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I'll bet this new California law won't stop cows from farting

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

Sometimes political people just need to take a deep breath and give common sense a chance. Let's look at a legislative action that came out of California this year. In its infinite wisdom, California's legislature passed a bill which Governor Jerry Brown said, "curbs these dangerous pollutants and thereby protects public health and slows climate change ..." and he signed it into law. So what is this horrific problem? Cow farts... that's right the California legislature passed a law regulating cow farts.

Now, it is true that globally livestock, not just cows, are responsible for about 15 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. It is also true that the tiny microbes that grow on the roots of rice plants produce 30 percent of all agricultural methane on Earth. No action is currently contemplated to mitigate the microbe flatulence either domestically or abroad; a fact that seems completely bigoted.

At this point I'd observe that the California law will not stop cows from farting. It will however make life more difficult for dairy farmers in California and products more expensive for consumers. It is hard to think of a group more closely aligned with respecting the earth and the environment than farmers. It is also hard to name a group who has narrower operating margins or who produce more necessary products.

Now all I'm suggesting is that "bovine entric fermentation"... you know, cow farts, are not the highest and best use of legislative energy. Even if California stopped cows from farting there would be a minuscule impact on global methane levels. California isn't even the leading producer of agricultural methane in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

With all that said: I hereby pledge to oppose cow fart legislation in the N.H. Legislature this session and any other legislation that makes us less free, seems to violate commonsense or our wallets. I'll keep you posted on how the legislative battle goes as the session progresses.

Marc Abear

State Rep-elect

Belknap County District 2