Sunday, August 21, 2016

Climate Change... The Latest Episode.

Reading the Wall Street Journal is usually pretty dry stuff, but every now and then...

The August 13/14 weekend edition had an opinion piece ("California's Cow Police") on "enteric fermentation" which is a concern, growing louder, in the debate over climate change and air quality in California.  The short word for enteric fermentation i"flatulence" (there are also several even shorter, oft used four letter descriptors). It seems that the California Air Resources Board has "quietly released" regulations to cut the state's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

It wasn't me!

The principal obstacle to meeting these goals apparently is methane gas, which is described as "a short-lived climate pollutant" with "an out-sized impact on climate change in the short term". Methane is mostly produced by cows, but California dairy farmers are struggling with how to get the cows to agree to the politically mandated 40% reduction in methane levels. As the WSJ so appropriately notes: "Many California dairy farms have already been converted into nut farms, which are more economical amid the state's high regulatory costs". With current regulatory overreach, it is not too hard to imagine even more of California turning into "nut farms"...

But, the real concern is...

Was that an "episodic event"?
... that the political elite of the state, in their earnest eagerness to save the climate and "clear the air," will expand the "reduced gas" regulation to other mammals, including their human constituents! Research shows [link - see "Bottoms"] that the average human (your "peer group"?) "releases" up to three pints of gas each day in 10-15 "episodes"! If humans are required by regulation to reduce their episodic events by 40%, it could become problematic, particularly for males. Folks beyond a certain age will most certainly require waivers... and what will we do with fat babies?

'Course this may be a great technology
Maybe even with "alerts"!
opportunity for someone to come out with "an episode app"... y'know something like Fitbit, that will count and report... well you get the idea. Less promising is the rumor that California politicos are considering a tax on excessive enertic fermentation, even though most Californians feel their gas taxes are already high enough.

Pass it on!

Will be interesting to see how this comes out. 

[They may be looking on "the wrong coast" for the biggest source of the problem.]


William Brooks said...

I certainly hope they do not demand some type of recycling program.

Anonymous said...

Like cars will we have emission standards?

Anonymous said...

May I ask who gets the "alert"?