Big flap in the news this week over more “climate change” research; this time the “data” centers on the carbon footprint of man’s best friend. According to one headline, “Pets’ Carbon Footprint Worse than SUV’s.” I’ve often contended that the single biggest problem with the entire climate debate is the premise of the question. Climate change evangelists believe and contend that man and his various impacts on the landscape cause climate change, that climate change is bad, and therefore man’s various impacts causing climate change must be stopped at all costs. This may or may not be an oversimplification of the situation, but it’s sufficient for this discussion.
The problem with this paradigm is that it discounts man’s role in the Universe. For those of us who believe in a Higher Power, God created man in His own image, and supplied him with such resources as He deemed necessary to use as man deemed necessary. Even if one doesn’t accept that basic premise of our existence, all rational thinkers must accept that man is the most highly evolved life-form on the planet, and therefore the remainder of the natural world exists to supply him with such needs and resources as he sees fit.
Don’t mistake me as a slash & burn type, by the way. I’m all in favor of conservation and sustainability; if we burn through our natural resources today, we won’t be in business tomorrow, etc., etc. However, I refuse to accept the basic tenet of the fearmongers in the Al Gore camp: that man is the problem, and controlling him is the only solution.
Case in point: Fido is the latest target in the “War on Carbon.” A couple of bored academics, hoping to cash in on the bazillions of dollars being thrown at the global warming “crisis,” do a study on the carbon impact of the family dog. My first question might go something like this: “Who gives a %&*# about my Labrador’s carbon pawprint?” The study, naturally, found that even Tucker the Fabulous Farm Dog, who doesn’t drive my Chevy Avalanche (as evil a vehicle as man ever created), doesn’t watch the 42″ plasma screen in my living room (remember when plasma screens were the great Satan?), and doesn’t eat quite as many steaks as I do (cows, recall, are REALLY evil), has a ginormous carbon pawprint.
Like the discussion of “indirect land use changes” regarding ethanol and crop production, this “study” takes into account even the carbon emitted while producing the burrito that the foreman in the pet food manufacturer ate for lunch the day he made Tucker’s kibble. In other words, it goes from the extreme to the asinine.
The premise, again, is the problem. Dogs are not the problem. I am not about to start raising my own free-range organic locally produced sustainable dog food for Tucker, so her carbon pawprint isn’t about to shrink anytime soon. The implication of the report, that “Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance,” betrays the War on Carbon’s real intent: to knock man down a peg or two, and to curb what the radical elitists see as to many luxuries.
Think about it another way; the nanny-staters who are the central push on this radical agenda are the same folks in the “spread the wealth” socialist sect. Note that the list of “extravagances” targeted so far include SUV’s, plasma TV’s, and red meat, all hallmarks of the Middle and Upper classes in society. Coincidence? Doubtful.
So as Uncle John always said, this Holiday season, Save a Turkey, Stuff an Activist.