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-   -   New Zealand wants to tax methane emmissons (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f19/new-zealand-wants-tax-methane-emmissons-70044/)

EdWort 06-23-2008 12:58 PM

New Zealand wants to tax methane emmissons
 
How long before they go after homebrewers and their yeast byproducts? Customers of Taco Bell?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/green/la-fg-burp8-2008jun08,0,7812753.story

Evan! 06-23-2008 01:52 PM

CO2 production from brewers' yeast and Chicken Soft Taco Anal Explosions is a drop in the ocean compared to livestock emissions, so I doubt you'll see anyone going after brewers or the unfortunate Taco Hell patrons any time soon.

But really, if it's an externalized effect, which livestock methane emissions certainly are, I can see how an argument could be made for some kind of regulation or agreement on how to deal with said externalities.

Loweface 06-23-2008 02:20 PM

Brewing is relativly carbon neutral anyway... The CO2 produced by the yeast is coming from sugars (derived from starch derived from sugars) derived from the sun through photosynthesis...

As such the only real CO2 comes from the electricity used to boil the wort, keep it warm etc... And the petrol/diesel used to cultivate and deliver the raw grain etc...

What I mean to say is that it has no more impact on the environment (in CO2 terms) than say, cooking...

EdWort 06-23-2008 02:39 PM

What about livestock emissions 100 years ago? To me it's ridiculous and just a way to tax the poor cattlemen and drive up the price of food.

Animals of all kind have been farting and belching long before we came around. It's unproven that reducing it (if they can) will ever change anything in the first place, but it makes people feel good and lines the pockets of governments.

I wonder if these ladies should buy some carbon credits. :D


Evan! 06-23-2008 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EdWort (Post 723599)
What about livestock emissions 100 years ago? To me it's ridiculous and just a way to tax the poor cattlemen and drive up the price of food.

Animals of all kind have been farting and belching long before we came around. It's unproven that reducing it (if they can) will ever change anything in the first place, but it makes people feel good and lines the pockets of governments.

I'm a staunch libertarian, Ed, and so I'm loathe to give the gubmint any more power than it already has...but even I have to admit that IF it's an externality, there should be some way for those affected by it to mitigate it.

Can they reduce it? Will it help anything? I don't know for sure. But that doesn't preclude the general idea of trying to mitigate or compensate for externalities such as this. Principally speaking, what happened 100 years ago is not a valid argument against doing something about it now. And in terms of the principles involved (namely, externalized effects of agriculture), that fact that current models might "tax poor cattlemen and line the pockets of the government" are not valid arguments either. You can fix those problems and still make an argument that externalized effects should be controlled...just as you would expect some sort of controls to prohibit your upstream neighbor from dumping chemicals into the river and polluting your water supply. The details you mention can be fixed and the idea of regulating externalized effects is still valid. The problems you list are really just problems with the execution of the idea, not the idea itself.

EdWort 06-23-2008 03:30 PM

If ways to reduce it without arbitrarily digging into my wallet are available, then by all means let's do it. To levy a tax in hopes of changing behavior in hopes of making a change in hopes of making a difference leaves too much hope on the table and not enough fact & reality.

Loweface 06-23-2008 04:14 PM

The real approach to take is to try reducing "food miles"... New Zealand beef may be great (it is and I've eaten plenty of it), but the distance it travels to get to the US or Europe is crazy when it can be produced locally. Irish people should eat Irish beef, Americans should eat US beef, Kiwis should eat New Zealand beef (I'm sure they do).

If a country can't produce a product, they should import from their closest neighbours.

This isn't a rant about self sufficiency’s nor is it meant to be against any countries exports or rights to export but something is wrong when your dinner has travelled longer in it's short lifespan than you have in a much longer one...

/Rant

Disclaimer: I am very guilty of buying long distanec because it's cheaper but then hey, I'm still a student...

Evan! 06-23-2008 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EdWort (Post 723703)
If ways to reduce it without arbitrarily digging into my wallet are available, then by all means let's do it. To levy a tax in hopes of changing behavior in hopes of making a change in hopes of making a difference leaves too much hope on the table and not enough fact & reality.

Agree 100%. I support the spirit of the regs, but, judging by how effective the gubmint is at most things besides blowing sh*t up, I have very little faith in its ability to execute it properly.


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