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Front Page » December 29, 2009 » Opinion » The Wasatch Behind: Doggone it, or else
Published 1,675 days ago

The Wasatch Behind: Doggone it, or else


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By TOM MCCOURT
Sun Advocate Columnist

We've all heard about the recent climate-gate scandal. You remember; those emails from egghead professors at East Anglican University that clearly show global warming is a hoax and the "science" behind the scam is phony. It is clear that scientific data has been manipulated to achieve a purely political aim. Scientific consensus about global warming has been shown to be a lie, and from here on out, "climate scientists" will rank right up there with politicians as the people we mistrust the most.

If that wasn't bad enough, last week another bomb was dropped on the green agenda. It has been determined that your dog is twice as harmful to the environment as my SUV. Yes, Virginia, it's true. Old Rover is harder on mother earth than my Dodge Ram 2500. Whodathunk?

We know it must be true because a couple of "green" scientists discovered this disturbing fact. Robert and Brenda Vale are professors of Sustainable Living at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Their book, "Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living," was reviewed and it's conclusions confirmed to be true by John Barrett of the Stockholm Institute of York, England. Their book might forever change the way we look at family pets.

Here's the deal. According to the scientists, the carbon paw print of your dog is twice that of a standard 4X4 pickup truck driven 6,200 miles per year, including the energy required to build the truck. Sound incredible? I thought so, too. But here is what they found.

A standard medium-sized dog eats about 360 lbs. of meat and 200 lbs. of cereal each year in his dog food. That means each dog requires 2.07 acres of land to grow the meat and cereal to feed it for a year. A SUV, on the other hand, requires only about one acre of mother earth's resources per year, according to the study. This is especially shocking since there are 75 million privately owned dogs in America but only about 3 million SUVs. That means dogs are causing 147 times more environmental damage than SUVs.

And there's more. Dogs exhale CO2, a noxious gas, determined by the EPA to be a pollutant that causes global warming. Dogs are also famous for flatulence, another odious greenhouse gas the Obama administration wants to regulate and tax in livestock production. I've been a cowboy all my life and I've never heard a cow expell gas. I wish I could say the same about my cow dog. If we are serious about taxing the causes of global warming, we'll surely have to regulate dog emissions.

And then, dog feces pollute our public parks, lawns, backyards, and wilderness study areas. Dog feces are full of harmful bacteria and the hazardous material leaches into the soil and washes into our waterways. The environmental impacts are obvious. It is a clear and present danger to our children and future generations. Why do we tolerate it?

Dogs are harmful to wilderness and wilderness study areas, too. Our national parks and forests should be dog-free zones. Unless kept on a tight leash at all times, dogs stray from the trails and trample the rare, cryptobiotic soil and pee on the eco-friendly bushes and flowers. They also attack and harass helpless endangered species like desert tortoise, black-footed ferrets, and white-tailed prairie dogs. We just can't trust dogs on our public lands. It's time to put a stop to it.

And, if there are 75 million privately owned dogs in the U.S. and each dog requires 2.07 acres to grow dog food each year. By eliminating the dogs, we could reclaim 150,250,000 acres of land we could convert to national parks and wilderness study areas, or solar energy and wind farms. It would only make good sense.

So, in the national interest, I think it is only fair that we call on dog owners everywhere to get rid of their pets. We have scientific consensus. Dogs cause global warming, they pollute the environment, and they use up land and resources that could be better used for producing bio-diesel or solar power.

Until we live in a dog-free world, I think all dog owners should pay a hefty carbon tax on their dog, and it should be a criminal offense for anyone to own more than one dog. Dog shows should be shut down and companies that make products for dogs should be taxed into oblivion. It's only fair.

We are all in this together, and if getting rid of the dogs would save only one degree of global warming over the next 200 years, it would be worth it.

Let's do it for the children.

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