Saturday, May 8, 2010


Pressed for time today so reposting an old somewhat humorous article I wrote awhile back.

Recently the EPA proposed a tax on cow emissions. It seems that cow farts are made primarily of methane, CH4 a greenhouse gas linked to global warming. The EPA is considering a tax of somewhere between $100 and $135 per cow tax as a sort of carbon credit tax to off set this pollution.

My friend, Don who lives down the street and is somewhat of an inventor read the article and started to work on this problem. By the way, he does have several patents on some rather obscure items already. The other day he came by and showed me the product of his months of work, some of which was done under the cloak of secrecy. The device was small, about the size of a baseball and enclosed in a small black plastic case. Don, my friend, trembled as he showed me the small black box and began to explain how it worked. This device, he explained would burn off those terrible greenhouse gases before they melted the polar caps. The main component was a small computerized CH4 detector. For those who are not literate in chemistry CH4 is methane, the primary gas in cow flatulents. Don had installed a small spark igniter on one end of the device that would emit a spark when activated by the CH4 detector. Excited, he continued, saying that when installed near the rear end of a cow and CH4 was detected the activation would occur and a sudden flame would appear at the cow's anus opening. Quickly he let me know he had already tested the unique device on his brothers nearby farm. He then described how he installed the black box and how he had followed the cow around the barnyard for several hours waiting for the moment, and at one time thinking he had failed. But then he face glowed as he described the great event. Suddenly, and without warning a long flame shot from the cow's butt. Don said the cow was startled, but quickly regained her composure and continued as if nothing had happened. However, the same couldn't be said for the bull who was following along behind sniffing as bulls often do.

Yea, the above paragraph is fiction, but the story is meant to point out something that many often overlook. The law of unintended consequences. Don had a great idea, but he forgot about the bull. The radical environmentalist at the EPA may have a good idea, but they are forgetting about the people--the people who drink milk, the people who use butter, the people who eat beef, the ranchers who grow beef, the diary farmers who produce milk, the hundreds of thousands of other workers that depend on these cows for their livelihoods. And they want to do this because some say the climate might be warming and the warming might be caused by cow farts.

by Ron Russell

Bookmark and Share

Post a Comment