Argentine scientists fix plastic tanks to the backs of cows to collect digestive gas, Image credit:Reuters, via the Telegraph
If the excretory headlines behind this post title were to believed, Australian citizens could soon be paying a climate change penalty, in the form of a tax on each toilet flush; and cow farts would be measured (as pictured) so they could be taxed by politicians the world over. As it turns out, the headline idea about toilet taxing, as reported on Perth Now, Householders to be charged for each flush of toilet, is just another example of the media making folks angry at government, based on a goofy headline hook that sells papers.From the looks of it, the idea municipal officials have in Perth Australia is reasonable: to bill each residential unit for actual sewerage treatment services.
After a ratio of sewerage discharge-to-potable water consumption is developed, and adjusted with field measurements, the water bill provides an acceptable estimate of sewerage discharge, thereafter. This is done elsewhere, where there are water meters at residences and at apartment buildings, many of which are monitored over the internet, in real time, by the water company.
Adjustments may have to be made for those few folks who get their water from an on-site well, but who happen also to discharge their sewerage to the public sewer system. And apartments without individual meters have to have bills based on an estimated water use for each tenant. Otherwise, as we say, "it's no biggy" to charge people for both water use and sewerage services.
The losers are people who are careless with the water use and will have to pay twice for it: when they buy the water and again when it is discharged.
Climate Freak Out Time
There's going to be a lot more of these kind of headlines and politically directed rumoring in every nation, what with climate action still being attacked by professional denialists who've lost the climate science battle, and, in retreat, are likely to move on to provoking climate action freak outs, wherever possible.
Radical idea - don't believe a headline or rumor before you check with the source and ask "why"?
For example: Are water meters really a novelty item in Perth? Is charging for services actually rendered a bad idea just because it has not been done before? Who stands to gain and who stands to lose?
It's no better in the USA, where, for example, cattle ranchers and dairy farmers have been in freak-out mode based on a rumor that cow farts were going to be taxed by US EPA.
Ooooh God Save Us from fart taxes in Obama's first hundred days!
Kate Galbraith over at Green, Inc. pointed out the obvious with her post: Farmers Relax (a Little) After Cow Tax Scare
Richard Daugherty, a past president of the Tennessee Cattlemen's Association, called it the "economic persecution of a minority."
The hysteria, however, is now dying down — largely as the ranching and farming communities have come to realize that the E.P.A. was never seriously pursuing a methane tax. "After the dust kind of settled, why, us producers sort of had a chuckle over it," said Mr. Daugherty. "Admittedly it was a nervous chuckle."
Climate Freak-Out is going to be so much fun, if I don't get too upset.
Well I'm about to get UPSET
From watchin' my TV
Been checkin' out the news
Until my eyeballs fail to see
I mean they say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it's gonna change, my friends
Is anybody's guess
Lyrics from the Frank Zappa song Trouble Every Day, on the "Freak Out" album, via BestLyrics
More gas from our archives.
Danes Get Ready to Tax Cow Farts
New Cow Diet Reduces Methane Emissions...and No, It's Not M&Ms; ...
Where Does all the Carbon Dioxide End Up?