I would love to see the FartHead Movie come to fruition!

    I had similar experiences when eating a vegetarian diet. Sometimes I feared that we would blow up the house if we lit our gas stove!

    The pain from the bloating was excruciating. Your tax plan would certainly put the veg*ns (as they call themselves) in the spotlight. Imagining Neal Barnard or Dean Ornish having to pony up for their intestinal emissions brings a smile to my face.

    Don

    I even kept a little bottle of bean-o in my vegetarian days. The fact that I needed something like that to stop the bloating should’ve made me question the wisdom of the diet. In retrospect, I feel kind of dense.

  14. Cord says:

    In my years as a vegetarian, I suffered all sorts of digestive ailments: reflux, indigestion, constipation, etc. But chief among them was gas. I was the queen of burping, bloating, and voluminous, eye-watering, room-clearing farts. They’ve all gone away since I went carnivore. I find it mind-boggling now that people can look at these symptoms of digestive distress in grain-fed cows and easily say “aha! The cows have digestive trouble because they’re eating a diet that is inappropriate for cows!” but fail to see the same problem when dealing with vegetarian humans: namely, that they have digestive trouble because they are eating a diet that is inappropriate for humans.

    I had similar experiences. I feel a bit like a dope when I think back to those days … weight gain, bloating, reflux, asthma, arthritis — which I attributed to getting older. Now I actually AM older, and I don’t sufer from any of those.

  15. Matt says:

    Since I’m a new member of the climate skeptic society (thanks in large part to some recent Dr. Eades posts) I am not going to provide unwavering support to your ideas. I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that manmade CO2 is warming the earth, and I do think that we need to fund research quickly so that we might determine if CO2 is to blame, but before you brush off CO2 as “natural” remember, sugar is natural, but in the doses that many take it, it is harmful to their system. We have put a lot of cows on the earth and we feed them a lot of gassy foods. We have put lot of cars on the earth. To dismiss out of hand the effects this might have is about as short-sighted as allowing questionable studies dictate policy.

    We have put a lot of cows on earth, but before we got here, the number of buffalo — who were twice as large — was far greater. In fact, the total number of animals was probably many multiples of what it is today. They all breathed, they all emitted greenhouse gases. So I do find this whole idea laughable.

    I believe it’s fine to study the effects of CO2 — that’s what real scientists would do. But the global-warming hysterics are asking us to spend trillions of dollars, alter our lifestyles, deny cheap energy to poor areas of the world, etc., etc., all based on computer models. When those same models are fed data from the 1950s and asked to predict the next 50 years, they’re so far off it’s laughable.

    The burden of proof should be on the alarmists, not on the skeptics. And as long as they push their draconian agenda based on nothing but discredited computer models, I think we should all ridicule and laugh at them whenever possible. They need to be discredited before they manage to screw things up totally — then we can calmly study the real science. And since there’s been no warming for the past eight years and cooling for the past two years, I don’t even think we need to be all that quick about it.

  16. Dave Dixon says:

    There’s a pretty clear pattern that crops up when science and public policy meet.

    Scientists, for the most part, aren’t actually very good at science.

    Government, for the most part, isn’t very good at making decisions.

    Mixing the two results in a predictable disaster. If global warming interventions turn out as well as nutrition interventions, we’re doomed.

    But the important thing is that we’ll have a consensus. Apparently it’s okay to be disastrously wrong as long as you can declare “the debate is over.” (And then win an Oscar for a film that’s such obvious propaganda, it would make Goebbels blush.)

  17. Dave Dixon says:

    Kind of ironic that Al Gore is suffering on the wrong end of nutrition “science” as well.

    Well, his home in Nashville uses 20 times as much electricity as the national average … maybe the electric stove is baking cookies non-stop.

  18. TonyNZ says:

    The methane is from burps, not farts. Nit picking over.

    Re: climate change scientists: To publish a report that says it isn’t a big deal is to effectively say your job is redundant. Therefore researcher bias is even more prevalent than in other fields.

    Re: dairying. In the past 80 years, the amount of methane produced versus milk produced by a cow (assuming same feeding) has reduced to one third of it’s initial recorded value. I’d call that progress.

    People seem to forget that farming is a business. Methane emission means lost potential production, so it is bred out. Fertiliser runoff means you are using too much, you cut back. Unhealthy, unhappy animals produce lesser quantities and qualities of product, you treat them right. It is a largely self regulating industry. When people busybody (i.e. PETA, greenpeace etc.) it throws the balance out. Farmers are a stubborn lot and threatening (I’ve yet to see an environmental group that wants to work WITH farmers) only leads to heels being dug in and progress (economic, technical and environmental) comes to a grinding halt.

