Danish Government Thinktank Proposes “Red Meat” Eco-Tax

We're here to tax your food

“We’re here to tax your food” – Schlacht beim im Rahmen einer Wikinger-Reenactment-Veranstaltung vom Museum Moesgård in Dänemark. Public Domain Image, source Wikia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Local, a Danish Newspaper, reports that the Danish Council on Ethics, a government funded think tank, has recommended that red meat be taxed to try to combat global warming.

Could Danes face a ‘red meat tax’ to help climate?

Saying that “climate change is an ethical problem”, the Danish Council on Ethics (Det Etiske Råd) has called for a climate tax on red meat.

The council said that Danes have an ethical obligation to minimize their climate impact and that a natural place to start would be lowering their red meat consumption.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization states that animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, more than the the total exhaust from all forms of transport worldwide.

Cattle alone is responsible for ten percent of all emissions and conservative estimates state that at least 43,000 litres of fresh water are needed to produce just one kilo of beef.

The Council on Ethics said that in order to live up to global environmental standards, Denmark should use a ‘climate tax’ to bring down the nation’s meat consumption. The Council said it debated the issue for six months, focusing on whether it should be left up to consumers to make more climate-friendly choices or if government should push them in the right direction by taxing the food products that have the greatest negative impact.

Read more: http://www.thelocal.dk/20160425/denmark-eyes-red-meat-tax-to-help-climate

The Danish Government is less than enthusiastic about the proposal.

A spokesman for governing party Venstre said the government is very unlikely to act on the council’s suggestion, calling it “a bureaucratic monster” that would have limited effect.

“Maybe it would get beef consumption to fall in Denmark, but it wouldn’t do much of anything for the world’s CO2 emissions,” Thomas Danielsen told broadcaster DR.

Read more: Same as above

Perhaps the Danish Council on Ethics should go on tour, try to sell their message of helping the environment with more taxes to impoverished working class regions suffering carbon policy inflated energy costs. After all, the Danish People already pay some of the highest tax rates in the world, so they surely won’t mind paying a little more.

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163 thoughts on “Danish Government Thinktank Proposes “Red Meat” Eco-Tax

  1. Dont they also have the most expensive electricity in europe, or near to?

    They are already paying taxes out the rear, climate hidden energy cost taxes to pay for their ludicrous bird killing mass of wind farm junk.

    I cant believe cow farts still have traction in this debate lol, nutcases

    • I think it is about the energy used to produce meat, not methane. I came to say that I haven’t given up my car and I sure as Hell won’t give up eating meat!

    • They want to decide where and how you can live. If and how you can travel. And now what and how much you can eat. They are modern Marxists, some call them cultural Marxism. And this is cultural terror. This is plan society with only collective solutions.

      • Mass starvation is what they are aiming for. Like with Ukraine during the Lenin era, Stalin starvation, Mao starvation during the Great Leap Backward, Cambodia, etc. This is their goal.

      • This is nothing more than the latest excuse for Politically-Correct Eating. Only one problem with that; the human species evolved as carnivores during the glaciations, it’s why we have a bigger brain than the apes.
        The fact is that one mundane-quality hamburger has more “antioxidants,” vital minerals and amino acids in it than a whole truckload of plant matter. Also, we did not evolve to eat grains AT ALL, as is being rapidly proven by the prevalence of diabetes and related diseases. Let the quinoa-and-kale crowd have their moral high ground until anemia, infertility and cancer catch up with them. You can’t change evolution!

      • Sounds like a Sheldon counterfactual… in a world ruled by the Danish Council on Ethics, what food is no longer consumed?

    • Last I heard Danes were paying 40¢ per kwh the highest in Europe, possibly the highest of all OECD countries. It has driven thousands of Danes (total population about 5.5 million) into energy poverty, defined as spending 10% or more of net income on electricity.

    • U say: >bird killing mass of wind farm junk<, Get out of your cellar! in the real world more birds are killed by cars than by wind farms!

  2. But no doubt they will be happy to continue exporting Danish bacon to the rest of the world…

  3. Given how much of the Danish economy is based on raising animals for the meat market and the battery farming of chicken and egg production this hardly seems likely to be a popular policy.

    • It’s not just for consumption, the population of Denmark is about 6.5M, but there are 20M pigs, which are not bred just for their meat. Denmark is probably the largest priducer of insulin, for which they need the pancreas of the pigs. In economic terms the meat is arguably a by-product.

  4. Upland farmers may not have the option to grow crops due to terrain, soil type and climatic conditions. They would be most displeased. Potentially a lot of land would be removed from food production.

    • Where I live the land is only suitable for the rearing of grazing animals. All farmers would go out of business and within a couple of years the land would revert to scrub.

