On the farm, the usual shakedown of taxpayers.
One of our favourite commentators, Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein, tears a strip off the U.S. farm lobby for trying to obstruct climate-change legislation - even after finagling special treatment in the proposed legislation. (Which, BTW, passed the U.S. House Friday and awaits Senate consideration.) Bottom line: Farmers, or at least those representing them, don't want to participate in the shared sacrificce of saving the planet. More incredibly, they expect to be paid - to receive even more subsidies than they enormous haul they already extract from taxpayers - for anything they do by way of reducing CO2 emissions. (Cows are estimated to produce almsot three-quarters of global emissions of methane, one of the most destructive of greenhouse gases.)
"The next time the world's most selfish lobby comes to Washington demanding drought relief, someone ought to have the good sense to tell them to go pound sand," Pearlstein concludes.
Read Pearlstein's quick, blunt tutorial of farm economics, and feel your blood-pressure rise.
"Cows are responsible for nearly three-quarters of total methane emissions, according to Environment Canada. Most of the gas comes from bovine burps, which are 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.
"Stephen Moore, a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, is examining the genes responsible for methane produced from a cow's four stomachs in order to breed more efficient, environmentally friendly cows."
For the purposes of this blog, the inception of the Great Recession in the U.S., the epicentre of the crisis, is taken as the start date for the global slump. The U.S. has been in recession since December 2007.