  19. Shmaltzy says:

    Hi Tom,

    Great post. Take a look at the bologna being aired on Australian TV at the moment.

    http://www.askmorenow.com.au/ourTVAdvert.html

    “You don’t have to be a hero to save the world, just be vegan”

    Great idea…pass me the “not-chicken”, faken-bacon and soy sausages before we all fry!!

    Shmaltzy.

    Wow. They’re so bad, they’re good. My wife heard just the audio as I was playing the ad, and afterwards she asked, “Is that a joke?” Well, they didn’t intend for it to be, but …

  20. Anand Srivastava says:

    Regarding problems with Vegetarian foods.

    I think the problem is that people in areas that are not traditionally vegetarian, don’t have a very good idea of what to eat in a vegetarian lifestyle. They try to eat anything vegetarian. It is not the correct way.

    People in traditionally vegetarian areas like India, have a very different outlook to diet. Our staple food is rice/bread with Dal or lentils. The proteins are balanced. If they are not balanced you have gas. Traditionally they also had a lot of butter oil or ghee. Nowadays with the fat fearing doctrines, people are getting ill here also.

    I believe if we get the traditional vegetarian diets with a lot of milk, butter, butter oil, with balancing proteins, the diet will be stable. It will not be as good as a non-grain diet, but still not entirely bad.

    I am also an Indian, and have seen how traditional diets have worked. The people were not unhealthy, before we got the refined oils and too much sugar.

    In my vegetarian days, I made the mistake of believing the hype about grains being a health food. No one was talking about trans fats back then, either, so I probably consumed quite a few. The refined oils and sugars are no doubt the worst.

  21. Dana says:

    I actually think it’s possible we’re contributing to faster-than-normal global warming, and that distinction is important because the planet goes through warming and cooling cycles *anyway,* but we may be speeding the process up. Someone already pointed out how it may be occurring. Every single one of those vegan whackjobs going on about cow burps is driving a car and/or using coal-fired power and/or eating food produced by releasing CO2 into the atmosphere in unnatural ways, not to mention all the deforestation involved in growing plant crops. Before they’ll give up their electricity and Priuses and computers and Internet and stuff like that, they want the rest of us to kill ourselves on their diet.

    That said, I gotta call B.S. on your protestations that CO2 can’t hurt us ’cause it’s natural. Stand in a room filled with nothing but CO2 for fifteen minutes and then come back and talk to us again.

    The people who dismiss the whole idea that human beings can change the atmosphere are being as lazy about their science as the ones who insist it’s the meat-eaters AND NO ONE ELSE doing it. *Life* has changed the atmosphere over millions of years. It’s not that the planet was already suited to the kind of life existing today, when life began. It’s that the planet was only suited to the kind of life that managed to take a foothold, then changed along with that life to suit more complex forms. James Lovelock calls it “the Gaia hypothesis,” but really, if you think about it and look into it, it makes sense. This is just more of the same, along with us pulling carbon out of the earth that hasn’t been in the carbon cycle for a very long time.

    The thing is, it is probably already too late to do anything constructive about these changes. We’d have to die off in huge numbers and go back to a Paleolithic lifestyle, and nobody is going to do that on purpose. The denialists are too busy digging for excuses to make fun of the environmentalists and the environmentalists are too deep in their own brand of denial because despite their complaining about our modern way of living, they still think it’s the best thing since sliced bread, which they also happen to think is groovy, not to mention ecologically correct. Shudder.

    I don’t believe human output is enough to tip any sort of atmospheric balance. And since we’ve been in a cooling trend, despite CO2 emissions going up, I’m even more dubious than I was before.

  22. Dana says:

    By the way, I have heard that cattle put off more methane when they are corn-finished than when they remain on pasture without grain finishing. That may explain how or why the bison of North America could be so numerous and possibly not put off as much of the stuff. No idea.

    Wanna hear something funny? Termites are supposed to be another big source of methane. Guess where they’re more likely to turn up? Where a bunch of trees have been cut down. Easy pickings for them. Where is deforestation most likely to occur? Around human settlements, especially for purposes of agriculture. Do we grow cows or soybeans? ‘Nuff said.

    I love the way Brazil is one of the world’s biggest producers of soybeans, also home to the Amazon jungle and the vegans have decided the rainforest is being cut for grazing cattle and for NO OTHER REASON–I wonder if they check the source of soybeans for their tofu?

  23. BigMIke says:

    BigMIke…

    I am So Lucky That I found your blog and great articles. I will come to your blog often for finding new great articles from your blog.I am adding your rss feed in my reader Thank you…

  24. Matt says:

    Hey tom, great news. You don’t have to stop breathing. Now how about we apply this sensible logic to cows.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2225286?nav=wp

    Is it also safe for me to belch?

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