    • Exactly! Such open range farming is generally good for the land, and good for food security, with consumption of all but breeding stock in emergency situations of crop failure. (I very rarely eat red meat, but, being an American, do not interfere with the rights of others)

  5. Sane people in Denmark must be praying that the latest recommendation from the insane “Council on Ethics” is rightly ignored by the Danish Government to the applause of the red meat eating descendants of the Vikings.

  6. You think it can’t get any more bizarre — then it does.

    Money left in the taxpayer’s pocket will be money well spent.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  7. This comes from from a Leftest Think tank which is an oxymoron. — Eugene WR Gallun

  8. The picture of the viking reenactors is ironic. I’m pretty sure I know how a viking would react to being told not to eat red meat … or being told anything else for that matter.

    A major benefit of the Viking diet was the fact that every level of society, from kings to common sailors, ate meat every day. Often this would have been pork, as hogs were easy to raise and quick to mature, but Vikings also ate beef, mutton and goats. Horses were also raised for food, a practice that led to later clashes with Christian leaders, as horsemeat was a forbidden food under church doctrine. Vikings were avid hunters, and would capture reindeer, elk and even bear to bring back to the hearth fires. And of course, since Vikings spent so much time on the water, fish formed a major part of their diet. Herrings were abundant, and prepared in a plethora of ways: dried, salted, smoked, pickled and even preserved in whey. link

    • But once the Vikings were tamed by the nobility, they ceased eating much meat at all. Note that the Church had many ‘meatless’ days, too. The nobility hunted as well as devouring meat every day and this made them taller and stronger so they could rule the peasants easier.

  9. I have increased fiber in my diet and decreased meat in recent years. The effect is to dramatically increase methane production, which has to be released, much to my wife’s disgust.

  10. The Vikings invaded “England” because they were, pretty much, starving and fighting among themselves and discovered “wealth” (Land to grow stuff like, errrm, food etc) there. And now they want to apply their values on the rest of us? Foxtrot Oscar Denmark! Don’t export your “culture” this time. I am happy to remain a Saxon!

    • You said it. What did those wonderfully peaceful Scandinavians do the one time they had a bit of power? They brought destruction, extortion, and tyranny to anyplace their long arm could reach. That’s what they did with their chance. Now that they are a historical backwater they presume to lecture us about peace and morality.

    • Well great story! Completely untrue, of course.

      Anyway the Vikings, became Normans and DID invade successfully. Last time anyone did.

      • “Anyway the Vikings, became Normans…”

        I believe they became Normans by overwhelming the local Franks and claiming their lands!
        I believe, also, that there was an invasion in 1940.
        I guess it’s fair to say that exchanging stolen silver for slaves is “trade”.

  11. I cooked up a beef roast today, i took “just out of the oven” slices, put mayonnaise on some buns, added tomatoes and lettuce — delicious. Ate that with an ice cream soda. — Eugene WR Gallun

  12. I have no idea but let us say that each Bullock produces 100kg of beef. At 43,000 liters of water per kilo, that is 430,0000 liters per beast over probably a four year lifespan at best. Can someone help out here, would that be correct?.

    • Most beef is good slaughtered around 2 years of age and yields more than 200 kg of meat, after the bone is removed. So 200kg would fit a claim of 8,600,000 liters over the 728 days. So the poor beast must utilize an average of over 10,000 liters a day. Didn’t know they could drink that much!.
      Of course these absurd, inflated claims count all the rain that fell on the pasture, and crop land; as well as to drive the waterwheel that powers the abattoir, and charges the electric truck for transport to market.

    • This is a bogus estimate which seems to have been arrived at by counting the head of cattle on a given field and then working out how much rain falls on that it and doing the following simplistic calc

      Water per kg = Amount of rain that fell on field/Total Mass of meat of cattle grazing on field.

      If you do the calculation for a farm in the Lake district where they get twice the rainfall that a farm in East Anglia gets you would deduce that cows in in the West need twice as much water as cows in the East. This is complete nonsense. Its like claiming that if you buy a house for $1000,000 that has one potato in it that would prove potatoes cost a million dollars each

      • Once they kill off the farms and it all goes back to scrub land, the water per kg of meat will approach infinity.
        Bogus math is fun!

      • Hold on…my guess is that the calculation includes the water needed to grow all the grain eaten by the cow. I have no specific figures, but I am guessing that would become a serious number. But that water is not lost, so I am not sure what the point is.

        That said, I am not sure why we worry about water usage…it quite literally falls from the sky.

      • Yes, I’ve often wondered how – on a planet that is mostly covered in water – that anyone can claim there’s a water shortage problem. There’s more than enough water. What we may have is a water distribution problem. But that can be solved. The Romans did it over a thousand years ago.

    • If you are trying to determine how much water cattle drink don’t forget a lot of it is surface water or well water and not necessarily potable water. Same for the land. Cattle are generally grazed on land not suitable for cash crops.

