Iím not a political person. Iím too busy trying to keep up with my goats. It really takes something unusual to catch my attention in the political arena and finally something has. It almost blew right past me before I caught a whiff of something strange happening out there in the world. Itís New Zealandís Flatulence, er, Windy tax that they are trying to hit their farmers with. Not that itís going to be put on the farmers, but on their livestock.
Iíve always been an admirer of New Zealandís cost effective ways of raising goats. They are able to raise goats on pasture and then be able to afford to ship this product to different countries and make a tidy profit. Most commercial goat growers in the US have problems breaking even just hauling their goats 2-4 hrs. down the road to the nearest sale. But, the winds of change may halt this New Zealand efficiency, if their government has anything to say about it.
Itís something called the Kyoto Protocol Treaty that New Zealandís government has whole heartedly signed their country into. This treaty is to stop that hole in our ozone layer from getting bigger. Of course, many other scientist say there is not a hole in the ozone layer. It is a continuing debate, but many people have jumped on the band wagon hole and have decided to do something about the maybe or maybe not hole. Kyoto simply makes its signed-on countries clean up their air.
Iím betting New Zealand didnít even think it had an air problem. Everyone immediately thinks of industry as the polluter of air. New Zealand is an agriculture country, only four million people, 45 million sheep, 10 million cows and a nice size group of goats and deer. Then someone figured out that one cow could produce enough gas (both from the front & back end of the cow) in one year to drive a car 600 miles. Holy Moley! Tap, tap tap, on the old calculator and it figured that New Zealandís livestock is producing 40% of the problem air of their country. Of course thatís only 1-2 % of what the rest of the European countries and the US produce in nasty air.
Forget about what the developing nations such as China is producing in bad air. It seems the Kyoto Protocol leaves developing nations alone, in spite of the fact China rivals the US in air pollution, plus they have 290 million sheep to the USís 10 million sheep.
So, what is New Zealandís government wanting to try? The Flatulence Tax. Hit the farmer with a tax on all of his belching and windy livestock. This tax would then be used to study the problem of belching and windiness. They can either find a way to harness this great resource or they can find a way to reduce this great resource.
We can either be driving into gas stations that have signs proudly bragging on their "natural organic" gas, or we can control the gassiness of the livestock. I can see farmers over there now buying special harnesses to strap to their livestock with tanks hanging on either side of the animal. The farmer allows the livestock to graze a while and then he slaps a cone shaped thing to the animalís mouth and back end with hoses attached to the tanks and watches the little meter on the animalís harness to see when the tanks are full of "natural gases". When they are full, he hurriedly takes the cones off, let the animals graze some more, switches tanks, and waits for the next round of gas. Sure, why not? What else does a farmer have to do?
So, how about controlling that gassiness. Tests have proven that the cows in England do not produce as much gas as the cows in New Zealand. Supposedly because they are on poorer yet more expensive diets, not like the rich and money wise cheap grasslands New ZealandĎs livestock graze on. Sometimes I wonder about the people who think up these tests. Talk about quirky minds. I always thought a day being a goat farmer can be awfully strange sometimes, but think what kind of day these people are having in their studies. Being a goat farmer is down right tame in comparison.
We can genetically change the animal so he is not windy. ????? Sew up all the holes? Or we can change the animalís diet. Instead of the extremely efficient and cost effective way the farmer is doing it over in New Zealand, weíll just have to think of something entirely more costly to feed the livestock to keep the belching and windiness down. Great idea! Agriculture will go down the tubes and then they can start developing factories over in New Zealand to replace the agricultural community and what a better world it will be then.
Personally, I think they should forget the supposedly gassy livestock. Isnít anyone catching how many people there are over there? Has anyone tested them for their belching and gassiness? Now just think of how many people there are in the world. I bet people far surpass the cow, with the kind of diets we tend to live on. I think we are missing out on a great resource here. Think how easy it would be to train people to save all belches and windiness and store it in containers. I believe I have met, and quickly tried to leave, some people who could be considered extremely valuable - the super windy person, especially after feeding them a bean dinner or giving them fresh fruit.
Just think, your family alone might produce enough "natural" gas to heat your house, run the car, run the lights and computer. Hey, maybe produce enough to sell and receive a check every month. Forget about solar power, forget about windy livestock, I think we are on to something now. Where are those people who do studies? I need to talk to one. Oh, yeah, and forget about the Tums. You might be destroying a valuable resource.