15 March 2008

Death of the Gulf of Mexico

Picture the quaint image of a family farm. Cheerful kids milking cows, the father driving the tractor, the mother hanging clothes on the line.

Now picture this: tons of pollution running through America's streams and rivers, pouring down the Mississippi into the ocean, and poisoning everything. Everything.

Your tax dollars at work. Americans are subsidizing this poisoning. The agribusinesses (there's really no such thing as a family farm anymore, as capital costs are too high), are getting fat at the trough of public spending. They are paying gobs of money to the lobbyists, and the result is destruction of the environment.

We need to attack these problems on at least three separate fronts. First, Congress has to end all agriculture subsidies. Second, pollution needs to be priced correctly (which can be done via computerized smart markets). Third, we need to change our eating habits. In particular, we need to eat much less meat and dairy.

I'm doing my part. My PhD student, Ranga Prabodanie, is solving the problem of how to create a proper market for non-point source pollution. In addition, I am developing a web site which will bring cost into the nutrition equation. Keep an eye out for www.Wagmu.com.

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