      • University of Nebraska

        ‘Q. How much water do cows drink per day? (July 18, 2012)

        “Daily water intake may vary from 3 to 30 gallons per day depending on age, body size (weight), stage of production and the environment (mainly air temperature).”

        beef.unl.edu/amountwatercowsdrink

  13. I was under the impression that Danish men thought they were REAL men.

    Seems not !!

    Were the Vikings really that PATHETIC?

    • In historical terms, very pathetic, indeed. (In the reprehensible sense.) Killer Smurfs.

      As one wit put it, “Yes, the Vikings Really Were That Bad.”

    • Dont be, Denmark is hijacked by idiots just like everywhere else, shouty minorities rule all that corporations dont care about these days

    • Is it true you all have a birth tattoo on your head that says ‘Government warning: fragile, handle with care, this way up?’

  14. Next in development – New Danish breathing monitor. Taxes Danes for every breath they exhale. It is free to inhale but exhaling is killing the panel. It comes with an optional methane monitor that meters exhalations from the other end, for those who are very eco (stupid) -minded, and taxes at twenty time the rate because we all know methane is a more powerful nonexistent-greenhouse gas.

    • You are absolutely right! My country is swamped with eco- and environmental nutcases including the government – left or right – it does not matter. Science is dead – it is all about moral and feelings.
      According to MAGICC, Denmark would accomplish a temperature reduction of 0,0000048 degrees celsius if we cut our meat production by 50%……..and for this we would have to pay billions. No sense!
      The judicial system is also doing great! A couple of weeks ago Lars Hedegaard editor of Jyllands Posten (Mohammad drawings) was fined 1500 dollars for disclosing the identity of the man (Basil Hassan) who tried to shoot him in the head disguised as a mailman. The guy has been let out of prison in fascist Turkey and has now joined ISIS in Syria. He is wanted internationally by interpol.
      The female judge ruled that his rights had been violated because he hadn’t been found guilty yet…… .
      You couldn’t make it up!

  15. So really balanced diets don’t figure anymore. Thats a cold country and is dependant quite a lot on meat exports. However, its a green dominated Govt so simply pay up and shut up!

  16. “animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, more than the the total exhaust from all forms of transport worldwide.”

    AGW theory has to do with fossil fuels. The argument is that carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, trapped deep under the ground and sequestered from the surface-atmosphere carbon cycle for millions of years, are “extraneous” carbon and that their sudden injection into the atmosphere may upset the surface-atmosphere carbon cycle and climate system.

    “Greenhouse gas” emissions from farming and even Indonesian forest fires, are part of the surface system. The rationale for switching from fossil fuels to wood pellets, ethanol, and other “renewable fuels” is that their carbon dioxide emissions are part of the surface system and not extraneous carbon from deep under the ground that had been removed from the surface system millions of years ago.

    it seems that AGW zealots, in their zeal, have forgotten their own theory and now hate all carbon, perhaps even carbon life forms like us.

  17. Two comments.

    First, humans have primarily been meat-eaters throughout our evolution, throughout the time we have been around on Earth. We lived through a time which was primarily ice ages. Times when CO2 and rainfall was so low that there was little to no trees, berries, roots or vegetables. What there was a lot of was grass herbivores – big cows and mammoth and whatever.

    This was our diet. We became persistence and kill-trap hunters. There were no vegetables around for 80% of the time that our species line has been around. We evolved for that and only started growing grains and vegetables in the last 10,000 years. Yes that a good development but there is nothing wrong with meat. It was our species evolved and lived on and what we are physically adapted for.

    Second, the pasture that cattle live on is one of the most efficient Carbon sinks there is. At least one quarter of human Carbon emissions are being sequestered away by grassland. This more than makes up for the tiny methane emissions.

    It is time for all the green myths to end.

    • Man has always been an opportunistic eater. We evolved to eat roots, berries and fruits when available. We also evolved in the last million years or so to eat meat.
      The idea that there were no vegetables of any kind until the last 10K years is so ridiculous that only an academic could have come up with it.

      • The only place C3 vegetable plants were growing 18,000 years ago was in the green areas on this map.

      • 1) I challenge the accuracy of your map.
        2) I challenge the relevance of you map even if it is accurate.

        Finally, tell me how root vegetables, berries and fruits managed to get into all of those areas since 18K years ago?

      • Apparently, our cousins the great apes, who kept eating a plant based diet, died out between 10K and 18K years ago. But nobody noticed.

  18. Global Warming, er now “climate change” has become the Universal Solvent of socialist utopians everywhere. While the models are all different, the conclusions all converge on the same socialstic dreams: less liberty, less prosperity, more government. But happily, the longer this scam is conducted, the more the models diverge from reality and the more spin and smoke the advocates must generate in order to keep it running. Indeed, at this point advocates are starting to expend so much energy to sustain the unsustainable, I wonder how big their carbon footprint is getting to be? Happily, the public is starting to see that “climate change” is old and busted as something to worry about.

