The Danish Council of Ethics voted in favor of taxing red meat for the purpose of curbing global warming.
A tax would allegedly act as a disincentive to keep people from eating red meat, and eventually all beef products – which some say is responsible for 10% of all global emissions. If they can convince people to cut down on their red meat consumption, then perhaps the planet will stop warming at such an alarming rate. Or so their thinking goes.
In a press release, the ethics council said Denmark was under direct threat from climate change, and it was not enough to rely on the “ethical consumer” to ensure the country meets its UN commitments.
“The Danish way of life is far from climate-sustainable, and if we are to live up to the Paris Agreement target of keeping the global temperature rise ‘well’ below 2°C, it is necessary both to act quickly and involve food,” the council said.
Cattle alone account for some 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while the production of food as a whole makes up between 19 and 29 per cent, the council said.
Danes were “ethically obliged” to change their eating habits, it said, adding that it is “unproblematic” to cut out beef and still enjoy a healthy and nutritious diet.
Specifically, what global warming proponents are worried about with respect to cattle is their flatulence, and in particular, their belching. Even though bovine flatulence and belching isn’t responsible for much of global carbon emissions – according to the EPA, agricultural animal gas contributes to around 9% – every effort is being made to lower greenhouse gas emissions in every sector that produces them.
Of course, changing people’s behavior and eating habits will only work to curb global warming, if there is a link between carbon dioxide and the global climate. While there might be a correlation, correlation does not imply causation.