You Have Got To Be Kidding

Everyday that you pick up the newspaper or turn on the TV, there is a story about climate change, carbon footprints and someone demanding somebody else to do something about the world coming to an end. It is always your fault for causing all of the problems and never those who are gripping about the polar ice cap becoming the next retirement spot to move to for winter warmth. Everyone knows that it was always colder, the snow deeper and we were all poorer back when a person was growing up. If that is the case, then all you have to do to make yourself profitable, the winters warmer and it to rain rather than snow is to grow up.
 
For a couple of years now I’ve heard nothing but complaints from some groups attempting to promote vegetarian diets on how cows in this country are destroying the planet with their carbon footprints. I’ve seen a lot of cow footprints in muddy barn lots over the years working with cattle and I’ve never noticed a lot of carbon on them, but if cows are doing so much damage, maybe we need to take a look at what other animals are doing as well. I know cows are pretty large animals, but could not the shear number of some other animals do greater harm?
 
Thanks to a French news source of AFP, I have now seen some information that sort of backs the theory that even dogs and cats have some fairly large carbon footprints as well. In a story entitled, Polluting Pets: The Devastating Impact of Man’s Best Friend,” Isabelle Toussaint and Jurgen Hecker discuss some interesting results that a couple in New Zealand have discovered in analyzing popular brands of pet food eaten by medium size dogs and the carbon footprint required to feed the animals.
 
The article reports that Robert and Brenda Vale, who are specialists in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington, have determined that a medium size dog has an annual footprint of land requirement around 2.07 acres to provide its food. The article went on to say for a 4X4 driving 6,200
miles, its land requirement, including the energy to build the car, is twice as less as that for dogs.
And, the Vales also say that other animals aren’t much better for the environment. Cats, hamsters, and even goldfish have carbon footprints that add to environment woes says the Vales. I’m still trying to understand a footprint from a goldfish, but if you look at the number of dogs and cats just around Tennessee, that is a lot of acres needed to keep them fed along with the carbon footprint messing up the environment.
 
For years we have had agriculture accused of environmental problems, but now out of France, farms are taking the back seat in being the bad guy in the news and dogs are being seen as dangerous polluters in the recent article from AFP. They are talking about how their waste increases high bacterial levels, damaging streams and killing aquatic life in France. Sound familiar?
 
But, the dog and cat owners are not taking kindly to the Vales reports and a new book they have written. It seems they are taking offense to the suggestions of Fido polluting and melting the North Pole. However, the Vales seem to suggest that you get a chicken if you want a pet. That way the carbon footprint is smaller, you can have eggs every morning and after you’re through with it as a pet, you’ve got Sunday dinner. Sounds sort of harsh, but not a whole lot harsher than what some dedicated climate change folks want to do by putting farmers out of business to do away with
livestock’s carbon footprints.
 
This climate change debate is going to be around for a good while and it is important that all sides keep their “cool” and avoid “warming” up the discussion to a point that no one hears the real science in the discussions and only listens to off-the-wall theories. Right now we are stuck in “Global Whining” more so than trying to hear both sides. Maybe to solve the problem we need to do as I mentioned in the first paragraph. Grow up.