  19. My thought is that millitant vegans are part of the green blob along with arcadian socialists, Malthusians and Luddites, so the grand coalition tends to make useless gestures to appease them. Killer cow farts are no more implausible than renewable energy.

  20. I don’t eat red meat. That is a personal choice I made in the 70’s. But I’d certainly oppose this tax which is wrong-headed in a number of ways. This proposal isn’t about vegetarianism vs meat-eating, so those making arguments along those lines are confusing the issue.

    • B.Cobb, – I’m still waiting to see if “…it just seems like live longer …” not eating meat. Personally haven’t knowingly eaten beef, pork, or poultry meat for 47 years & managed to do so working on 6 continents. I don’t interfere with what other people eat & agree that any methid of surcharging non-vegetarian food is improper.

  21. I wonder what the reaction would be if Danish Catholics demanded that Denmark pass a law prohibiting the sale or consumption of meat on Friday for “ethical” reasons? Wouldn’t that work just as well as imposing a tax? That would be a 14.2% reduction in meat consumption and would impose no economic hardship on anyone. Just a thought. I’m sure the government would prefer a ‘sin tax’. Of course I can’t think of a sin tax that has accomplished a significant reduction of sinners. By far those taxes are more likely to accomplish two things; turn into outlaws those sinners who avoid paying them and impoverish those who conform.

  22. “43,000 litres of fresh water” per kilo of beef. So how many litres per kilo of human? How about taxing water?

  23. From the much maligned Wikipaedia:

    “In October 2011, Denmark introduced a fat tax on butter, milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food if the item contains more than 2.3% saturated fat. However, in November 2012, the Danish Tax Ministry announced it would abolish the fat tax, stating that it failed to change Danes’ eating habits, had encouraged cross border trading, put Danish jobs at risk and had been a bureaucratic nightmare for producers and outlets. The proposed sugar tax plans were also scrapped.

    Mette Gjerskov, the Danish minister of food, agriculture and fisheries, stated that “the fat tax is one of the most criticized we had in a long time. Now we have to try to improve public health by other means.” Although the tax resulted in an additional $216 million in revenue, it also led to numerous complaints from Danish retailers that their customers were taking their business to other countries, such as Sweden and Germany, to take advantage of their lower prices.”

    Perhaps instead of trying to discourage Danes from eating ‘red meat’, the Danish Council on Ethics should try to get them to eat ‘long pig’ instead. This would be an acceptable substitute for beef and pork, and also help to keep the population down, thus automatically reducing CO2 emissions. For those who may be worried, this was foreshadowed by Jonathan Swift, in his “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick”.

    • Dudley Horscroft April 28, 2016 at 6:12 am
      “the Danish Council on Ethics should try to get them to eat ‘long pig’ instead.”

      Hmmm A whole knew meaning to “Swedish meatballs” I presume. Quite a change to the import export market also; with an increase in “take out” dinning”.

      michael

  24. I stand in awe of my moral and intellectual superiors. They have singled out one of the essentials of life, and deem it necessary to tax it to the point of privation for the citizenry. I note that such a tax would not have the desired effect until it is large enough to cause privation, that is the point. Why then, to pursue such a seemingly immoral and evil policy? Because, Ethics! The kind of Morality and Ethics which are only discernible by these towering intellects and are invisible to us mere peasants.

    On a seemingly unrelated note:
    I count 1 battleaxe, 4 medium broadswords, and a short sword in the forward ranks. There are a couple of helmets, some body armor, and a whole bunch of shields. Then some spears and pikes to round things out.
    They all seem to have an attitude problem, as well.

  25. 43 cubic meters to produce ONE kilogram of meat is a pure lie.
    One year ago a leftist french newspaper “le Nouvel Obs” launched a similar hoax claiming that making ONE hamburger needed 17 cubic meters of water. I demonstrated that while one cubic meter of tap water currently costs about Eur 2.00, how can the hamburger shops sell one hamburger about 3-4 Euros?
    The bigger the lie is, the better they swallow it.

  26. Does this apply to pet foods? In the US, there is a trend toward “grain-free” dog foods, in part due to dogs having allergies or intolerance to grain. Cats have always been eating meat in their “fancy” cat food. So does the cost of pet food go up? Will there be a cry to cut the meat out of pet food, even though it is detrimental to cats and some dogs? I wonder just how far this whole idea can go.

    (Denmark exports most of the meat they raise, much is reportedly pig, not beef, and that farming has declined in Denmark in the last decade. Raising the cost of meat will not put many people out of work while giving the Danish government more money to spend on the vegan population. If they were serious, they’d just outlaw meat production altogether, along with importing of meat. IF this were about global warming…)

  27. Gee, you’d have thought that people that live in Denmark wouldn’t mind it if the climate there got a bit warmer.

    But, what went wrong with the Danes? They used to be Vikings, hard men and women who didn’t put up with nonsense.

