New Zealand to tax bovine belches?
New Zealand, currently a large agricultural exporter, may soon become the first country to force farmers to pay for emissions from livestock, the country's Ministry for Environment said recently. The island nation released a draft plan that would tax agricultural emissions from belching sheep and cattle, beginning in 2025. Reports indicate that "short-lived" and "long-lived" gaseous emissions would be taxed differently, although a single measure to calculate their volume would be used.
Don't blame me.
Kiwi climate change minister James Shaw stated, "There is no question that we need to cut the amount of methane we are putting into the atmosphere, and an effective emissions pricing system for agriculture will play a key part in how we achieve that." Sure. Now tell us the one about the three bears.
The proposal includes incentives for farmers who reduce emissions through certain feed additives and allows on-farm forestry to be used to offset emissions. The Earth will be noticeably cooler by 2026, I'm sure.
Michael Ahie, chair of "He Waka Eke Noa," a partnership amonggovernment, the primary sector, and iwi/Māori designed to help equip farmers and growers to measure, manage, and reduce on-farm agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, opined, "Our recommendations enable sustainable food and fiber production for future generations while playing a fair part in meeting our country's climate commitments." He Waka what?
That's so much b------- (will New Zealand want to tax that, too?). This would be a serious disruption and detriment to the country's farmers and food producers. Just what that nation — and the world — needs now.
A final decision on the scheme is expected in December.
We used to esteem farmers. And now we propose to penalize them for providing food for us because their livestock may belch on occasion? How the times have changed. Perhaps a better approach would be for the government to leave farmers alone. Unfortunately, those who rule over us are utterly incapable of leaving things — or us — alone. If something must be done, how about giving the bovines a little milk of magnesia? That might be a bit ironic for a cow, but what the hay? Or maybe slip them some Pepto-Bismol? Di-Gel? Flaxseed?
We'd be better off addressing the emissions from Michael Moore, Joy Behar, Joy Reid, and Brian Stelter, among others. They are far more toxic.
If New Zealand ends up enacting the Belching Bovine Plan, it may not be a large agricultural exporter much longer.
Photo credit: Public domain.