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Bill Nye: Taxing Cow Farts a ‘Fantastic Thing for the World’

Bill Nye
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Netflix host “Science Guy” Bill Nye has a new solution for the world’s environmental problems: taxing cow farts.

“Well, this is what we can do and it’s a win-win: to have a fee on carbon. So if you are raising livestock and producing a lot of carbon dioxide with your farm equipment and the exhaust from the animals, then you would pay a fee on that and it would be reflected in the price of meat, reflected in the price of fish, reflected in the price of peanuts,” Bill Nye said in a recent interview with the Daily Beast.

“This would be a free-market way to reckon the real cost of a meat diet to the world,” Nye continued. “But conservatives now are against such a thing because they’re against any regulation, any tax or any government involvement in anything. But again, it won’t last, and a carbon fee would be a fantastic thing for the world.

Environmentalists have been arguing this for years. In 2008, Rajendra Pachauri the then-head of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was urging people to go meat-free at least once a week to save the planet. (Easy for Pachauri since he is himself a vegetarian).

In 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), also urged the world to go vegan, claiming in a report: “Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.”

In 2016, an Oxford University report made much the same claim: “The research, led by scientists at the Oxford Martin School, found that shifting to a mostly vegetarian diet, or even simply cutting down meat consumption to within accepted health guidelines, would make a large dent in greenhouse gases.”

But there is, in fact, little scientific evidence to support the contention that cow farts contribute in any serious way to global warming.

As climate scientist Tim Ball has argued, the myth arose because “special interest environmental groups used inadequate data and scientific knowledge to create a false narrative.”

In fact, Ball says:

Methane is 0.00017% of all atmospheric gases and only 0.36% of the total greenhouse gases. These fractions were so small that even people who didn’t understand the science became skeptical of the claims that it was doing harm.

But Nye’s cow farts theory is entirely of a piece with his other expressed views on environmentalism — many of which regurgitate the green lobby’s favorite scare stories.

Last year, for example, the Bill Nye Saves the World star charmingly hinted that the best thing older people can do to save the planet is die:

Climate change deniers, by way of example, are older. It’s generational. So we’re just going to have to wait for those people to “age out,” as they say. “Age out” is a euphemism for “die.” But it’ll happen, I guarantee you — that’ll happen.

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