Importance of Natural Resources

‘Hey Bill Nye, Is There a Conspiracy to Cover Up Agricultural Climate Change?’ #TuesdaysWithBill


Batman: Hello Bill. I’m Batman and I’m a big fan. My question to you is why isn’t the agricultural
sector especially with the cows being addressed with global warming with as much media attention
as oil companies seeing as it is actually the biggest factor affecting global warming. At this day and age do you believe that there
is a conspiracy? Thank you. Bill Nye: Batman. Thank you for your question. I hardly recognized you. I really appreciate you introducing yourself. So there is actually a lot of attention being
drawn to the effect of agriculture on climate change. And I want to emphasize that’s really cow
belches coming out the mouth where most of the methane comes from. They have four stomachs. They do things a little differently than we
do. And people are studying ways to make cows
less belchful. I don’t know how effective they’re going
to be but there is actually a lot of attention being drawn to it. As far as there being a conspiracy I really
wouldn’t call it a conspiracy. We’ve been doing it this way for so long,
250 years, burning fossil fuels, burning the material of ancient swamps or wetlands that
it’s a hard habit to break. When it comes to agriculture keep in mind
that there are 7.3 billion people around today. But by 2050 there will be at least 9 billion
people. There may be 10 billion people. And so those people are going to have to eat
and it’s very reasonable that all of us will move increasingly toward a plant based
diet and it will not be economical to raise cattle and sell meat. That it may go that way just with market forces. All this aside or all this included or think
about all this at once. What would be great I will say as a science
educator, a voter and taxpayer, what would be great is if we had a tax. Or we cannot ever use the word tax, if we
had a fee on the production of greenhouse gases. So if you have a dairy farm, if you have a
meat ranch, a cattle ranch, a pig farm or ranch or farrowing operation what have you. If the farmer or the rancher were required
to add the cost of putting methane into the atmosphere into the cost of his or her products
then consumers would make different decisions about those products. And this fee would be inherently fair. We would have it on agricultural products. We would have it on oil and gas used in transportation. We’d have it on the transportation that
the oil and gas use to take ships across the ocean. So it would be a fair and inherent tariff
on goods produced overseas whether they are manufactured goods or agricultural products. So this is a big idea. But when you have the fossil fuel industry
working so hard to introduce doubt about climate change and you have these climate change deniers
who have been so successful in getting the idea that plus or minus two percent is really
plus or minus 100 percent. It’s been very difficult to get this sort
of thing like a carbon fee or a methane fee put in place. So I’m skeptical of a conspiracy but I want
you to know people are thinking hard about the effects of agriculture and methane and
meat production on the environment. But it’s an excellent question Batman. An excellent question. Now I know you’re having fun but I encourage
you when you ask serious questions maybe to not dress as Batman. With that said I think everybody here had
a good time with it so maybe you did the right thing. Carry on Batman. Carry on. Protect us all caped crusader.


Reader Comments

  1. climate change is more than just greenhouse gases. Bill never mentioned water or land use, deforestation and species extinction with Animal Agriculture. Batman was just doing the right thing

  2. Im not sure how i feel about the tax idea. I feel like that would end up only hurting farmers, as they all ready have a hard enough time sustaining themselves.

  3. The tax you are talking about would basically run every farmer and rancher out of business. Cows are a safer bet as far as food goes simply because of climate change. A cow can survive an early frost plants cannot. Where i live we are experiencing a crazy amount of climate change we are getting freezes in July and 90 degree weather in December when we where for years 40 below zero. The people that farm in the area are having disastrous crop yields do to the almost 3 month early freezing temps in the area.

  4. Yeah, cause as long as you pay a fee, then suddenly those emissions arent dangerous anymore… fuck off Bill; either make it illegal, or dont. Taxing it creates revenue for government, and what happens when people eventually starts choosing other products? The revenue suddenly goes down again and then government uses that to justify increasing taxes in other areas (even though the revenue from the newly introduced tax didnt fucking exist at all before). This happens time and time again when "discouragement tax" is introduced and then the government panics when it actually works and the money stream decreases back to what it was (look at places that had/has high tax on tobacco products for example). Increased taxation is not the answer.

  5. It's so simple to understand, it's all about the carbon cycle. Fossil fuels add NEW carbon to the cycle, which had been trapped underground for millions of years. Methane from cows (which is still a valid problem) ultimately came out of the atmosphere via the plants they eat. Cow don't add new carbon to the carbon cycle… fossil fuels do.

