1. souse, n.5: 3. A drunkard. slang (chiefly U.S.). (OED)
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Taxing Cow Farts

Ezra Klein reports a growing consensus, through both an amendment and an EPA resolution, to add methane production from large beef and dairy operations to the carbon taxing/permitting process.

This is frabjous news. Because it would specifically apply to large operations (with more than 25 dairy or 50 beef cattle, or producing more than 100 tons carbon a year) it would eliminate some of the efficiencies in scale which large beef operations enjoy in the market place and use to crowd out smaller local producers. While this would make beef and dairy as a whole *more expensive* [EDIT], it would reduce the difference in cost between local, artisan beef or dairy products, and large industrial chain products. Which would truly rock. Imagine being able to find heirloom breeds of beef, from local herds, at your local supermarket...

In related news, the talented videographer and I once entertained making a cow fart documentary if our careers collapsed. A major portion would be devoted to the environmental impact of cow farts, and in particular, technologies to reclaim cow (and even human) methane for fuel -- what one witty writer has termed "brown gold."

One challenge for the documentary was finding an appropriately fragrant name. "Moooot"? "Airy Dairy"?

1 comment:

Carrie Oliver said...

I'm not following your logic here unless it's tongue-in-cheek? 50 head of cattle is a very small farm. I'll leave it here for now but happy to engage in further dialog.