Cows feel the heat, too.
By Alex Amonette, Yakima Valley, Wash.
I just read an article that says, “Cows can feel the heat just like people. Heat stress can significantly reduce cows’ appetite, fertility and milk production levels during the summer, according to Cargill Inc. The stress can begin when the temperature-humidity index reaches 68, which is still a comfortable level for most people. Cargill thinks it has a solution.” (http://www.startribune.com/cargill-new-feed-products-can-protect-overheated-cows-during-summer-heat/303520921/)
Let’s hope it works. Because globally we just had the second warmest April on record and the January-April mean was the warmest on record. Since the beginning of this century, we’ve seen 14 of the 15 hottest years on record.
Climate change isn’t fooling around. We shouldn’t either. We can try to keep adapting (like feeding our cows new products to keep them from overheating, building more storage reservoirs for irrigation water) but we should also try to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and transition to low carbon energy sources in order make the adaptation easier and more likely to succeed.
Of all the policy options on the table to reduce GHGs (regulation, cap and trade, carbon taxes, or carbon fee and dividend), carbon fee and dividend is the only one that is market-based, revenue-neutral, and consumer-friendly. It aligns with the American Farm Bureau’s policy on climate.
Urge Representatives Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Dave Reichert to enact the carbon fee and dividend (see www.citizensclimatelobby.org) now, before the cows don’t come home anymore.