  28. Hmmm well, even discounting climate change completely the environmental impact of cows is so incredibly large (tropical deforestation, agricultural runoffs, over fertilization because of manure, water use, etc. etc.) that it makes sense to try and reduce red meat consumption by a fair amount.

    (If anyone is interested in the actual figures, google is your friend, or be an interested citizen and follow a couple of MOOCs of course ;)

    • benben, you are so right. Buffalo Bill was one of the first American naturalists that tried to save the plains from the devastation wreaked by herds that stretched as far as the eye could see, according to accounts of the day. As ruminants, they pushed so much methane into the air, and cleared millions of acres of grass, over-fertilizing as they went. The Indians didn’t understand the damage these huge herds were doing, and did little to control their numbers. Because of Buffalo Bill’s dedication, AGW was postponed by nearly a century. What a great man! /sarc off

      • I applaud your literary efforts at sarcasm, dear Kook. It must be so nice to live in a reality of my own choosing!

      • I find these reactions quite interesting. So I fully understand the doubt about the climate change scare, it being based on models more than actual observations. So there is somehow a valid reasoning behind it.

        But this apparent dismissal of other environmental issues is strange. If you clear out a whole bunch of jungle because you need to feed your cows, that is just a fact right? And nobody disputes that this is happening on a very large scale (just go look at some google maps satellite images). So is the problem here that you guys don’t believe that the meat industry has any impacts, or that you just don’t understand why you should care about environmental impacts if they are on a different continent?

        I’m not trolling here, please discuss :)

      • Benben, having an impact is not the same as having a negative effect. Does planting a crop in place of prairie land have a net benefit? Does controlling the proliferation of weeds, insects, fungus, and bacteria help? Remember, farmers are in the business of feeding 7 billion people, so weigh that in your cost/benefit analysis.

      • Thanks for your reply htb1969! The main problem with cows is that you need to feed them a huge amount to get a pound of meat (100 pounds of feed for a pound of meat? something in that order of magnitude). So as you said, 7 billion people, a lot of those don’t eat all that much cow, but there is this pretty big transition going on right now where everyone is starting to consume much more. You can imagine what happens is a billion people start replacing a couple of pounds of vegetables with a couple of pounds of meat. A HUGE increase in demand for agricultural land, which is driving absolutely massive tropical deforestation (because almost all normal agricultural land on the planet is already in use somehow).

        It’s not really about meat being bad per se, but more that it’s being eaten at an exponentially increasing rate. And if exponential growth hits a static boundary… well, we are all engineers here, we can imagine that does not go down very well on the long run.

      • Dairy cows also produce milk which can be used to make butter, cheese, cottage cheese and ice cream.

        And water is recovered from the cow’s milk so not wasted. Source of calcium for strong bones.

        Corn, beans and squash can provide all of the proteins needed by humans. Native Americans used all of them but also hunted for meat.

      • In the U.S. the average cow produces about 8 gallons of milk per day. The rest of it is fertilizer.

        Much of this kind of agricultural climate scam material is produced for urban audiences. This kind of misinformation can be put over on rural residents.

      • A lot of “agricultural land” isn’t used for grain. Grain cannot be grown on it. It is stony or sandy pasture, or, in the case of western ranges in the USA, more or less desert.

        Farmers seldom can afford to be wasteful. Land that can grow crops is used for crops. Land that can support cattle supports cattle. Land that can support goats supports goats. In the old days the buildings were often placed on the most worthless land. Pigs ate the garbage.

        The people making the “economic calculations” often live in suburbs that were built on prime farmland. They forget to include how much food building their own abode subtracted from the “world supply”.

        I think they forget a lot else, making their calculations. Perhaps they use new math. They seem to have about as much experience of farming as a school of fish. I imagine if one ever came face to face with a cow, they’d scream.

        I recall reading (back around 1970) about how stupid third-world people are and how over-grazing in India would lead to starvation in India. The people of India forgot to study those books. It was truly amazing to me how greatly the landscape of the Deccan Plateau east of Bombay had changed between 1974 and 2000. It went from over-grazed to grassy, from nearly treeless to having groves of young trees on hilltops. One of the big changes was they were able to replace dung and wood with propane, for cooking, and another change was they herded their goats more responsibly, without boys ripping down the branches of trees.

        Sometimes I fear that the people making “economic calculations” assume everyone else is an idiot, but perhaps the biggest idiots are in their own mirrors.

      • Thanks for the responses! MarkW, just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t make me a troll. It’s not nice to suggest otherwise. As to the rest, there are many, many studies on the exact life cycle inputs for meat, dairy etc etc. that take all this into account. There is nothing partisan or political about those and they all point in the same direction. It’s just basic accounting. And they’re quite easy to find on Le Internets. If you’re interested, go look them up. You’ll be surprised.

