News & Politics

Bill Nye Proposes 'Free-Market' Tax on Cow Farts

Thousands of scientists and their supporters including Bill Nye the Science Guy join the March for Science in Washington, D.C., April 22, 2017 .Photo by Olivier Douliery/Abaca(Sipa via AP Images)

On Monday, mechanical engineer-turned-science TV host Bill Nye called for a government-mandated “fee” on cow farts. He even had the gall to refer to this tax as a “free-market” proposal.

“Well, this is what we can do and it’s a win-win: to have a fee on carbon,” Nye suggested. “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.”

Nye told the Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern that this “would be a free-market way to reckon the real cost of a meat diet on the world.” He also insisted that “a carbon fee would be a fantastic thing for the world.”

Interestingly, Nye shot down the idea of pushing global vegetarianism to prevent climate change. “Well, we can all say that here in the developed world where we have the luxury of choice, but if you ware in a developing country, you need protein and your agriculture may not be sophisticated enough to provide you the protein,” he said.

“I don’t want to get in the business of judging people who aren’t vegetarians,” Nye explained, shortly before proposing a meat tax on cow farts.

Many climate alarmists have pushed vegetarianism as a solution to climate change. In 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme advocated a global vegan diet because “animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as fossil fuels.”

An Oxford University report in 2016 “found that shifting to a mostly vegetarian diet, or even simply cutting down meat consumption to within accepted health guidelines, would make a large dent in greenhouse gases.”

Last year, a NASA-sponsored study found that cattle-related methane emissions are increasing. Belches, farts, and manure from livestock do emit methane in large amounts. There are approximately 1.5 billion cows on the planet, each expelling upwards of 30 to 50 gallons of methane per day. Cow belches actually account for far more than cow farts.

While methane is far more potent than carbon dioxide, there is more than 200 times as much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (0.036 percent) as methane (0.00017 percent). Furthermore, recent studies have found that trees absorb methane, and that some materials can scrub methane from the atmosphere.

Furthermore, rice paddies emit a comparable amount of methane to livestock, so a tax on cow farts may only deal with part of the problem.

Alarmists like Bill Nye have pushed many odd schemes in the name of climate change, mostly aimed at preventing oil and gas companies from producing the energy key to modern prosperity. Nye has previously argued that elderly people need to die in order for America to address climate change, that humans are responsible for “100 percent” of climate change (an utterly unscientific statement), and that hurricanes have been made worse by climate change.

That final claim led meteorologists to painstakingly explain that climate change would have no effect on hurricanes. A meteorologist even attacked Nye for pushing “fake science” on the issue.