Man’s Best Friend is Killing the Planet

In all the frenzy of Climate Change, Global Warming, Global Cooling, Kyoto, Copenhagen (the city not the snuff), etc. etc., evidently your lovable dog is killing the planet.  No, I’m not exaggerating. 

In an article from France entitled, “Polluting pets: the devastating impact of man’s best friend,” the author expounds on how detrimental dogs are to the planet.  I decided to reprint the whole article as I find it rather humorous.

PARIS (AFP) – Man’s best friend could be one of the environment’s worst enemies, according to a new study which says the carbon pawprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle.

But the revelation in the book “Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living” by New Zealanders Robert and Brenda Vale has angered pet owners who feel they are being singled out as troublemakers.

The Vales, specialists in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington, analysed popular brands of pet food and calculated that a medium-sized dog eats around 164 kilos (360 pounds) of meat and 95 kilos of cereal a year.

Combine the land required to generate its food and a “medium” sized dog has an annual footprint of 0.84 hectares (2.07 acres) — around twice the 0.41 hectares required by a 4×4 driving 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) a year, including energy to build the car.

To confirm the results, the New Scientist magazine asked John Barrett at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, Britain, to calculate eco-pawprints based on his own data. The results were essentially the same.

“Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat,” Barrett said.

Other animals aren’t much better for the environment, the Vales say.

Cats have an eco-footprint of about 0.15 hectares, slightly less than driving a Volkswagen Golf for a year, while two hamsters equates to a plasma television and even the humble goldfish burns energy equivalent to two mobile telephones.

But Reha Huttin, president of France’s 30 Million Friends animal rights foundation says the human impact of eliminating pets would be equally devastating.

“Pets are anti-depressants, they help us cope with stress, they are good for the elderly,” Huttin told AFP.

“Everyone should work out their own environmental impact. I should be allowed to say that I walk instead of using my car and that I don’t eat meat, so why shouldn’t I be allowed to have a little cat to alleviate my loneliness?”

Sylvie Comont, proud owner of seven cats and two dogs — the environmental equivalent of a small fleet of cars — says defiantly, “Our animals give us so much that I don’t feel like a polluter at all.

“I think the love we have for our animals and what they contribute to our lives outweighs the environmental considerations.

“I don’t want a life without animals,” she told AFP.

And pets’ environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways, the Vales say.

With a total 7.7 million cats in Britain, more than 188 million wild animals are hunted, killed and eaten by feline predators per year, or an average 25 birds, mammals and frogs per cat, according to figures in the New Scientist.

Likewise, dogs decrease biodiversity in areas they are walked, while their faeces cause high bacterial levels in rivers and streams, making the water unsafe to drink, starving waterways of oxygen and killing aquatic life.

And cat poo can be even more toxic than doggy doo — owners who flush their litter down the toilet ultimately infect sea otters and other animals with toxoplasma gondii, which causes a killer brain disease.

But despite the apocalyptic visions of domesticated animals’ environmental impact, solutions exist, including reducing pets’ protein-rich meat intake.

“If pussy is scoffing ‘Fancy Feast’ — or some other food made from choice cuts of meat — then the relative impact is likely to be high,” said Robert Vale.

“If, on the other hand, the cat is fed on fish heads and other leftovers from the fishmonger, the impact will be lower.”

Other potential positive steps include avoiding walking your dog in wildlife-rich areas and keeping your cat indoors at night when it has a particular thirst for other, smaller animals’ blood.

As with buying a car, humans are also encouraged to take the environmental impact of their future possession/companion into account.

But the best way of compensating for that paw or clawprint is to make sure your animal is dual purpose, the Vales urge. Get a hen, which offsets its impact by laying edible eggs, or a rabbit, prepared to make the ultimate environmental sacrifice by ending up on the dinner table.

“Rabbits are good, provided you eat them,” said Robert Vale.

 

So not only are cows and volcanoes bad for the environment, but I guess we can add dogs and other domesticated animals to the mix.  I wonder how long it will be before we start to get rid of the humans.  Next step: Soylent Green.  I’m just sayin.