      • benben,

        you say “It’s not really about meat being bad per se, but more that it’s being eaten at an exponentially increasing rate.”

        Are you able to quantify the specific exponent to which you are referring? … and remember, you did say increasing rate, so no negatives. If you can’t find global data, just pick a country, any old country.

        Given the high grad ChEng advanced degree’d wunderkind that you are, it should be an easy task.

    • How much tropical deforestation do you think is going on in Denmark?

      It is a common fallacy to link Western habits of consumption to social and environmental ills in third-world countries. Eating beef and tropical deforestation, electronics and heavy metal poisoning, seafood and slavery … it is all nonsense. All these ills are due to local societal failings. It is not necessary to enslave people in order to let them catch shrimp. It is not necessary to mine heavy metals bare-footed and -handedly. It is not necessary to chop down rainforests or pollute rivers in order to feed cattle. It is not necessary to harvest crops with a scythe or sickle and stay forever poor.

      Abundant agricultural and industrial production is possible without serious environmental degradation in North America and in Europe. It would be possible elsewhere, too, were it not for general backwardness and corruption of the third world power elites. Dysfunctional societies destroy the environment, not hamburgers.

    • yes. once iowa and nebraska and oklahoma were dense, tropical jungle. tarzan used to swing on the lianas as he yodelled.
      and now the mississippi is nothing but an open sewer carrying cow pee to the gulf of mexico.
      meanwhile, back on earth…
      the siberian jungle has vanished due to centuries of rapacious burgerlust

    • Even if there are valid environmental reasons for cutting back on red meat, those are red herring arguments. They cite “climate change” as the reason. As usual, Climatists really don’t care about anything else, though they may pretend to. Their raison d’etre, their ultimate concern, false as it is, is “climate change”.

    • Michael Palmer, how is that nonsense? If your beef comes from brazil (and a lot of it does) then there’s a pretty clear link with tropical deforestation. If your electronics come from china (and a lot of it does) then there’s a pretty clear link with the pollution in China that comes from these factories. Yes in theory it could be different, but since its not, you have to deal with the world as it is, not how it could theoretically could be.

      And to the rest, just because there are people that link eating beef with climate change doesn’t mean that one can stop thinking and not consider all the other aspects that come into play.

      • Benben, it is up to the Brazilians to preserve or wreck their rainforests. If you don’t buy their beef, they will find some other livestock or crop that involves wrecking it. Same goes for Chinese electronics etc.

        All these Western guilt trips over trading this, that, or some other kind of stuff are nonsense. If you like taking the blame for the all the abuse in the world because you enjoy your iPad or your BBQ, suit yourself. Personally, I don’t find such crypto-religious self-flagellation sensible.

      • dear benben,
        i hope you will make it abundantly clear to every brazillian you own: out of tender concern for his rainforest, lord benben will not tolerate burgers on his planet.

      • And what are those Brazilians going to do in order to feed their families if you stop buying their beef?
        Think about the children man!!!

      • Michael, fair enough and I certainly concede the point that you don’t have to carry the weight of the world. But on the other hand there is an element of taking some personal responsibility. Just because our laissaiz fair economic system allows you to do a lot of things doesn’t mean you should be doing them. For example, if you know something is made using slave labour, you should not buy it, even if it appears on the shelves of your local store and is cheaper than the next, non-slave labour product. You’d agree with me on that, right?

      • benben says:

        if you know something is made using slave labour, you should not buy it… You’d agree with me on that, right?

        This may come as a surprise, benben, but very few commenters agree with much of anything you write. So maybe you can find the fault in a mirror.

        Often there is a choice: “slave” labor, or starvation. Literally. No one rounds up those workers at gunpoint and forces them into slavery, so stop it with the inflammatory language.

        It was no different in the West a couple centuries ago, when the choice was working in coal mines or starving. And putting together electronic parts is much preferable to mining coal.

        So enough with your false equivalence, benben. You’re wrong about almost everything, because you don’t think for yourself. You only parrot the media’s talking points. No wonder you get so confused.

        The truth is this: those people want to work in factories, because it pays them for their time better than any alternatives. The ‘do gooders’ who object have no understanding of the real world. It’s pretty clear that includes you, with your false accusations of “slave labor”.

      • That’s really sad DB. Just because we don’t agree on one topic doesn’t mean we can’t agree on the universally accepted thing that slavery is really really bad. Honestly, you’ve completely disqualified yourself with that last statement. I’ll ignore you from now on.

      • @ Benben

        “For example, if you know something is made using slave labour, you should not buy it, even if it appears on the shelves of your local store and is cheaper than the next, non-slave labour product. You’d agree with me on that, right?”

