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The Forum > Article Comments > Calculating the emissions from a 'Standard Cow' > Comments

Calculating the emissions from a 'Standard Cow' : Comments

By Tom Quirk, published 2/12/2008

A carbon tax on agriculture is one of the more stupid aspects of emissions trading in carbon dioxide.

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A carbon tax on agriculture is one of the more stupid aspects of emissions trading in carbon dioxide.

All aspects of emissions trading in carbon dioxide are stupid; except for the Government of course.

The Government will rake in the cash as another levy, and climate change will not be alleviated one little bit.
Posted by Mr. Right, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 9:34:22 AM
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This makes about as much sense as putting a carbon tax on beans and beer plus many other consumables that might cause the human body to elicit a bit of wind. How about a tax on dairy products - but payable only by those with lactose intolerance?

Maybe catalytic converters for all mammals should be the "next big thing"
Posted by Bruce, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 10:42:38 AM
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I agree that the greenhouse effects of agriculture and forestry are too hard to measure and should therefore be omitted. The real villains are fossil fuels that were living things up to 400 million years ago and should now be removed only slowly from underground. However a focus on fossil fuels will still have a dramatic effect on agriculture. Diesel for on-farm machinery and crop transport, electricity for processing and fertiliser will all be affected by carbon constraints and depletion. Fossil fuels should be penalised at source (ex mine or factory) or upon entry to Australia. By 'penalise' I mean that the seller has to buy permits under the ETS. Nitrogen fertiliser such as urea is an oddity in that it produces CO2 in its manufacture then greenhouse hyper-unfriendly nitrous oxide N2O as it breaks down. Permits to cover both GHGs should be bought not by the farmer but by the fertiliser manufacturer.

As if water woes aren't enough farming will get much harder just by targetting the major fossil inputs. In fact I suggest that Asia's taste for Australian beef may be dramatically curtailed and the bush socialists will call for it to be subsidised. Eating other forms of local protein apparently won't be an option.

Reading the Garnaut reports all this is covered but I think our idiot politicians will make a mess of it like the tax system. The minister for beef exports will want one lot of giveaways and the minister for gas something else. Thank God most of the cheap fossil carbon will be used up within twenty years though we'll have an altered climate.
Posted by Taswegian, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 12:06:04 PM
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I see that we have three or possibly four posts by IPA clones today.

T S Eliot was anticapting the rise to power and influence of Milton Friedman and his many admirers or clones via the title and content of his poem

We Are The Hollow Men.

Plus the title and contents of a book by Herbert Marcuse titled One Dimensional Man seems quite apt too.

Speaking of cows and its associated cow-BOY "culture" motivated by the never-ending power and control driven search for new frontiers to conquer, even including outer space, or the heavens, via the militarisation of space, this reference addresses the hidden costs and conquences of such a frontier "culture".

Suggesting that it is time to kick the habit of living high off the cow or hog.

http://adelicatebalance.com.au

Plus two related references.

The Bridge at the Edge of the World via:

http://www.thebridgeattheedgeoftheworld.com/home

The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann google for various references.

Plus we have seen how the Friedman inspired Chicago Boyz really operate via The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.

Ah the wonders of "free" markets. ESPECIALLY when you put in place laws that abolish ALL other possibilities, and circumscribe the emergence of any real alternative.

And even more so when you have the police and army on your side to ENFORCE the transition after the NECESSARY shocks have been applied.

Plus I quite like the recent (since Sept 11) works of John Gray re the delusions of the neo-liberal "free"-market utopian fantasies.
Posted by Ho Hum, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 12:24:56 PM
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It is clear that most of the Commenters on Tom Quirk's excellent piece have misunderstood it. His point is that livestock cannot exhale or excrete more than they have inhaled or eaten. It is a commentary on the level of science in Australia that the Garnaut Review can produce such rubbish as its claim that net livestock emissions are larger than those from transport etc without a single current academic scientist raising a dissenting voice. Admittedly any doing so at ANU or Monash (or CSIRO) would soon be shown the door. The main comfort from the closure of most industry and agriculture upon adoption of the ETS is that the resulting government revenue deficit will entail richly deserved budget cuts for said institutions.
Posted by Tom Tiddler, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 3:47:50 PM
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*It is a commentary on the level of science in Australia that the Garnaut Review can produce such rubbish *

It certainly is rubbish, for they seem to have spent no time thinking
things through. Remove livestock from the environment and your
fuel load increases. By the time summer comes around, it all dries
out and with the next lightning strike, up she goes with a woosh.

IIRC it was similar lack of thought that landed up burning down
parts of Canberra last time. Without livestock, the fires would
be far more intense with the increasing fuel loads and anything
in their path would go. But learn the hard way they must, it seems.
Posted by Yabby, Tuesday, 2 December 2008 7:22:27 PM
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