Of course, this is just my opinion.

Rob’s Rant

Advertisements

The #1 Cause of Global Warming!

Problem solved.  We’ve found the real culprit causing Global Warming Climate Change.  Mother of pearl, it’s our friend the COW!

I ran across this video on Youtube and just had to post it. 

I want to warn you, it involves cows pooping. 

Those of you from rural areas, this is not a big deal, but you city-folk may be grossed out.  Honestly, I can’t believe someone took the time to film this and produce it, but here you go.

So everyone do your part to fix Global Warming Climate Change….. EAT SOME MORE BEEF!

(After the video, make sure to leave a comment.  I left one and it was promptly removed)

What the Heck is Cap and Trade?

If many of you are like me, you are casual observers (OK, I’m a frequent observer) of the the news.  There seems to be some new term or program out there.  Who can keep it all straight?  To better inform everyone, I thought it would be useful to explain the Cap and Trade issue.  Don’t know what that means?  Well, I’ll try to tackle that in this post.

I found a decent definition from a “Green” looking website – Ecomii.com

Cap-and-trade is one method that can be used to regulate the amount of pollution emitted into the atmosphere.  The government sets a cap on pollution, limiting the amount that companies or other groups are allowed to release. The government then issues credits, which allow companies to each pollute a certain amount as long as the aggregate pollution equals less than the set cap.  Since some companies can reduce pollution more cheaply than others, the group engages in trading these permits. Companies that can cheaply reduce pollution sell permits to companies that cannot easily afford to reduce pollution. The companies that sell the permits are rewarded while those that purchase permits must pay for their negative impact. Applied to climate change, this system would theoretically reduce carbon emissions at the lowest total cost.

Co2 Monster - Oooo, Scary!

Co2 Monster - Oooo, Scary!

Confused yet?  As a thinking person ask yourself, “Who does this benefit?”  I can tell you it is not the normal folk in this great country.  This is another boondoggle that is being hoisted on the taxpayers of America to help fund government programs.  How much extra cost will that add to production of a product and ultimately the cost at Wal-Mart? 

It’s so nice that we work hard to institute laws and regulations to tray and tax ourselves into a clean environment.  The fact is that the US is one of the cleanest countries in the world.  Without getting into some nerd-like discussion about the environment, let’s consider things in terms that I can understand.   We can agree that if a country is deemed to be more polluted (lax environment regulations, poor government oversight, third-world / Communist economy, etc.), THEYshould be the ones footing the bill for any supposed problems with the environment.   According to the Associated Press in a story dated from 2006, the most polluted areas in the world are listed below.  Funny, I don’t see the US on that list.   To be fair, I looked at several sources, although many were from sources I didn’t know and didn’t want to list here, but the list was pretty much the same.  

  • Linfen, China
  • Haina, Dominican Republic
  • Ranipet, India
  • Mayluu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan
  • La Oroya, Peru
  • Chernobyl, Ukraine
  • Kabwe, Zambia
  •  

    What does this have to do with Cap and Trade?  Well, I believe it’s all the same issue – Global WarmingClimate Change.  We as Americans are being asked to correct a problem that is really not a problem.  Cap and Trade is just another way to give up our money, to clean the environment when there is no hard evidence that there is a problem in our country – or anywhere else for that matter.  Climate patterns are cyclical throughout history.  The impact that man has had on these patterns is not conclusive and some evidence has surfaced that we are now in a cooling cycle (same as in 1924 & 1974).   In fact, the wonderful edible Cow is responsible for 65 percent of nitrous oxide – much more powerful than Co2.  (Those of you who don’t know, cows fart a lot – that’s nitrous oxide!)

    Bottom line is that I really don’t think it is prudent to further burden our system on theories and suppositions.  I think at this point we’re all in the mood for a little global warming (we’ll wish for global cooling in July and August).

    Of course, that’s just my opinion.

    Rob’s Rant

     

    Sources: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/wm1723.cfm, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=20772&Cr=global&Cr1=environment, http://www.dailytech.com/Temperature+Monitors+Report+Widescale+Global+Cooling/article10866.htm, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15320729/