On Dasher, On Dancer …

Is the EPA going to play Scrooge?

A team of researchers at the Oregon State University has noted that with all the concern about the effect of carbon emissions on the global climate, a major greenhouse gas is being overlooked: methane. And methane is over 20-times more powerful than carbon dioxide in trapping heat.

Cows, sheep, goats, and other ruminants produce tons of methane in their digestive systems. Over the past 50 years the population of these animals has risen from 2.4 to 3.6 billion animals. Reducing demand for ruminant products could help achieve substantial greenhouse gas reductions.

An important—though unusual–use for ruminants in today’s economy is transportation. One northern-latitude animal crucial to global commerce at this time of year is the reindeer. They provide critical transportation services for specialized delivery vehicles in high demand during late December. Their methane emissions occur in the stratosphere, so their activity could be restricted in the next round of global climate change negotiations.

The reindeer herds need a special exemption if Christmas gifts are to arrive on time. Pigs and poultry may be able to produce meat, but they can’t replace Rudolf when it comes to lighting the way for Santa’s sleigh.

Merry Christmas to all!

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

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