        I would indeed not buy a product of slave labour knowingly. However, I do not believe that this would make much of a difference. This problem can only be addressed effectively (in your chosen example) by the people in Thailand, not by the consumers half a world away.

  29. They need a Green Tax. Any product that claims to be Green/Eco-friendly/Sustainable/Vegan/Low Carbon Footprint etc… has a 5% added tax that is paid to a fund that these greenies can access for R/D. That way we could actually see what their commitment and leadership really means.

    • Leftists know themselves to be superior beings.
      So it’s impossible for their plans to be anything other than perfect.
      Besides, so long as you can ensure that only other people suffer from any short comings in your plans, then those short comings really don’t matter.

  30. If the protein alternative is to be soya & use USA annual average yield (single crop) of 19-60 bushel/acre then could produce 51-175 gram of soy protein/square meter cultivation. Most of that discrepancy in yield is from how well plants’ water needs are met & in some environments this involves irrigation. The human nutritional use of soy is not being parsed in this comment.

    Poultry produces 55% edible product & for every 1Kg fresh weight requires 2.5 Kg feedstock. Pork also produces 55% edible product, while for every 1 Kg fresh weight requires 5.1 Kg feed. Beef produces 40% edible product & for every 1 Kg fresh weight requires 10 Kg feed. This data obviously is for managed husbandry & averages would vary for homestead practices.

    1 Kg of broiler chicken reared on 2.3 Kg grain can be considered as indirectly using 3,500 liters of water that grain needed to grow. On range land forage 1 Kg beef can be considered using 200,000 liters of water that forage needed to grow. In cases where rain &/or soil moisture provide all that water this is a non-issue. However, if producing 1 Kg of beef via feedlot then need 13 Kg of grain (where use 5,400 liters water to grow 4 Kg grain) +
    30 Kg of hay (where use 100,000 liters water to grow 100 Kg hay). Which is also not an issue if rain &/or soil moisture provide that water.

    Where I farm it is semi-arid in a “developing” country. The cattle
    require delivery of water during dry season & culled herds to be
    profitable. Grazing is parched months at a time & feed must be brought in. I have invested in 2 potable wells & yet others nearby
    dug wells that became unusable. Ranchers finance flat bed trucks to put black plastic water tanks on, drive to buy water or if can herd their cows seasonally to leased grazing in parts of the highlands having some rain during that season.

    Goat rearing for may be in some readers mind as an alternative to cattle & the ranchers that went for goats gave that up years ago; they returned to cattle, which despite seasonal struggles still was more profitable. Pigs in “my” countryside are
    fed slop scraps & whey from cheese makers if have the connections; they wallow under a tree. Poultry is truly free range – often in & out of kitchens as well. Commercial chicken rearing operations often struggle economically due to feed costs & disease crisis that arise periodically.

  31. There is already a 25% tax on red meat in Denmark called MOMS (on virtually everything you can buy) or Value Added Tax (VAT) as opposed to say UK, where food is exempt. If the Danish Government tried to impose such an extra tax there would be a riot.

  32. If I were a Dane I’d send in my red meat tax in the form of 10% of any steak I had for dinner. “There’s your cut, Mr. Tax Man.”

    (If it happened to take a few weeks to arrive, well… I have a model that says 97% of the meat sent in won’t smell as bad as we thought.)

  33. Isn’t Denmark the country that lost over $1 billion in the carbon market trading scam? I guess they need more of other people’s money for the next scheme. But then it isn’t ever your money in Denmark. It’s the collective’s money.

  34. Marxist economics and Socialism don’t work. They are only partially successful for a short time till they run out of OPM. (Other Peoples money). Having exhausted other taxation methods, Trying to tax food is a sign that Scandinavian experiments in Marxism are entering their terminal stages.

    The only question is what the forms of repression will take, Planned starvation, Gulags, or eco-justified Cannabilism?

    • Socialism only works in wealthy countries.
      Even then it only works for a short time. Eventually as Stas mentions, you run out of other people’s money, and the whole thing collapses.

  35. The climate correctness has no limit. Now the city of Copenhagen sell the shares they have in Maersk, and the reason is that Maersk extract fossil fuels. No one mentions that it is the users of these fuels that produce the “bad” CO2. Maybe Maersk is not the best investment, but the reason was purely moral.

    -Svend, Denmark

    • Personally, I love to read about large groups divesting from oil companies.
      It’s a great buy signal.

  36. I’m sure the Progressives will find a climate application to enforce every single one of their agenda items.

      • IN horses and camels, they have canine teeth, but they are virtually indistinguishable from the other teeth.
        Warthogs and hippos use theirs for fighting.

      • MarkW,

        Are equine canine teeth “virtually indistinguishable” from molars or incisors?

        DonM,

        Not merely “omnivorous” but cannibalistic, too! It’s a horse-eat-horse world!

