Cold Weather Heats Up Climate Change Debate
Jan 08, 2014
When every state except Hawaii records freezing temperatures on the same day you can be sure one of the topics to thaw out will be climate change. Climate skeptics are using the record cold temperatures as an argument that climate change is not happening. One thing for sure, however, is the water shortage in California, where 2013 was recorded as the driest on record—at least since 1877. The biggest concern is the dwindling Colorado River and the reservoirs that have shrunk to less than half their capacities after 14 years of drought that scientists say is nearly unrivaled in 1,250 years.
More Taxes, Please
Cowboys in Montana's Lewis and Clark County have asked the county to raise their taxes. They presented the County Commission with a petition this week asking a tax of $1 per head be enacted on the county's 22,000 cattle to help pay for predator control. Owners representing 54% of the cattle in the county signed the petition. Twenty-three of the state's 54 counties now have taxes in place to help protect cattle from predators. The taxes will help pay expenses incurred by the Wildlife Services Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture—the federal agency responsible for much of the government predator control. Michigan doesn't have a tax on cattle to help offset predator control, but some may be thinking about that option after a recent review suggests the state's taxpayers spent more than $200,000 to help an Upper Peninsula farmer protect his cattle from wolves.
Good Samaritan Rescues Calves
Mike Elder is a professional cake chef, but last week became a part-time cowboy when he rescued three calves that had fallen through the ice on a neighbor's pond. After spotting the calves in trouble, Elder raced to his rural Clinton, Missouri, home for a rope to pull the calves to safety and an axe to break the ice.
New York Throws Food in the Furnace
New York has launched a pilot program to deliver pre-processed organic food waste to Brooklyn's Newton Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant where it will be mixed in with wastewater sludge to help boost the production of biogas, a natural byproduct of the five-step wastewater treatment process at Newtown Creek. The methane-rich biogas will then be used to heat homes and businesses across five boroughs. The city has an ambitious goal of reducing municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the year 2017.