The Western View: As the Pendulum Swings

Taylor HillmanFeatures, Western View

There’s an ebb and flow to politics, and it’s very apparent that we’re going through a time of change. The political pendulum had swung far to the left, with all kinds of new social programs and new rules under Obama.

The Pendulum

But the pendulum hit the wall and is swinging to the right. Donald Trump’s victory was a clear signal of this change. Now we’re seeing that pendulum swing continue with efforts to reverse some of the changes of the last 8 years.

For example, a new bill on the President’s desk could change the water picture for California Agriculture. The mere fact that it got on Obama’s desk is a sign of the times, a tick of the pendulum as it heads to the right.

Then there’s Governor Brown’s new effort to reduce gas emissions from cattle. These new rules have stirred up discussion around the country, as the world wonders how he plans to keep cows from passing gas.

Well, a Colorado rancher I happen to know called me up the other day, with a little different angle on the problem. I know this rancher well, as he happens to be my older brother, so I was prepared for just about anything to come out of his mouth. But what he said made a lot of sense to me.

He said he’d heard there were 2 million dairy cows in California, averaging about 1000 pounds each. And their were 40 million people in California, averaging about 100 pounds each. Considering our diets are actually very similar – pound for pound, cows and humans eat about the same amount of gas-producing vegetation. Put it another way, 20 people would eat as much fibrous matter as 1 dairy cow. So 40 million people would produce as much methane gas as 2 million cows. Why aren’t we controlling the gas from all those folks in the cities?

Hmmm… Wait a minute. Maybe that’s what the Electoral College did. It provided a little gas control on the liberals in the cities.

I’m Len Wilcox, and that’s the Western View from AgNet West.