  6. Such a political answer! Just say it as it is! Feed the damn cows grass as they naturally eat. Not corn and other substitutes that are a bi product of other industry that we try and force feed them with..They will need less antibiotics, less sicknesses, etc. BUT we so OVER produce and sell products from cows, and we so strongly push such a diet the greed from industrial farming is what rules the reality of today.

  7. Agricultural gases are renewable. The grass grows > the cow eats it > the cow digests the grass, releasing methane > atmospheric methane is decomposed into CO2 and H2O through reactions with atmospheric radicals (lifetime 9.6 years) > the CO2 is used to grow grass >>
    It's destroying the carbon sinks, such as clearing the land to grow grass that is the problem, which could be at least mitigated with better farming practises. Ultimately fossil fuel consumption is destroying a carbon sink that has no process to deal with it, which is much more dangerous and therefore gets way more airtime.
    I'm surprised Bill didn't make that distinction.

  8. 40% (or something approximate) of rainforest deforestation is caused by husbandry, why no talks about that. It is not just methane it is also things like land use.

    We do agree on the answer tho and it is not just for husbandry, we need to take into account OUR environment as any finite resource, which means putting a price to it. Because really the People are the ones getting ripped off by corporations here, yet again. Corporations are nothing more than legal constructs which ONLY goal is to make profit they will never change on climate issues – no matter how much greenwashing they do – unless the governments use the tools at their disposal to make them. The problem really is that in our current global world the first country to do this would lose business to other countries (because, again, a company only goal is profit), it will be either everyone or no one and it is a challenge I do not think we are ready for seeing as we can't even agree as a planet to stop with nuclear weapons.

    What people that say "Climate change always happened" do not mention is that those past climate changes have led to mass extinctions (including very nearly our own) and aggravating or creating human conflicts, like we are starting to see in countries like Syria. "Extinction is the rule, survival the exception." Speeding it up with our activities is not a good idea no matter if you believe despite all evidence that we do not have an effect big enough to be the leading factor.

  9. Thanks for this Video Bill. I always enjoy your presentations. The first question I ask when people start going on about global warming and how we need to save the planet , I ask "Are you a Vegetarian? "

  10. Ughhh while are people so easily distracted by superficial nonsense!!??
    So the guy is dressed up like Batman. Who cares! The more important thing is Bill Nye answering his question and trying to educate people about global climate change!!
    It never ceases to amaze me how much time and energy people spend on trivial nonsense like Batmans voice etc.
    Seriously folks, please think a little about what is being said here.

  11. fuck your tax idea… fuck all taxes…. taxes, are extortion by definition….. exchanging ink blob soaked tree pulp under threats of violence isnt gonna solve problems……..2 wrongs dont make a right… i expected a legitimate answer from Bill Nye 🙁

  12. So glad I live at the point in time where I can afford to eat multiple pounds of meat a day. Fuck this protein deficient plant-based future.

  13. Methane does indeed warm the atmosphere, and reducing cattle and sheep production would reduce methane. However, methane from cows could not be responsible for the upward trends in methane concentration and greenhouse gases overall. The reason is that dramatic downward trends in wild grazing animals (bison, wildebeast, elephants, etc.) have occurred at the same time as our upward trends in cattle and sheep production. It is debatable what direction the global balance in ruminants and other herbivores have changed, as evidence for the size of the wild herds in the 18th century and before is sketchy. Yet, they were definitely far larger than they are today.

    Recent studies have shown that cattle raised on grain actually belch less methane than cattle fed on grass. I'm sure that point would surprise many people, but it seems to be a high confidence result. This implies that cattle raised on grain in feedlots might actually produce less greenhouse gas than cattle fed free range. Carbon released from burning the fossil fuel to harvest grass, grain, and alfalfa might be more important to climate change than the methane the cows belch, because that carbon is being taken from storage in the earth instead of recycled from carbon in the atmosphere into plants to be fed to cows and then belched out as methane. Besides that, if all that feed were left on the ground unharvested, some of it decays through the action of methane producing bacteria anyway, thereby producing some methane even without the cows.

