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Time to Hide the Cows

Or maybe it's time to stampede a herd through downtown so the citizens know where their ice cream comes from.

My grandchildren love ice cream, which is why they love me. I always pay. Between them, they can sniff out an ice cream parlor a hundred miles away. It’s a unique gift I think only my grandchildren possess. Just the other day, I was surrounded by all but two of them as they slurped up the sides of their fourteen-scoop-sprinkled rainbow-colored mega ice cream cones. With great anticipation, the kind that makes a kid jump up and down and talk like a rapper, each chose their favorite flavor from the dozens of choices. I think kids like that. There’s freedom in that. At home, they get what momma gives them. With Grandpa, they get to choose!

No one was listening when I muttered, “I hope you all enjoy this because ice cream may become hard to come by someday.” They kept on slurping and chattering without concern. Life was about now and ice cream and talking loud about nothing and comparing the cones of the cousins and arguing over which flavor is better. This is life as good as it gets.

While their smiling faces get sticky and the noise level soars, I keep muttering like an old, creaky, decaying wooden front porch. It used to wave at neighbors and have friendly conversations- but is now mostly vacant. Empty, having lost out to the 900-inch screen in the den and the leather recliner with a beverage holder.

Just opinion, but I think I have the smartest grandchildren in all the world. I think they have a pretty good idea of where ice cream comes from. They are perfectly capable of drawing a line between the cow on a farm, the milk from a cow, the cream in the milk, the churning and chilling of the cream, the adding of flavors and food color, and la-la-la; you have ice cream- the most wonderful food ever stumbled on by man. 97.9387 percent of humanoids agree, even if they don’t know where it comes from.

But what my grandchildren haven’t caught on to yet is that there are those who want to do away with ice cream. They want to do away with cows. They don’t want farmers milking cows. They want to do away with milk and cheese and yogurt and, heaven help us, ice cream. They have other ideas of how one should spend life here on earth, and it doesn’t include kids lathering their faces with ice cream or painting themselves a milk mustache, or going for a ride in the snow with Grandpa.

You might think these anti-bovinistas are just a tiny fringe group of wacko environmental green gangsters- the kind of unhinged souls that glue themselves to things. These folks have a hard time drawing a line between where they live, how they get around, the food they eat, and staying warm or cool to the energy mostly fossil fuels provide. But they’re not. They are some of the most recognizable political names across the globe.

These folks have aligned themselves with an organization called C40 Cities. Largely funded by mega-rich and one-time presidential candidate Micheal Bloomberg. Mr. Bloomberg, if you remember, made a fool of himself a few years back when he suggested that nearly any rube can be taught how to plant a field of corn to a room full of sophisticated Europeans. Needless to say, it didn’t go over too well in Iowa.

C40 Cities is a who’s who of city mayors and corporations. They claim nearly 100 mayors worldwide have committed the citizens of their cities to the C40 Cities goals. They include the mayors of 14 US cities, including Seattle, Portland, LA, Phoenix, Miami, and New York. Additional funding comes from the likes of Google, FedEx, the governments of the UK, Germany, and Denmark, IKEA, and dozens of other entities.

And what are their goals? Buried deep in their website is the admonition to cities to adopt policies that will rid the city of anything produced by the evil belching bovine. No beef. No milk. No cheese. No yogurt. No ice cream. Zero. Why zero? And why stop there?

Sometimes, when encouraged, my grandchildren can become a little silly. Silliness can be contagious and soon, they’re all uproariously laughing at the silliest of my antics. And so it is with our elites. Not wanting to stop at controlling what we eat, they also want to control our clothing purchase choices. Three items of new clothing per year. We are to have no (zero) cars. If you need to fly somewhere, limit yourself to one short round-trip flight every three years. That is what the C40 Cities organization recommends. Go ahead and fact-check this. You’ll come to see the childish word games that get played when an organization realizes that they might come across as being a wee bit silly.

So why ‘zero’? The C40 Cities website is full of references to ‘Net Zero.’ ‘Net Zero’ is a euphemism for achieving the perfect balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed as if that were knowable. It is premised on the theory that man and bovine produce far too many of these gases, and the earth will soon burn to a crisp. It disregards the historical record of the earth being warmer and cooler and everywhere in between with little assistance from bovines or a diesel tractor for that matter.

‘Net Zero’ is a utopian dream the C40 Cities (the picture above is from their website) want to achieve by 2030. To do so, they need to eliminate the bovine, the automobile, the gas range, the air conditioner, and annual trips to visit grandma in Florida. If you’ve read articles recently suggesting the evils of air-conditioning, for example, you now know where that comes from. And just today, the DOE added ‘ceiling fans’ to the list.

It is perhaps understandable that our political elites prefer the idyllic image above to the reality of the image below (a San Fransisco street).

As if the silliness knows no boundaries, some will try to convince you that the homelessness, the drug use, and the dysfunction of our greatest cities is due to, you guessed it, climate change. How convenient to always have a built-in excuse for their failures.

It is difficult for me to imagine a life without ice cream. But then again, I’m a product of a long line of dairy farmers. From the old to the new country, my kin found a living in milking and caring for cows and the land. It was and is an honest living full of physical labor, thick calloused hands, good and bad years, and assaults on the olfactory senses. Up at four am and back home in time for bed, my relatives were too busy feeding their families and eeking out an existence to ponder what utopia might look like. By and large, they were a happy, cheerful lot.

On another day, gathered for another reason somewhere else, they came clawing for me. “Grandpa?”

“Yes.” I answer carefully. It’s amazing how sweet they can be when they want something.

“You want some ice cream, don’t you?” they ask, using the oldest trick in the book.

“Of course.”

“Just down the road, Grandpa is 'Ice Cream Heaven.’ It has a gazillion flavors. Can you take us there? Please? Pretty please with sprinkles on top?” Soon, they’re all singing in near-perfect harmony, “Pretty please with sprinkles on top!” La la la.

“Ok, but you have to tell me the magic phrase,” I tell them. They all look at each other quizzically. Finally, the oldest, the one with the most experience, the one who’s learned a few of life’s tricks, says with an unsure question mark, “We love you, Grandpa?”

Seeing my smile, they all catch on. “We love you, Grandpa!”

Sweeter words have never been sung.

Have a great weekend.

The Cow

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The friendly cow all red and white I love with all my heart: She gives me cream with all her might, To eat with apple-tart.

She wanders lowing here and there, And yet she cannot stray, All in the pleasant open air, The pleasant light of day;

And blown by all the winds that pass And wet with all the showers, She walks among the meadow grass And eats the meadow flowers.

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