I was right – Greens want to shoot the cows

Yesterday I was at a Business Roundtable conference, giving a presentation on the media and public policy issues. The main topic I focused on was how well had the media done in covering and analysing the debate on what the emissions reduction target should be – especially the campaign by the and Greenpeace to have it at 40% below 1990 levels.

I did my normal calculations of how this is actually a reduction from the business as usual case of 57%, and that to do this one would need to ban every car, bus and truck in NZ, close down every fossil fuel power plant and on top of that hire vigilantes to shoot every third cow.

After the presentation I went back to my laptop and found a new story on NZPA, about the Greens explaining how NZ could make the 40% target they want. My eyes goggled at this bit:

The Greens today floated de-stocking in the dairy sector

I thought I had been taking the piss. I was using humour to make a point. But blow me down, the little fruitcakes are serious. They do want us to shoot the cows. They just use the nice Orwelllian term of “de-stocking” instead.

Then my eyes hit the next part:

along with genetically improving herds toward less emission-prone cows.

Can anyone spell hypocrisy?

And in case you think NZPA got it wrong, the Greens own website says:

If we reduce the average dairy stocking rate from 2.83 cows/ha to 2.3 we save 2.2 Mt

This is a reduction in cows of 19%. I told the Business Roundtable in semi-jest that the Greens want to slaughter one in three cows. It seems that their official policy is to wipe out one in five cows – pretty close.

In 1999 we had around 3.5 million cows. So the Greens policy is to exterminate around 700,000 cows.

I am now a bit worried about the next step in their logic. You see in the 1970s Muldoon introduced “carless” days to conserve energy. Yes it was illegal to drive your car one day a week. Anyway (Sir) Bob Jones wrote a letter to the newspaper suggesting the Government scrap carless days and if they are serious about conserving energy, they merely shoot one in ten motorists.

Now humans don’t fart as much methane as cows, but our overall consumption drives a lot of . So I really hope the Greens refrain from adopting Bob Jones’ 1970s jest as policy.

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