In the year that was 2016, one of the most absurd laws passed in the state came from my home state of California. Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383), was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year. The law gives additional teeth to the 2006 California Global Warming Solutions Act via a number of avenues. One such avenue is the reduction of “methane emissions from livestock manure management operations and dairy manure management operations…by up to 40% below the dairy sector’s and livestock sector’s 2013 levels by 2030. In short, we are talking about cow fart and feces management.
I’m not a scientist and I have been around beef and diary cattle my entire life. The absurdity of targeting the dairy and cattle industry in this bill is a perfect reflection of the hypocrisy of the California’s state government. We live in a world where no free lunch exists. For every action something must be given up. Cows fart and poop, just as you and I or any other animal. They also provide milk that millions of people consume throughout the country. They produce meat, which millions of people consume throughout the country. I’d go as far as saying cattle are a staple of the U.S. food supply.
Unless dietary preference change in the U.S. and rest of the world, the more people you have and the more money they have, the more dairy and beef cattle you’re going to have. This means, on average, you’re going to have more cow farts and poop occurring. It’s no different than you or I. So, this fact of life has become such a problem, that the industry needs to be regulated further. Why? They are being targeted because they are a small group compared to all other other interests in California, those in the industry are on the other side of the political fence compared to the majority of the state, and are an easy target for the arm chair environmental community.
If California was really concerned about ‘global warming’, ‘climate change’ or whatever name it will be called tomorrow, they would focus on the ecological disaster San Francisco (S.F.) and the greater Los Angeles (L.A.) area have been benefiting from since the early party of the 1900’s. Since the early 1900’s the ecology the eastern side of the Sierra’s has been radically changed via the diversion of water from the Owen’s Valley and Mono Lake region down to southern California. The bottom line is people need water to drink and since the first major growth of population in the L.A. area, they have had a water shortage. The same goes for S.F.’s water source. It stems from a reservoir on the western side of the Sierra’s named Hetch Hetchy. The reservoir’s creation (1923) sacrificed what was a region similar to Yosemite Valley.
Two major population centers in California are able to sustain themselves via the radical change of another regions environmental system. One area is now a desert more so than it ever was in its existence (Owen’s Valley) and the other a lake (Hetch Hetchy). Yet, the populations of these regions want to focus on the fear of global warming or climate change because of cows living in the Central Valley. It’s easy to pick on minorities in a representative democracy. Whether it’s dairy or livestock owners, they’re the minority. California’s overly left of center representation in the Assembly and Senate see these farmers, ranchers and dairy operators are a bunch of right-wing, environmental hating rednecks that need to shoulder the burden of of the urban man’s plan to save the world.
If you’re an investor, look for a companies that specialize the dairy waste management systems and cow fart bag producers. In this example, money will grow where feces flow.