Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Cow Flatulence No Longer a Laughing Matter

 

We all giggled, guffawed, or groaned at the Green New Deal’s line about cow flatulence causing the end of the world. We wiped up the coffee we had spewed over our phone or keyboard. Then we went about our lives as if this was not a clear and present danger.

Well, the dairy farmers of Wisconsin, the state built on (dairy cow) cheese and beer, are not laughing now. No farmer across this country should be in anything but full fight mode now. There is no flight option. John Hinderaker of PowerLine Blog has the story [emphasis added]:

The Green New Deal, and similar environmental initiatives, have little to do with the environment and much to do with the Left’s desire to control every aspect of our lives. Because everything we do, beginning with breathing, involves emission of carbon dioxide or other “greenhouse gases.” AOC’s Green New Deal specifically proposed, among other things, that all air travel be banned and that all cows be done away with because they produce methane.

…Today’s decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals (which may have been justified by a completely different issue that the Court addressed) should be a wake-up call to all Americans that liberals aren’t kidding when they say they want to prevent us from eating meat, or drinking milk or consuming other dairy products, in the name of “climate change.” The battle has been joined, and if normal Americans don’t get engaged, the Left will win. As they did today.

Read the rest at the link. The case is In the Matter of the Decision on the Need for an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Daley Farms of Lewiston, LLP – 2018 Dairy Expansion Utica Township. While no federal court is bound by this case, count on this being cited as persuasive authority in every state court across the country where Lab Coat Leftist professional litigants spot a judge sympathetic to the fundamental transformation of America.

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There are 35 comments.

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  1. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    We need to take AOC and the Democrat POTUS candidates seriously. Why we find them funny serious people spending serious money has decided that they have tapped into America’s id and plan to ride it and their corrupt system right over all that oppose them.

    • #1
    • October 14, 2019, at 6:47 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    How is this elimination by regulation any different from the mass slaughter of the American Bison in the 19th century? Phil Sheridan is supposed to have quipped that eliminating the bison would bring lasting peace and advance civilization by pressuring the Indians to stay on the reservation. Some of these cow fart activists assert the same thing…lasting peace and advancement of civilization if we would just stop consuming dairy. Holy [COC].

    • #2
    • October 14, 2019, at 6:49 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Joe Boyle Member

    Remember when SSM was funny proposal that would happen?

    • #3
    • October 14, 2019, at 7:02 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    I’m sure North Dakota will welcome a 4000 cow dairy farm.

    • #4
    • October 14, 2019, at 7:11 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    I’m sure North Dakota will welcome a 4000 cow dairy farm.

    Yes, until a federal judge applies this same political ruling.

    • #5
    • October 14, 2019, at 8:53 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. Sweezle Member

    I was so relieved that AOC announced this weekend she would not be reproducing. She can’t bear the idea of bringing a child into the world that hasn’t fully adopted her climate change green new deal solutions. Yipppeeee!

    • #6
    • October 14, 2019, at 8:53 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  7. DonG Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    I’m sure North Dakota will welcome a 4000 cow dairy farm.

    Yes, until a federal judge applies this same political ruling.

    But this is a state law, right?

    • #7
    • October 14, 2019, at 9:03 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. The Reticulator Member

    Section 16 in Utica Township, Winona County, eh? I see from my records that I rode past that operation two years and two weeks ago. I had started the day in Genoa WI and ended up in St. Charles MN, a ride of 81 miles, which may have been my longest for that year. It was about sundown when I got to Lewiston, where the Utica Township Hall is located. It was dark by the time I got to our motel in St. Charles, 11 miles away, even though I rode as fast as I could. So I’m sure I didn’t pay much attention to the Daley farm as I rode past. From Google Satellite View it looks like a big operation, but the extent of it may not be so visible from the road, anyway.

    By the way, the road through the Daleys’ farm happens to be US Highway 14, of Little House on the Prairie fame. Many of the Ingalls’ residences, from Little House in the Big Woods through the Banks of Plum Creek and on to The Long Winter, were located on or near present-day US-14.

    As to the case, I’m not a big fan of Environmental Impact Statements, because they allow too much room for arbitrariness and corruption.

