With this being a humor blog that specializes in randomness, you might not expect a story on regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But we sometimes cover stupid news, partly because it can be random (in the creativity of the stupidity) and/or just funny. This story isn’t laugh-out-loud (LOL) funny but stupid-funny (or stupid-stupid).
The EPA is considering a strict regulation with heavy fines on dust. (Yeah, you read that right — dust, as in airborne dirt.) According to this one website someone showed me, “Farmers could be fined for everyday activities like driving a tractor down a dirt road or tilling a field.” Some areas have already suggested having “no till” days in response to this proposed standard.
Do I need to explain how stupid that is? Apparently so… To farm and raise crops, the ground must be tilled, and heavy machinery must be used to do all the planting, watering, and harvesting. Dust is inevitable. That’s just the practical aspect of it. But we can get even more basic — humans are made of dirt. It’s not like dirt is harmful to us. You may not like getting dirty from dust, but it’s not as bad as living in a heavily-populated city full of pollution, breathing car exhaust fumes. I’ve been in Los Angeles and New York City and Chicago, and the atmosphere in those places definitely isn’t as fresh and clean as Arkansas. I’ve even lived on a farm. Some dust in the air is not the problem!
Another problem with that is if there are “no till” days, then crops can ruin. When a crop is ready to be harvested, you have only a small window of time to get the best harvest, and farmers have a tough enough time making a profit as it is, without the EPA telling them they can’t drive their tractors on certain days.
One commenter on that website suggested that this move by the EPA could be to create more jobs for illegal immigrants. If farmers can’t use their heavy machinery, they could use illegal aliens to do the manual labor. Maybe that’s what that comment about retrofitting buses with diesel engines is about — to transport the millions of immigrants who will till the soil after tractors are made illegal. That sounds like a conspiracy theory, but there are people scheming in politics…
I have to wonder if lawmakers don’t like farmers. Not just because of that, but because of this other potential legislation — fining farmers for flatulence cows. That sounds silly, but such a “cow tax” has been in consideration. The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases emitted by belching and flatulence amounts to air pollution. The American Farm Bureau Federation claims the EPA is proposing a required annual fee of $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle, and $20 per hog. If this happens, it will probably get applied to more animals we consume (like chickens), and meat will become an imported item from other countries. I’d rather that not become the standard.
I realize the government is hurting for money, but couldn’t they do something reasonable (i.e., not stupid and harmful)? They could try the strategy of responsible spending — I don’t think they’ve attempted that one in many years…