Here is the thing: I am not qualified to write a scholarly post on climate change. There are so many differing opinions about climate change that I don't know which way is up. I am not a scientist. However, I do have a few thoughts on the matter.
I don't buy "global warming" but I do believe we are experiencing global climate change. I do believe that, to some extent, global climate change would occur with or without us. Ever hear of the Ice Age? Some believe that we are actually headed toward another ice age now. (http://www.iceagenow.com/) I believe that weather patterns and polar ice cap changes will continue to become more severe and dangerous.
I do believe that excessive oil drilling has possibly endangered barrier reefs, so that we have much stronger hurricanes and tsunamis making it to land. (Resource link) Tsunamis and earthquakes can, themselves, damage the barrier reefs, but scientists believe human damage has more impact. (Resource link) In addition, it seems that the changes that are occurring in the climate are also affecting the Great Barrier Reef such that it may lack the ability to fully sustain the required level of sea life. (Resource link)
I do believe that excessive industrialization has damaged our air, our water, and our earth. (Resource link, Resource news article link, Resource science link for groundwater contamination ) I do not believe that cows or woodburning for heat are the cause of the polluted environment in which we now find ourselves. "Burning firewood properly releases no more harmful greenhouse gases than would be produced were the wood to simply rot on the forest floor. " (Resource link)
I believe that the push to call it Global Warming is going to end in a carbon tax levied on individuals, which will be a miscarriage of justice. (Carbon tax resource link) Society and housing are structured in such a way that we must have electricity piped in; but now we will be additionally taxed on receiving that energy? If the government truly wanted to fix the problem, we would be converting everything to solar and wind energy. But that would not bring in any tax dollars.
Your doggie's poop cannot possibly cause a larger carbon footprint than Monsanto's mining of phosphates. (Resource link) Or Monsanto's continuous endeavor to churn out poison. (link) Your dog might cause bacterial water pollution (link), and the plastic bag you use to pick up the waste might carry a carbon footprint trail, but the small burden upon you then lies in biodegradable alternatives to plastic dog waste bags. And in always picking up the waste. And perhaps in composting the waste. Not to be used on your garden, however!
Your cow(s), or even your dairy, (link) cannot possibly outpollute the airplanes that daily travel our skies and leave trails of jet fuel infused condensation. There is considerable debate about whether jet fuel actually poses a large threat, but I believe it does. (Resource link) I am certain that cows are a natural member of our environment, and that they existed here long before cars, industrial plants, or aeroplanes. And yet, only after 100 or so years of advanced industrialization did cows begin to pollute our environment. Hmmm.
As long as greed, deceit, and disagreement reign, we will not solve the pollution of our environment. We may be hastening our collision with the seemingly inevitable outcome of an environment hostile to human life by continuing current industrial practices.
I would bet that even this computer on which I type may in some way be harmful to our environment and natural resources. It contains plastic and various metals which had to be manufactured...and it runs on carbon-fueled electricity. I think the question is not whether the government should tax our puny dog poop or cow emissions, but whether our government is willing to lead the way in stopping the industrial greed that fuels large scale pollution.
But I don't believe suburbia is willing to pull weeds instead of poison them. Nor people willing to live without 3 cars in the garage. Or to forgo rampant consumerism. Or to use a push mower, or cloth napkins, or completely stop air travel. Difficult questions and choices plague us in the information age. The planet will survive, but how long will people be here?