Solve Global Warming By Putting A Carbon Tax On … Meat?

Posted on July 25, 2016 by Hank Campbell, President, American Council on Science and Health

The Det Etiske Råd (Danish Council on Ethics) recently said they have an inconvenient truth for humanity; they have determined the science is settled and to save Gaia we must put a climate tax on meat.

You read the American Council on Science and Health because you like inconvenient truths, and you know the easy (and big) money instead comes from scaremongering the modern world. (1) The real inconvenient truth is this: Meat is good for you. Forget what groups like the International Agency for Research on Cancer say, no one except the lawyers waiting to sue under California’s Prop. 65 pay any attention to what their monographs claim. And vegan and vegetarian groups only accept papers that reaffirm their bias against meat for personal reasons.

A sensible human diet should contain meat. Our ancestors dreamed of a world where science and technology would make it possible for meat to not just be a special occasion for the poor. And we have done it. Why would anyone claiming to be ethical insist we should send poor people back to the past, when we have better parity in every single way today than at any point in world history?

A punitive tax on meat is simply a health war on poor people.

Poor people have long been victims of government policy. The name Malthus gets invoked a lot regarding population booms and busts, but notions of the poor as vermin were around long before he formalized his belief that feeding the poor would just lead to more poor people, a cycle of starvation. The British government made Malthus into policy with disastrous consequences in Ireland and India, that movement later became government eugenics in countries like the US, England, and Germany, and then the poor were further vilified by eugenics proponents after World War II, when the Malthusian disaster fetish was rebranded as the population control movement and environmentalism.

Sorry, doomsday prophets, the really inconvenient truth is that humans aren’t a blight on the land, and poor people are not a demographic you can penalize with social engineering experiments and claim it is needed by science.

Science instead exists to solve these problems. Yes, meat takes more environmental input than corn. The solution is to make those environmental inputs more efficient, which we have done quite well. Thanks to science and technology, there was no Population Bomb, despite the worries of modern-day Malthusians like Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren. Starvation wasn’t prevented because we committed to forced sterilization or put onerous taxes on food, we grew more food because we allowed science and technology to flourish.

So why would 14 out of 17 Danish ethicists think taxes are a better solution than what science and technology has done, and can do, for pollution? Some of it is due to blind acceptance of fuzzy estimates, like that raising animals causes up to 18 percent of CO2 emissions – when we don’t even know total emissions in a year, or how much is natural. Some is due to acceptance of the long-debunked “virtual water” concept (2), which makes claims like that it takes 140 liters of water to make a cup of coffee.(3)

They’re ethicists, not scientists, but if they don’t engage in any critical thinking about their sources, how can they expect the public to trust their conclusions?

Dr. James Hansen, a legend in the climate change movement, has stated that carbon emissions can be contained simply by using clean coal or nuclear power. Those already exist. Scientists and engineers remain eager to tackle the problems of the future. We shouldn’t handcuff them with flawed sociological beliefs of the past.


(1) “Your food is safe” and BPA is not ‘disrupting your endocrine’, for example, are terrible calls to action because they don’t require anyone to send us a credit card or send a check to stave off destruction. There is a reason all those political science majors and lawyers at NRDC, EDF, Greenpeace, etc. are sitting on a top of a billion-dollar gold mine, and that is because they know how to motivate people into sending money. Fear and doubt sells a lot better than science and truth.

(2) Professor John Anthony Allan of King’s College London coined “virtual water” in 1993 because his original concept, embedded water “did not capture the attention of the water managing community” – and that is really the goal of the environmental movement, rather than being trusted guides for the public.

Virtual water never held any real…water…because in the places with the least water, they fight over everything except that.

(3) Enjoy it while you can. That would mean you can only drink 9,588,235,294,117,647 more cups of coffee with the water we have now. Assuming none of it is ever recycled, and that we never use any of the 98 percent of the planet’s water we currently don’t use.

The ethicists accept this claim without even thinking about it, claiming it takes 43,000 liters of fresh water to produce 1 kilogram of beef. Farmers are scratching their heads wondering where they got over 2 million gallons of water for each steer they raised.

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