    The issue of water pollution from concentrating a large dairy herd in one location is a legitimate concern, though, and is a legitimate subject of regulation. The issue of methane production is a little different, though. To the extent that cow methane becomes atmospheric methane, it doesn’t matter so much whether it all comes from one point source, a hundred point sources, or a million point sources.

    If the Daleys are going to increase their herd size, when all is said and done it will be at the cost of driving smaller dairy farmers out of business. That’s been the way agriculture has changed over the past 150 years or more. “Get big or get out,” is the way Nixon’s Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz, put it. Those who don’t get big will get out. So if the Daleys concentrate 4000 more cows in their central operation, roughly 4000 other cows will no longer be producing methane at their current locations. (Some of those cows will go to the hamburger factories.) So even if methane production is a legitimate concern, putting the onus on the Daleys is not right, no matter how much we may dislike seeing “get big or get out” in action.

    BTW, I have relatives who are dairy farmers in Minnesota, though not near Lewiston. It’s not easy for them to cope with these trends.

    • #8
    • October 14, 2019, at 9:08 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  9. Judge Mental Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    To the extent that cow methane becomes atmospheric methane, it doesn’t matter so much whether it all comes from one point source, a hundred point sources, or a million point sources.

    Unless you’re downwind.

    • #9
    • October 14, 2019, at 9:12 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. The Reticulator Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    To the extent that cow methane becomes atmospheric methane, it doesn’t matter so much whether it all comes from one point source, a hundred point sources, or a million point sources.

    Unless you’re downwind.

    Well, that’s a concern with a lot of agricultural operations around residential areas, but I assume the stuff that’s where you can smell it isn’t affecting the climate much. 

    • #10
    • October 14, 2019, at 9:16 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    DonG (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    I’m sure North Dakota will welcome a 4000 cow dairy farm.

    Yes, until a federal judge applies this same political ruling.

    But this is a state law, right?

    Yes, sorta. That is, state environmental law must be at least as strict as federal regulations, and you can see both cited in the opinion. 

    • #11
    • October 14, 2019, at 10:49 PM PST
    • Like
  12. PHCheese Member

    Large factory dairy farms have been the norm in California for years. The average herd size runs about 1500 with some as large as 15,000. The picture of a cow standing in a field is out dated. Most spend their entire lives standing on a concrete floor in a small stall in a big barn and when their milk production drops they go to slaughter .

    • #12
    • October 15, 2019, at 5:42 AM PST
    • Like
  13. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    The picture of a cow standing in a field is out dated.

    I drove past two standing in a field on the way to the gun range Saturday. I did not notice any methane.

    • #13
    • October 15, 2019, at 5:55 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. The Reticulator Member

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Large factory dairy farms have been the norm in California for years. The average herd size runs about 1500 with some as large as 15,000. The picture of a cow standing in a field is out dated. Most spend their entire lives standing on a concrete floor in a small stall in a big barn and when their milk production drops they go to slaughter .

    There are some operations in the American midwest and in other countries (Netherlands, New Zealand) that are trying to reverse that trend and go back to pasture-based dairy, where the cows spend more time grazing. It works best in climates with a long enough growing season to make it worth the the annual transition from barn to pasture, and then back again. Robots to do the milking also help. Research on these methods is being done at my old workplace, though I am by no means up-to-date on it.

    The folks at the university’s cheesemaking plant said you could tell the difference just by smell when our cows’ milk from the summer season was being processed. The cheese was good quality stuff.

    And there was supposed to be some reduction in medical costs, because it’s healthier for the cows to be out walking in the pastures than standing on a concrete floor. So the veterinary bills are lower.

    But it’s probably still the case that the real money is to be made by concentrating on quantity rather than quality, which means consolidating, concentrating cows into smaller areas, and scaling up, up, and up. lt’s a great system for the manufacture of socialism.

     

    • #14
    • October 15, 2019, at 6:06 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. Stad Thatcher

    If cow farts are such a huge problem, does that mean we’ll get a ban on people eating Mexican food? Hope not . . .

    • #15
    • October 15, 2019, at 6:18 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  16. The Reticulator Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    If cow farts are such a huge problem, does that mean we’ll get a ban on people eating Mexican food? Hope not . . .

    There will be bans and mandates on everything. There are people who live to ban and mandate things. So if you build it, they will ban it. But first they will mandate it.

