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The Life and Crimes of a Broken Toy

I know, funny title, right? I know those of you who follow me wait, sometimes for months, for me to crawl out of my literary miasma and lay down some stuff. I am sorry I have been neglectful. I can not say for certain that this behavior will change, but one can always hope, right? It is hard having a hundred voices in your head screaming for attention. It is even worse when all the voices are your own, but they all say different things.
So, what shall I talk about today? How my employers are a bunch of fascist socialist control freaks who have squelched my last bastion of sanity at work? No, I do not think you want to hear about that. Getting into any detail would likely get me fired because it is already well known that Big Brother watches Facebook and who knows, perhaps I have been found out here. I know I am being cryptic, but one can never be too careful. Our private lives are public record. We are all just cogs in the machine running around in circles driving the gears of the corpse grinder until our time comes and we are consmed by the same machine we have been driving all of our lives. Poetic irony, some would say. “Crying bloody tragedy” gets my vote.
I am of the opinion that this country and, in fact, this world is out to fuck us, and notvin a nice way. One can argue this position or that position to the contrary, but the evidence just does not line up. Easy example: this country is still dependent on fossil fuels for the vast majority of its energy needs. In contrast, Venesuela converted to ethanol and now sells its oil to other countries. It is for this reason that Chavez is even in the news and considered a threat. I do not agree with the man’s politics or ethics, but he managed to do something amazing: he made countries ten times larger than his own dependent on Venezuela for its oil.
Our nation is bound to the oil industry because it us bound to cattle. The beef farmers and the oil refiners have been in bed together for a very long time and it is those two industries that have this nation’s money and resources locked up. It takes ten times the amount of fuel to provide for the needs of a single cow than it does to provide  for a single human. The amount of pollution generated by the cattle industry alone is catastrophic.
So, where am I going with this? And do not worry, this  is not another veggie terrorist rant as I have done on occasion in the past. This is simple economics. If, for example, 10% of the cattle farmers were to stop herding and processing cattle and start growing corn for ethanol production, not only would the nation see a 10% reduction in pollutants…but wait, if a single cow consumes ten times more fuel, it must produce ten times more pollution than a single human does. So, for the price of a ten percent reduction in beef production, the country yields a hundred times that value in reduction of pollutants in the air! Based on economic theory, that would be something like 1000% profit based on our one to ten ratio.
Now, before the idea of significantly cleaner air is “poo-pooed” away as insufficient reason, let us look at farming. It again takes ten times the amount of food to feed one cow than it does to feed one human. So, a ten percent reduction in beef production would create  enough of a food surplus to not only feed the hungry in our own nation, but allow for the sale of that surplus and provide for more humanitarian efforts for the people in countries who are not able to produce or purchase enough food for themselves. I know, still sounding like a hippie, but I am not done yet.
Let’s talk about housing. Housing cattle, grazing land, slaughtering facilities, etc. require a great deal of land and a great expenditure of resources for overhead alone. A ten percent reduction in beef reduction not only opens up more potential farmland to grow food stuffs and vegetable products for conversion into fuel, but creates space for housing for the homeless and potential work for those who are able. More farming requires more hands to run them. That would, in my opinion, silence those who speak against people receiving a “free ride.” If homeless individuals want to take advantage of this extra housing space, let them work in the farms and ethanol conversion facilities to pay for it.
Now, I could go on and on, but I will wrap this up. Ethanol’s detractors may argue that ethanol does not burn as efficiently as gasoline and one would have to fill up one’s gas tank more often, but it costs a third of the amount to produce and sell a gallon of ethanol than it does to produce and sell a gallon of gasoline. So, even if one has to fill up one’s tank more often, it is still a more cost-effective option. Fossil fuels are a limited resource, while ethanol is a renewable resource. So, where is the issue? Greed.
Politicians are controlled by their lobbies. The two lobbies with the greatest influence are…you guessed it: the beef and oil producers. As long as these two industries control Congress, this country will continue its downward spiral to financial ruin. Even a simple ten percent reduction in the cattle industry alone would pay vast dividends and would lessen, if not eliminate, the national debt in a very short amount of time. The beef producers would not be put out in the cold. If they convert to corn production, they could choose to be subsidized by the government and reap substantial profits that way.
The United States needs to start taking the long view and adapting itself to a conservationist rather than consumer culture. Otherwise, we are the ones who will bw consumed.

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