    Another recent study showed that the optimum food production for human needs would be achieved by reducing the present extent of land used to feed cattle and sheep, but retaining the present rangeland used for meat production to continue producing meat. Many vegetable and grain crops will not grow in those range areas. So, continuing meat production in those places would allow for the highest possible food production after expanding vegetables and grains into some regions now used to grow animal feed. The world of optimum food production thus does not eliminate all animal food–it simply reduces it from present levels.

  14. Wait did Bill actually say plant-based diets? For everybody? Including the fat and lazy? How will they survive? You can't roll a child to da vegan bistros as easy as an arby's dangit… all jokes aside. I can hardly believe that even made it to the mainstream. It's like suggesting we stop driving to most folks. I'm biased I already eat plant-based. Just surprised because THAT seems like the dirty secret of the medical industry that's looming in the background. Agriculture sector as well, but medicine too, because you know, heart attac… well the dark stuff. You know.

  15. Just take the subsidies off of animal based foods. Let the consumers pay the actual cost of eating meat, and the damage to the environment it causes. The market would take care of the problem when each quarter pound hamburger would cost $900.00 dollars. It takes 660 gallons of water to produce one quarter pound burger. The conspiracy is why the cattle industry does not have to pay for the water they use, or for the environmental damage and pollution they create. Another tax is not needed. Lets just get rid of all the subsidies for any product that is harmful to humans or the the environment.

  16. Does anyone remember the "problem" with a hole in the ozone layer in the 80s and everybody was pushing non-aerosol products? And there are still a lot of aerosol products on the shelves 30+ years later. Same agenda. Different narrative.

  17. Well, we could just decrease the subsidies given to expensive animal products.
    And we could encourage people to eat less meat. (RUNS AWAY FROM ANGRY MOB)
    That alone might decrease heart disease as well. (DODGES BACON AND HAMBURGERS THROWN FROM SECOND ANGRY MOB)

  18. How would the carbon tax be used to make the atmosphere get rid of this excess carbon????? Would it possibly be used to develop a means by which to expell this excess carbon or just used to add a global tax on the whole planet and make the rich richer???

  19. Bill Nye for president!

    We should introduce this tax at an extremely low rate so people get used to the idea of it being there, then raise it slowly so people working in these industries have a chance to adapt, find a new career, etc.

  20. Delusions result in pathological sophistry (lying) to make excuses. The fact that so many are happy to be in a mental rut and to leave it up to a future generation is what it is. He also thinks dual over head cam engines are modern tech, and pushrods are not..which is why he is a science educator and not so much an actual Scientist.

  21. On carbon tax – I've been reading the book 'how bad are bananas' and green house gases are SO complicated! Animal agriculture is an easy win to tax, as are flights, but other things are more complicated. It completely depends on the usage of certain things. Let's take day-to-day transport for example, it can actually be more efficient to drive a full car than to take an unpopular bus or train. And actually, plastic packaging is less CO2 intensive than paper bags as they just sit inertly in landfill rather than rotting away and emitting gases. The author of the book even admits that things can be calculated in different ways and it's impossible to account for everything. I adore the idea of a carbon tax, but in practice it would be difficult to have it spread evenly across everything, but it would kind of have to be spread across everything to make it fair and to stop companies complaining that they've been singled out. I highly recommend that book by the way (get it second hand to avoid its embodied CO2!)

  22. Tax for what? To pay corrupt officials so they can buy a new car every year…if we were scrubbing greenhouse gases some how and it cost (x)$ then make a tax, otherwise you just increase the price of necessities for no tangible improvement in the environment

  23. Finally he addresses the issue. I think there is some cover up despite what Bill said, but his answer was satisfactory. The solution is to impose taxes on meat, agricultural, dairy, and oil products.

  24. It's kind of hilarious/sad that Bill talks about taxing agricultural greenhouse gases when the government does the exact opposite – it gives agriculture money in the form of subsidies. It's hard to believe that he's not aware of this.

  25. HEY BILL!
    WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GO VEGAN AND INSPIRE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE TO GO VEGAN AS WELL! NOT JUST TO END ANIMAL EXPLOITATION, OR TO IMPROVE OUR HEALTH, BUT TO SERIOUSLY REDUCE THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE??!?!?!?!

  26. I thought Batman was hilarious! Wouldn't change a thing! …especially the cough half way through and the asthmatic nature of speech. 🙂

  27. That "Fee" – while I agree it's a very good idea from the point of view of the health of the environment – would never ever get past the agricultural lobby.

