Saturday, 21 November 2009

Carbon Cap n Trade? – Eat the Dog

Doubtless 50% of the UK’s half-awake population have been brainstormed by know-all media pundits gobbing off about the forthcoming global warming propaganda summit in tropical Copenhagen next month – and may well have scratched their arses – and then their collective heads – for a brief and fleeting moment – about doing their bit for Al Bore and Mother Nature - and cleaning up their carbon footprint.

So where do you start cutting the family's greenhouse gas emissions? Turn off the telly? (no way Edgar). Grow Giant Sequoias in the back garden instead of daffodils? Trade in the 4 x 4 Chelsea Tractor for a mountain bike? Volunteer Granny for one of the NHS funded ‘Euthanasia First’ assisted suicide trips to Switzerland?

Or - according to a new celebrity chef cookbook – ‘Pet Recipes’ – flog the dog - and Granny’s cat - to the local butcher.

The recently-published book - co-authored by Kiwi down-under ‘Petophobes’ Jasper and Candida McTwat – claims that the real answer to solving global warming isn’t getting China to de-industrialise or shutting off the world’s electricity and fuel supplies but giving all our cuddly companions the proverbial hoof – with the ubiquitous dogs and cats topping the pet popularity list.

According to the E-USSR’s Ministry for Wasting Time and Money covert pet census, dogs claim the number one spot with six million UK households owning a four-legged barking machine. Cats are right behind with 5.2 million UK homes having at least one manky moggy in residence.

The McTwat’s ‘Pet Recipes’ book focuses on our pet’s environmental Carbon Paw Prints and they argue, convincingly, that the amount of CO2 produced by an average town’s dogs and cats surpasses that generated by the Space Shuttle heading off to the International Space Station every week to deliver the newspapers, semi-skimmed milk and fresh bread.

The authors claim that keeping a large dog (German Shepherd / Doberman) has the same ecological impact as driving a 4.6 litre Land Cruiser 10,000 miles per year – with your average mangy cat equalling the carbon output of a 250cc trail bike doing a similar mileage.

Instead of measuring emissions of CO2 equivalents, the McTwats calculate the literal footprint or "global hectare" (gha) - the amount of land it takes to support a given activity.
They calculate that constructing and driving the Land Cruiser for a year takes 0.81 gha.
Growing and manufacturing the 264 kg of meat and 125 kg of cereal biscuit a Doberman eats every year gives it a pawprint of 1.1 gha.

Hence the choice, in their logical, common sense opinion - and mathematical estimation is simple - keep driving the 4 x 4 and eat the Doberman. Or, if you’re a motor bike enthusiast – keep the Enduro and barbeque the cat.

(According to the book’s comparative statistics columns the average resident of the UK requires just 1.89 gha per annum to survive and thrive – whereas the average overweight American, by contrast, requires a whopping 9.5 gha)

However some pet lovers will be relieved to know that the carbon pawprints of other pets are not so damaging.
A hamster’s is just 0.014 gha, and a canary’s footprint 0.007 gha – with the most carbon efficient pet being a goldfish – which has a tiny "finprint" of just 0.00034 gha.
However the argument goes that as cuddly conversation companions goldfish really suck.

Thus how can we get the companionship and pleasure of pet ownership without it weighing too heavily on our carbon consciences?
Well, the McTwats have the solution to that dilemma already solved – after we’ve eaten our ‘environmental enemy’ doggy and pussy cat pets we should swing to keeping chickens and rabbits - which will not only keep us company but make a tasty dinner too.

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