    • #16
    • October 15, 2019, at 6:22 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Stad (View Comment):

    If cow farts are such a huge problem, does that mean we’ll get a ban on people eating Mexican food? Hope not . . .

    Are you kidding? Can’t ban anything foreign. They are just better people than us Americans

    • #17
    • October 15, 2019, at 8:52 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Jimmy Carter Member

    Hay, Stad, I think You’ve got a case against the cows for cultural appropriation. 

    • #18
    • October 15, 2019, at 9:01 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Cow Girl Thatcher

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    If the Daleys are going to increase their herd size, when all is said and done it will be at the cost of driving smaller dairy farmers out of business. That’s been the way agriculture has changed over the past 150 years or more. “Get big or get out,” is the way Nixon’s Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz, put it.

    This is what happened to our family. My great-grandparents started with a couple of cows. Their son expanded into a herd, and he and his neighbors started a cheese factory as a way to market their milk from a remote mountain valley. My parents continued the dairy farming life when they married, and my sisters and I all grew up milking our three dozen cows, and that milk was made into cheese, too. My brother took over the farm, increased the herd size to a couple hundred, built a modern milking barn, etc. etc.

    That lasted about 20 years for him, and then he had to sell the cows or lose the whole farm. He now lives in a nearby small city, and makes a living selling farm equipment to BIG farmers. The farm he bought from our parents is now rented by other people who grow crops there, but in our whole valley–no dairies any more. The cheese factory was closed more than 30 years ago.

    I visited the Tillamook Valley in Oregon a couple of years ago. Those lucky cows eat grass all year round, and the Tillamook Dairy business is thriving! Niche farms, or factory farms–that’s about it now.

    • #19
    • October 15, 2019, at 10:25 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  20. Bill Nelson Member

    As a youth I spent a lot of time at the back end of cows, and it is indeed not a pleasant place to be. But it is a necessary place to be.

     

    • #20
    • October 15, 2019, at 10:45 AM PST
    • 1 like
  21. Manny Member

    Well, my supposed average of 18 farts per day is impacting the environment too! Shortly I will need an environmental impact statement for my a$$. Judging by the reaction to when I exit the bathroom and a family member immediately enters, I think I may need a hazard assessment as well. ;)

    • #21
    • October 15, 2019, at 10:46 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  22. DonG Coolidge

    OK. I read the decision. It basically says the state has to consider GHG when issuing permits for feed lots. This is required, because the state elsewhere passed a law saying it was a goal to reduce GHG the form used and process had zero consideration.

    The environmental agency will create some rules and change the form and then return to issuing permits. I don’t think the long-term will require environmental impact studies for most permits. There will be “rules of thumb” and thresholds and most permits will be issued that way. In Texas, we call the process “permit by rule”. 

     

    A few other details.
    * Methane comes out of the mouth of a cow as part of digestion process.
    * Methane lasts 14 days in the atmosphere before breaking down.
    * Cows eat plants, which have sucked CO2 out of the air. It could be that Cows are GHG neutral.
    * Lastly, Global Warming is a Socialist Scam.

    • #22
    • October 15, 2019, at 11:13 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  23. Full Size Tabby Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    If cow farts are such a huge problem, does that mean we’ll get a ban on people eating Mexican food? Hope not . . .

    Are you kidding? Can’t ban anything foreign. They are just better people than us Americans

    But “Mexican” food served in the United States isn’t real Mexican food, and so banning it isn’t banning a foreign thing.

    Alternative: Ban applies only to people not of Mexican ethnic heritage (“gringos”), who are improperly culturally appropriating Mexican food anyway.

    <sarcasm off>

    • #23
    • October 15, 2019, at 11:13 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Full Size Tabby Member

    This may be a little too lawyerly for this discussion (and its not directly related to cow farts), but the part of the case that really stuck out to me (a lawyer) is that the lawsuit that produced the decision was filed by a private entity having no particular connection to the farm, after the government had issued the required permits. If a person or business cannot rely on getting government permits as evidence that it has complied with the law, what’s the point of government permits?

    Allowing political activists to sue a person or a business because the activists don’t like the way the town handles the permitting process allows political activists to take people hostage in the activists’ fights with the government. In my political (not legal) opinion, if the activists think the town’s permitting process doesn’t take proper account of things that the activists think are required, the activists should be required to take that up with the town, not to use the residents and businesses as hostages.

