Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Stand Back! Bureaucrats at work!
Ezra Levant has a gaseous effusion report in the Calgary Sun - Musical cows: Federal fart-catchers track livestock emissions
Possibly the least popular assignment in Canada's Agriculture Department these days is euphemistically called the "belching and flatulence" directorate.

That's where civil servants spend countless hours - and tax dollars - capturing and analysing animal burps and farts.

To cut down on the giggling, departmental staff, including the Minister, refer to these as "livestock emissions," but there's no getting around it: Our government believes that in order to meet our Kyoto obligations, we have to make cattle and sheep toot less.

It's no small thing - according to the government, emissions from animals and their manure make up 20 megatonnes of greenhouse gases each year - fully one-twelfth the amount Canada must cut back to meet Kyoto's targets.

To aid in this utopian quest, Ottawa has sponsored many creative initiatives.

ManureNet, for example, is an official government website tackling this sensitive subject in both official languages. No word yet as to how many cows have made the site their Internet home page.
One desperate study, done in Manitoba and posted on ManureNet, suggests that cattle should take drugs to stop farting. According to this study, dairy cows that had an additive called monensin mixed into their diets farted up to 28% less, according to scientists, who claim to have actually measured. Trouble is, "the impact has not been (as) long lasting," as scientists had hoped.
I can see it now - a tank truck filled with beano.
Other ideas suggested by scientists include pumping cattle full of anti-farting hormones, such as Bovine somatotropin, which cut down on methane emissions by 9%.

But even the most ardent anti-farting scientists on the Kyoto payroll are skeptical about jacking up cattle on hormones, just to make them more polite.

Ottawa's high-stakes race to solve the problem of musical cattle - reminiscent of the grandeur of John Kennedy's Apollo project, or the search for a polio vaccine - has electrified the country. It has also polarized the electorate, with pro- and anti-farting factions making themselves heard.

On the anti-farting side proudly stands Environmental Defence Canada, an eco-activist group dedicated to fart-free living. In October 2002, they released a scathing 37-page report called It's Hitting the Fan - pointing out that cattle and pigs nearly outnumber people in Canada, and all of those animals are farting - creating "foul odours," "toxic vapours" and even cause "headaches."

Who could argue with that?
I've got a headache, but it's caused by the ecoweenies. I'll skip more of the hilarity and cut to the chase.
Five months before the Kyoto conference in 1997, the U.S. Senate did something Canada's House of Commons did not do.

They actually had a real debate - and then a vote.
But in July of 1997, Senator Byrd introduced a resolution that forbade the U.S. from agreeing to the Kyoto protocol, unless developing countries were required to do so too, or if Kyoto "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States."

What's more, Byrd's resolution required that any treaty, even if it met his two criteria, would have to be "accompanied by a detailed explanation of any legislation or regulatory actions that may be required to implement the protocol ... and should also be accompanied by an analysis of the detailed financial costs and other impacts on the economy of the United States which would be incurred by the implementation of the protocol."

Senator Byrd's resolution was approved unanimously, 95- 0. Sixty-four senators liked the resolution so much they asked to be "co-sponsors" - so they could take credit for it back home in their states.

Barbara Boxer, the ultra-liberal Democrat from California, joined with Sen. Jesse Helms, the arch-conservative Republican from North Carolina.

Even Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts signed.

So did the late Paul Wellstone, the environmentalist from Minnesota.
Enough said, but you know they will keep on trying.

Follow the link for parts 2 and 3 of the article including an interesting profile of the éminence grise of Kyoto-itis in Canada, the USA, and the world - Maurice Strong.
Strong, naturally, is on the board of the World Economic Forum. "What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude the principal risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries?...

In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?"

That’s Strong talking, but those are Blofeld’s words coming out. But this is no fictitious Bond movie villain speaking - it is the man who chaired the Rio Earth Summit and who is Kofi Annan’s senior adviser.
The BBC reporter asked him what discipline and control people could expect - would it include legal limits on the number of children that a family could have?

Strong explained: "Licences to have babies incidentally is something that I got in trouble for some years ago for suggesting even in Canada that this might be necessary at some point, at least some restriction on the right to have a child."

But, if the world didn’t follow his instructions - if governments didn’t heed the warnings of the doomsayers - then "this is one of the possible courses that society would have to seriously consider."

Strong himself has five children.
He knows how he is viewed by opponents to his radical environmentalism, or his promotion of a UN government with taxation and enforcement powers that trump national governments. And he seems to rather enjoy being described as a man at the centre of secretive power-brokering.
Maurice Strong: A Dr. Evil-style strategist. Owner of a 200,000-acre New Age Zen colony. Designer of a proposal to "consider" requiring licences to have babies.

The architect of the Kyoto Protocol.
Hot Damn! We're talking prime wingnut here!