Poor Bill Nye. If only bow ties made one adept at science…
If Bill Nye’s flatulent first season Netflix dance routine featuring Rachel Bloom and her termagant “sex junk” didn’t sufficiently call into question his reliability and wisdom as a purveyor of science and empiricism, his new interview with The Daily Beast certainly does. In it, Nye, a vegan and hand-wringer extraordinaire over “anthropogenic climate change”, called for a first world tax -- or “fee” in his words -- on livestock to reduce “climate change emissions”:
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. This would be a free-market way to reckon the real cost of a meat diet to the world.
To quote Inigo Montoya, from “The Princess Bride”, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
A free market is one that is not subject to demands for payoffs from government thugs, Mr. Nye. It is called “free market” because, to put it in simple dictionary terms, it is liberated from political mandates and threats.
Of course, not only does Mr. Nye call a state demand for cash a manifestation of the “market”, he doesn’t seem to notice notice that peanuts are not livestock.
Regardless, he continues:
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.
And, as Mr. Nye has advocated in an interview, it “won’t last” because he’s anticipating the day when old “climate change deniers” will “die out”.
'We're just going to have to wait for those people to age out, as they say,' Nye went on, adding that 'age out' is a euphemism for 'die.' 'But it'll happen, I guarantee you — that'll happen.'
What a guy.
Is Mr. Nye concerned with people dying, or with the questionable science behind his conceited demand for a tax on farm-raised animals?
The assumption underlying his argument is that livestock emit methane, which, he claims, is a “contributor” to climate change, so, simple logic: tax livestock to reduce the amount of livestock raised.
Bravo! Genius! But this blunt-force-trauma method of stumbling past the consequentialist ethics of artificially increasing the costs of high-protein food cannot be overlooked. And the lack of scientific rigor inherent in his “climate change” assumption needs to be addressed.
This is not a complicated matter. Simply put, when it comes to non-aquatic sources, livestock protein is a much more potent source of healthy protein per hectare than plant protein, including beans. Beef, pork, and chicken all contain essential amino acids within those proteins that plant proteins lack.
Your body cannot produce these amino acids. You have to supply them to your body by eating protein rich foods. There are nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Animal sources of protein like red meat, chicken, eggs, fish and milk products contain all essential amino acids in high concentrations. They are often called complete sources of protein… Non animal sources of protein are typically low in some of the essential amino acids. That’s the case with beans as well.
This means that many more acres of land must be farmed and fertilized (all using energy) to feed hungry, protein-demanding humans if one chooses to institute a government-mandated policy of making livestock more expensive, and pushing farmers to grow more plant-proteins. Many forms of livestock provide milk, which is easily turned into cheese and butter, and dried for long-term storage like beans. Milk also provides many nutrients plants do not.
We’ve seen how the US government made animal protein more expensive when, during the George W. Bush Administration, the feds mandated more inefficient, corn-based ethanol be mixed into the fuel we use in our daily travel, all fitting perfectly with the desires of the massively powerful corn lobby in DC. Field space formerly used for other purposes was shifted to growing corn, raising prices for livestock meats and for other vegetables and fruits that might have been grown on those lands.
Now, Mr. Nye wants to compound that problem with even more government manipulation – to stop methane”.
Let’s face it. Livestock protein is more efficient than vegetable protein in feeding a hungry world, and making livestock more expensive will relegate many poor people to needless malnutrition, all to feed Mr. Nye’s grand, utopian, consequentialist vision of stopping methane.
And what Mr. Nye doesn’t mention is that methane is such a small “contributor” to “global warming”, it is almost nonexistent.
As James Murphy writes for The New American:
Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball has already debunked the bovine-emissions-makes-global-warming-worse theory: ‘Methane is 0.00017% of all atmospheric gases and only about 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.’
And, of course, the global temperature “increase” Mr. Nye and his statist pals continuously mention took a twenty-year vacation from 1993 to 2015.
But, tax away, Mr. Nye. And call it “free market” when you advocate taking other peoples’ money, harming their businesses and lives with tax threats, and manipulating the economy.
Goodness knows, you’re not talking about science, and you’re certainly not talking about economics.