    • #24
    • October 15, 2019, at 11:26 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  25. Stad Thatcher

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    But “Mexican” food served in the United States isn’t real Mexican food, and so banning it isn’t banning a foreign thing.

    Are you implying it doesn’t give me real gas? The horror!

    • #25
    • October 15, 2019, at 12:19 PM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Stad Thatcher

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Allowing political activists to sue a person or a business because the activists don’t like the way the town handles the permitting process allows political activists to take people hostage in the activists’ fights with the government.

    Is the term “standing”? I seem to remember the term from my days as an environmental engineer. Plaintiffs had to have standing in order to sue . . .

    • #26
    • October 15, 2019, at 12:21 PM PST
    • 1 like
  27. Unsk Member

    “There will be bans and mandates on everything.”

    Don’t you know our betters know what’s best for us, and regulating your life to the most minute detail is of course warranted without question. Why it’s for the “general welfare”, don’t ya know. 

    In all due deference to DonG, Tabby, and Stad, these legal precepts you were taught that we once thought were the foundation of our Rule of Law thingy like Due Process, etc. are now all open to question in our Living Breathing Constitutional Republic because they are: ( take your pick) are a integral part of the White Patriarchy, are hurting the environment and will contribute to the all too certain destruction of our planet, discriminating against the poor, the downtrodden, the Deep State, and /or whatever your favorite disadvantage minority is , yada, yada, yada. 

    One can only hope we will have a new conservative Supreme Court Justice real soon to replace RBG to give the conservative wing a working majority on the Court to rein in these absurd notions, but as long as we John Roberts as our swing vote the Judicial Reign of Terror will continue unabated. 

    • #27
    • October 15, 2019, at 1:21 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  28. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    This may be a little too lawyerly for this discussion (and its not directly related to cow farts), but the part of the case that really stuck out to me (a lawyer) is that the lawsuit that produced the decision was filed by a private entity having no particular connection to the farm, after the government had issued the required permits. If a person or business cannot rely on getting government permits as evidence that it has complied with the law, what’s the point of government permits?

    Allowing political activists to sue a person or a business because the activists don’t like the way the town handles the permitting process allows political activists to take people hostage in the activists’ fights with the government. In my political (not legal) opinion, if the activists think the town’s permitting process doesn’t take proper account of things that the activists think are required, the activists should be required to take that up with the town, not to use the residents and businesses as hostages.

    The problem is with the federal environmental laws, which empowered such professional litigants.

    • #28
    • October 15, 2019, at 1:22 PM PST
    • 1 like
  29. The Reticulator Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    This may be a little too lawyerly for this discussion (and its not directly related to cow farts), but the part of the case that really stuck out to me (a lawyer) is that the lawsuit that produced the decision was filed by a private entity having no particular connection to the farm, after the government had issued the required permits. If a person or business cannot rely on getting government permits as evidence that it has complied with the law, what’s the point of government permits?

    Allowing political activists to sue a person or a business because the activists don’t like the way the town handles the permitting process allows political activists to take people hostage in the activists’ fights with the government. In my political (not legal) opinion, if the activists think the town’s permitting process doesn’t take proper account of things that the activists think are required, the activists should be required to take that up with the town, not to use the residents and businesses as hostages.

    The problem is with the federal environmental laws, which empowered such professional litigants.

    And for that, I give partial blame to conservatives for not taking environmental issues seriously, thus leaving the field to the progressive left to design regulations that are as intrusive and burdensome as possible, designed to provide maximum employment and power for the ruling class. 

    • #29
    • October 15, 2019, at 2:23 PM PST
    • 1 like
  30. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    And for that, I give partial blame to conservatives for not taking environmental issues seriously, thus leaving the field to the progressive left to design regulations that are as intrusive and burdensome as possible, designed to provide maximum employment and power for the ruling class. 

    Yes. Nixon gave us the EPA. Reagan tried to limit the damage, but the Bushes did us no favors. President Trump is the first in a long time to take rolling back the regulatory state seriously, but is limited by the bad laws the legislative geniuses Ryan and McConnell did nothing to correct. Unless I missed something.

    • #30
    • October 15, 2019, at 3:55 PM PST
    • Like
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