      • @ Mebbe and others, My neighbor got bitten on his arm by a horse, no need for canine teeth, the other ones do just fine indeed, his arm was badly slashed and broken, ( not sure if the horse ATE anything but I would not want to run an experiment.)

  37. Is the climate in Denmark so hot that the thought of a little global warming scares them? Or do they stack their think tanks with people whose job it is to come us with new proposals for taxing the populous?

    Have they bothered to determine if the food and protein sources that will replace meat consumption will not cause even more harm to the environment?

  38. …conservative estimates state that at least 43,000 litres of fresh water are needed to produce just one kilo of beef…

    Let us just change that sentence a tad.

    ‘We make up estimates as we go so while The US Beef industry claims a figure of some 441 gallons per pound in 1993 we, The Green Bandits, just keep raising the stakes (boom boom)

    Alan Durning. 1991. 840 gallons
    Marcia Kreith 1991 2464 gallons
    David Pimentel. 2001 12004 gallons (about 45,500 litres)

    Note this source (‘Ecocentric Kai Olson-Sawyer 2011’) used gallons per pound. while kilo and litres was used in the body of the Danish article.

    And even though Mekonnen and Hoekstra cite the figure (2010) at 1799 gallons we, the Green Liars, shall always cite the higher, warmer, cooler or lower figure whichever is the most alarming figure.

    43000 litres per kilo or pound is just another alarmist pitch that will be cited ad nauseum so I would like to cite from the Impeccable and Prestigious RobbertBobbert Science Journal that the latest study of BS and Cow Dung has concluded that the Month Of April 2016 has created 430 million Kilos of Klymit Scyence BS and Cow Dung

    This is the largest amount of anthropogenic BS and Cow Dung in any field, let alone climate science, since records have been kept.

    Naturally should these records not be deemed sufficiently alarmist to gain significant and long term grants to our impeccable, prestigious and fabulously excellent organisation they can, and will be, subject to adjustment.

    43000 litres. Naah. Lets make it 52,000 and we are open to higher bids. And Higher Grants too.

  39. I am just getting sick of this BS , why we are paying these people is beyond me but the sad fa(c)t is that they are elected in the first place.

  40. If the Danes meekly accept this latest bollocks then they deserve to be deprived of everything they can’t afford to buy.

  41. One area (among many perhaps) where the calculation is flawed comes from a lack of consideration of the aspect of feed. Gringojay above mentions the amounts of feed grain necessary in particular instances. Fair enough. What the vast majority of the public and almost certainly those spouting various water claims don’t recognize is that if we don’t feed that “feed” grain to the animals then it will no use at all. Grain is graded for a variety of reasons that can be mostly distilled down to “quality”. Using wheat as an example, at a particular grade it will be very well suited to baking and is of very high quality with very little in the way of defects. In Canada for example you can have #1, #2, #3 or feed grade wheat and all will meet different sets of standards. But that feed grade is, for various reasons (mildew, sprouted, ergot, etc.) not suitable for the uses for human consumption. It’s not necessarily unhealthy (ergot) but may not produce the quality of flour necessary to bake a consistent product. As such it ends up as feed. Farmers strive to have the best quality of wheat (or any other grain for that matter) because it yields the highest dollar return to them, logically because it can subsequently be sold for the most money. No farmer strives to grow feed grade wheat.
    Why is this relevant? Simply because any amount of feed grade grain production should be excluded from the water equation. So all the inputs involved, particularly water, should not be factored in simply because little to none of that grain was targeted to be fed to animals. Mother nature simply ensures through various mechanisms (temperature, drought, insect of pathogen damage) that we do indeed have enough to feed to various forms of livestock. I would put a year’s paycheck on the line to suggest that is NEVER factored in to any calculation regardless of how much or how little it is exaggerated.

  42. Tropical rain forests are at best “carbon-neutral”, ie neither sinks nor sources of carbon dioxide. Grasslands however are carbon sinks. So, setting aside any CO2 released by burning the forests, “climate change” alarmists should welcome this transition. If the forests are logged rather than burnt, then the lumber goes into houses or other construction, so is also sunk, stored or sequestered. If pulped for paper, then the carbon storage is less than for structures.

  43. The yellow kite shield in the photo is anachronistic, if meant to represent Vikings in general and the Danish Great Heathen Army in particular. Kite shields didn’t appear until the 10th century at the earliest, and originally for Norman cavalry, to protect the lower legs. The Bayeux Tapestry does however show English infantry using kite shields. Whether this actually happened or was an invention of the Norman artist or seamstresses, I don’t know. But in any case, the GHA was in the 9th century and early Viking raids 8th century.

  44. “The Local, a Danish Newspaper,” — not so fast. The Local has online editions for many European countries and it is based in Sweden. It’s in English in all cases and seems to be aimed at ex-pats, and it is mostly run by ex-pats. See thelocal.com and
    http://www.thelocal.se/page/view/aboutus

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