    In practical terms we need to give businesses an easy alternative to make their money from that isn't damaging to the environment. Then we can tax-oops, not tax – greenhouse gas production.

  28. That is a good idea however a lot of farmers live on very little money, so it would be a huge blow to their finances and lives.

  29. Giving the cows drugs to reduce burping is a cute solution to the environmental impact of the meat industry. Way to think big.
    Specially since it completely ignores the problem of trillions of tons of poo that keeps being pumped into rivers and oceans.
    And it ignores the fact that it takes 50000L of clean drinking water and 100kg of food to produce 1kg of beef. Not to mention the amount of land and energy used. It's not even sustainable now with our current population.

  30. I had to remove my earbuds after three sentences because of the awful voice the guy used, and then he took forever to go away! What the hell was he asking that you gave him so much screen time for?

  31. The carbon in grass is cellulose, which is like wood or paper. If a cow eats grass or hay, then some of the carbon comes out as CO2. Suppose you got rid of the cow, and left the land bare. Actually, nature ran buffalo on the grassland, so that would be a bigger change than raising beef. But if you did fallow the ground, the grass would dry, the rain would wet it, and it would flop on the ground to be eaten by bugs, worms, bacteria, etc, and some of the carbon would come out as CO2.

  32. Batman? More like a 40 year old virgin living in his moms basement wearing a homemade Batman Mask that he made from his mother’s panties. And that voice. Wtf

  33. What about all the methane from people farts after all the 7.3 billion people farting all the time. We could just murder about 6 Billion people from those other countries in the world.

  34. Why don't we eliminate 4 billion humans? That would help for a little while. Then we could work on a solution with less pressure and influence.

  35. Your hybrid car isn't enough.. Eat less meat or none at all… Offset your carbon and see your carbon footprint… carbotax.com .. For me it's almost $20 a month.

  36. You should all watch a documentary called “Cowspiracy” a little know journalist open a lot of doors and sheds a lot of light on how the agriculture industry in accordance with the EPA want to very little about The agriculture industry being the number one pollutant on our planet. It’s very clear that the fossil feels industry has been a scapegoat for very long time

  37. How would it be fair to take dairy and meat cows the same? – 71% of methane comes from the meat industry and only 6-7% from agriculture like dairy production. Also this would impact small farmers who depend on what income they can get as opposed to industrial agriculture which is more likely to be able to handle the cost of a methane tax.

  38. It's all well and good to 'think very hard' about climate change produced by animal agriculture, but where in this deep thinking do you realise that we should just not do it? Continuing animal ag is like continuing coal energy. Sure it can be done in better ways, but it's soooo much better to just not do it. Eat plants, stop needlessly killing animals and our environment, and live vegan <3

  39. Bill nye is missing the point. Agriculture is a major player in climat change. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-28419-5

  40. I threw away my lawn mower and got 2 cows. Now they cut the grass and turn it into milk, meat and manure! I love my cows. I am so very glad that I never have to worry about the hormones or genetically modified foods getting into my beef, butter, cheese, yoghurt or milk!

    The apple orchard was completely overgrown but now it is so nice in there and the apples are so productive! After I collect and press the apple juice, the cows eat up all the pulp. My neighbor cuts the hay for means it is cheaper to feed my 2 cows each year then it is to feed my dog.

    The problem with agriculture friends is that humans like you forgot how to get your hands dirty! Quite leaving others the task of growing food for your family! You can do it too!

    I am surprised Bill that you failed to mention biogas digesters there. They capture the methane and turn it into home grown natural gas!

    Also who do you think should be the one to receive the carbon taxes? How will they will be collected? How will they be distributed? Who will be skimming the money of the top? Trump? Clinton? Some other corrupt politician?

    Why not just leave the money in the hands of the people in the first place and then we the people and use our own money to invest in our own solar panels, organic foods, etc.

  41. First – No, we're NOT seeing major media talk about animal agriculture's role in climate change. Second – You're not accounting for all the other impacts animal agriculture. Land and water use for both animals and their feed also need to be factored into the way we address animal agriculture's destructive nature.

  42. This is embarrassing to see. a person that his ancestors who lead the world in science, liberty, justice, fairness of woman equality. Is now embarrassed to ask a scientific question?

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