There is a way to make California green.
Kill all the cows.
Cut down all the trees.
And tax the rich to death.
It makes sense.
Cows, we are told, generate 14.5 percent of all the methane gas in the world.
Methane is bad.
It warms the atmosphere.
Then there are the trees.
Trees have a nasty habit of burning.
When they burn they create greenhouse gas.
California’s 2020 wildfire season created double the greenhouse gas that the Golden State reduced in a 16 year-period ending in 2019.
That’s according to research that the Environmental Pollution journal printed.
Eliminate the trees, reduce greenhouse gas.
It’s that simple, right?
So what if they create oxygen.
Trees are undermining the green movement’s objective.
It is necessary to destroy California in order to save it.
Then there is Proposition 30.
Tax the rich to subsidize electric vehicles for low-income Californians.
Funny, but tech firms that make a killing via the gig economy — think Lyft — are all for it.
So are the Elon Musks of the tech world that will sell the EVs.
Tax the rich to make others rich.
It makes sure low-income people that need gig jobs driving can still produce money for Lyft without benefit of healthcare, retirement, and a real pay check when gas cars are outlawed.
Then there are the inconvenient truths.
Research reports, actually.
Like the one the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District referenced a few years back.
They were arguing against a federal threat to curtail funding for highway projects if pollution levels didn’t drop.
One little problem.
Research showed you could take every vehicle, truck, train as well as farm and construction equipment out of the valley and they’d still be pollution.
Must be those pesky wildfires.
Or perhaps the breezes that clear pollution out of the Bay Area and send it into the air trap know as the Central Valley.
That means expensive EVs — sold as the panacea for California’s greenhouse gas woes — aren’t the end all.
Actually, most experts called scientists never said that was the case.
The modern version of the Greek Chorus — the Greenies Chorus — said that was the case.
The sky, as their inner Chicken Little is saying, is falling down.
Remember “Silent Spring”?
It was written by Rachel Carson in 1962.
The premise was byproducts of science — pesticides, genetically altered food, and other modern-day inventions that weren’t naturally based were bad.
They were going to destroy the planet.
Contrast that draconian prediction of the future with “Chemicals and Pests”.
It was written in 1962 as a review of “Silent Spring”.
Penned by I.L. Baldwin, a professor of agricultural bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin, it appeared in the Science journal.
Baldwin, who led a committee of the National Academy of Sciences that studied how pesticides impact wildlife, wrote the following: “Mankind has been engaged in the process of upsetting the balance of nature since the dawn of civilization.”
He believed the very existence of civilization required scientists, farmers, and doctors waging “an unrelenting war.”
That war targeted disease parasites and insects.
Carson’s book was indeed a wake-up call.
But the wake-up call needed wasn’t that all chemicals are evil.
Instead, it should have been to embrace the adage, “There are no harmless chemicals, only harmless use of chemicals.”
What this has to do with greenhouse gas is simple.
We are told, to follow the science.
Even though we think we do that, we don’t.
We follow our biases to select scientific conclusions that support our views.
Indiscriminate use of chemicals is bad.
But the indiscriminate banning of chemicals can even be worse.
Take the bans on various chemicals over the years that fought mosquitoes in Third World countries.
Every ban brought severe gains in cases of human suffering from malaria and other diseases.
Civilization is a balancing act.
And it requires a careful review of all research.
Take the war on Bessie.
The belching and flatulence of cows account for 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas production in the world.
Most consider that fact.
But there are nuances that can put that in perspective instead of rising up against the use of cows to produce milk and feed people
Up in Davis at the University of California campus they are carefully examining cows and their 220 pound average annual production methane gas.
The Profession Frank Mitloehnerm, an air quality specialist, underscores why you should follow the science.
All the research that has taken place over the years has increased crop production while reducing the negatives that include high water consumption, excessive use of fertilizes, pesticides, and pollution concerns.
Methane gas is serious stuff.
Mitloehner points out methane from cows doesn’t linger as long as carbon dioxide.
That said, when it comes to global warming it is about 28 times more potent than methane.
But here’s the kicker.
In the United States cows represent 4 percent of greenhouse gas production, compared to 14.5 percent worldwide.
Why is that?
Credit genetics, nutrition, and better breeding.
They have increased the efficiency of cows.
Fifty years ago, there were 140 million head of cattle in the USA.
Per capita beef consumption in 1976 was 67.9 pounds. There were 218 million Americans in 1976. And there were 140 million cows.
Per capital beef consumption in 2017 was 41.6 pounds. There were 325.1 million Americans in 2017. And there were 90 million cows.
That is 18.8 percent less beef per capita with 51 percent more people and 35.7 percent less cows.
Cattle in the USA are producing more beef.
Cattle in the USA are feeding more people.
We are doing better.
Follow the science and you’ll see the best strategy for the advancement of civilization and combatting greenhouse gas emissions.
The real challenge in the greenhouse gas struggle involving farming is exporting our agricultural practices for adoption where it makes sense.
It is not green shaming this country’s farming back into the Stone Age.
This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at email@example.com