Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Carbon Cap and Trade for Fido?

There is an estimate that each dog's carbon paw print is 1.75 metric tons of CO2 annually and cats about half a metric ton. By doing the math, this means that dogs contribute about 128 million metric tons of CO2 and cats another 45 million for a total of 173 million metric tons. This is slightly more than half the 314 million metric tons CO2 that our personal vehicles release annually.


To remedy this oversight, we need a grass roots effort to start a cap and trade program for pets. To start, there should be a federal tax on pets based upon their carbon paw prints. In addition, pets who received large inheritances, like the $12 million that Leona Helmsley's dog received, should pay a much higher tax so that the government could redistribute the wealth to less fortunate pets.


Finally, the taxes received should be used to fund research into developing sustainable pets to replace our heavily polluting dogs and cats. Perhaps a solar powered robotic pet might be the answer.


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