I don't spend much time arguing about climate change here—on Keystone XL, for instance, I can think of numerous reasons the tar sands pipeline will be bad for South Dakota (eminent domain, higher gasoline prices, bogus job numbers, ongoing pollution threat) before I even get to the acceleration of our need to lash our pontoon boats together at Harney Peak and sprout Kevin Costner gills.

But for those of you concerned about greenhouse gases, I happen upon a paper by SDSU dairy professor Alvaro Garcia that contends that today's beef and dairy cattle may not be producing more carbon dioxide and methane than North America's pre-colonial buffalo herd.

Methane emissions, precolonial buffalo herd and modern beef and dairy herds

TG = teragram (1 teragram = 1 billion kilograms ≈ 1.1 million tons). Source: Alvaro Garcia, "How Responsible Are Modern Cows for Greenhouse Gases" Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 2, December 2013.

Carbon dioxide emissions, precolonial buffalo herd and modern dairy herd

TG = teragram (1 teragram = 1 billion kilograms ≈ 1.1 million tons). Source: Alvaro Garcia, "How Responsible Are Modern Cows for Greenhouse Gases" Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 2, December 2013.

Note that one only finds our modern domesticated ruminants underfarting the mighty tatanka if one assumes the upper-end buffalo population estimate.

Dr. Garcia further contends that the corn our modern herds eat sequesters more carbon dioxide than the grasses old-time buffalo and cattle ate. He also contends that producing more milk per cow uses inputs more efficiently and results in less greenhouse gas output.

In other words, the mega-dairies Mike Rounds promoted with EB-5 visa investment are fighting climate change.

For what it's worth, the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is one of dozens of publications of the American Research Institute for Policy Development. It promises review of submitted papers in two weeks or less and publication within another two weeks, for a fee of $220. Four weeks is crazy-fast turnaround time for real research review and publication. University of Colorado Denver research librarian Jeffrey Beall questions ARIPD's credentials and includes ARIPD on his list of suspected predatory academic publishers. Beall found the peer review report issued for another ARIPD submission appallingly inadequate. ARIPD's address—40 Monticello St., Monticello, NY 12701—appears to be a residential apartment building.

So the journal publishing this information could be as shady as the information our Senator-Elect peddles. Read carefully!