As an unabashed supporter of genetic engineering, it is time scientists figure out a way to cross a cheetah with a Holstein cow.
So those lumbering black and white providers of the nation's milk supply can run like hell when air regulators and whacko environmentalists get too close to the corral.
The debate over how much dairy cows contribute to the smog in California's central valley has passed the silly and ridiculous stage.
Can you imagine sitting in a room with a bunch of people debating whether a dairy cow emits 5.6, 12.8, 13.3, 19.3 or 38.3 pounds per year of something called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)? Now come to find out it is all a bunch of SWAGs.
A University of California, Davis scientist has determined that regulators are overestimating by TENFOLD the VOCs coming from dairy cows. Oak trees apparently emit more nasty VOCs than cows. So, let's cut down all the oak trees in the valley. This is as absurd as trying to regulate cow gas.
The pollution issue in California's central valley is not about cows or tractors or cotton gins or almond harvesters. I think most regulators know that. I am not sure radical environmentalists have a clue. They are just out to scare money out of people's pockets for self-preservation.
I have seen two satellite photos of containerships leaving black, ugly smoke trails into and out Bay Area ports and yet no one seems to recognize that. Certainly not the San Francisco-based Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment. This is the bunch of scaremongers who keep feeding the valley newspapers unscientific blatant balderdash to grab headlines and bring in more cash to their “non-profit” outfit.
Not sure where it came from, but it is often quoted that a 750- to 800-cow dairy emits the same amount of pollutants as 60,000 cars and trucks.
Give me a break. No reasonable scientist I know gives that hypothesis a second thought, yet it gets tossed around in the media and therefore people buy it.
The central valley has polluted air, and I don't like it any more than anyone else. I don't like coughing. I worry about my grandchildren's health. The valley is my home, and I want to breathe clean air.
But somewhere between the daily scare stories in the local newspapers about dairy cows and farmers ruining the air we breathe and all the ads from the allergists who are making millions from sensationalist Page 1 stories about dairy cows causing smog there has to be reasonable plans to reduce pollution.
Dairy cows and farmers are the easiest targets, but they are not the problem, scientists are discovering. We can only hope regulators make the same discovery.
Thousands of trucks clogging valley highways hauling stuff from LA to San Francisco and back and Bay Area pollution from containerships and cars and trucks are a major source of valley pollutants. Unfortunately, regulators and environmental nuts do not have the courage to tackle those issues. It might disrupt the lives of too many Californians.
Bossy cannot defend herself and she cannot run away at 75 miles per hour like the semis. But, when we cross her genetically with a cheetah, watch out. Those air cops in their cut little mini-pickups measuring cow expulsions better not leave the corral gate open or Bossy will dash out of the way quicker than you can say, “Whoops….Excussssse me.”
e-mail: [email protected]