The News from the Barnyard Is Bleak…..
Did you realize that methane is 21 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2? Sheep, cattle, even horses are fouling our planet at an unrelenting pace.
Our ranchers and farmers graze some 60 million cattle on the western plains, so now there are loud complaints about the ruminating cattle that tread our fruited plains, expelling vast noxious clouds of planet-killing methane.
What to do?
The United States EPA has a rescue plan. To advance the War on Methane and reduce the cow population, they’ve proposed a tax of $175 a year per head on the cattle of America.
But I’m really stumped this time. I mean, why aren’t we already dead? Or did Buffalo Bill save planet earth?
Before the coming of the nefarious Europeans, the plains and prairies were not empty. Vast herds of bison roamed the West. Some have estimated their numbers as high as 75 million. Bear in mind that bison are significantly larger than domestic cattle and their methane production even more prodigious. All this is made even worse by the fact that thoughtless consumption of grasses increases gaseous output as compared, say, to Bossie chowing down on corn and grains. So it seems likely that not too long ago, the buffalo-induced spiraling methane levels may have accelerated the greenhouse effect to deadly levels and burned the earth to a cinder. All before we were even born.
But as was his custom, Buffalo Bill Cody arrived in the nick of time.
With guns blazing and ammo by the wagonload, Bill and his hearty band of heroes dispatched the threatening beasts by the hundreds, and then the thousands, until after thirty years of unrelenting targeted dedication, the prairie air could finally blow clean and sweet and safe.
If you are alive and can read this today, perhaps you should pause to thank Buffalo Bill, —the accidental environmentalist.