In June of 2011, the Australian government considered proposals to kill 1.2 million wild camels to aid in the fight against global warming. Each camel produces a methane equivalent of one ton of carbon dioxide a year. Collectively, that makes them one of Australia's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Tim Moore, managing director of Adelaide-based Northwest Carbon, a commercial company, proposed the extermination idea to the government. Moore said camels live anywhere from 30 to 50 years in the wild. The current 1.2 million and the gases they produce are doubling every nine years.
Moore's plan included carbon credits for individuals and organizations involved in the cull. Shooters would use helicopters or four-wheel-drive vehicles to kill the camels. Others would be rounded up and sent to an slaughterhouse for either human or pet consumption.
Culls of camels in the outback have occurred before, but Moore's plan would involve wiping out every one of the creatures.
Mark Dreyfus, parliamentary secretary for climate change, said the government was considering various proposals to reduce carbon pollution. These proposals included Moore's, which along with others, were to be included in Canberra's 'Carbon Farming Initiative'.
Without nuclear power, Australia relies on coal to generate electricity, putting it among the world's worst per capita polluters. To make matters worse, the rogue camels simply won't stop blowing wind in the countrys' effort to curb greenhouse gases.
Livestock, not to be outdone by camels, produce a greater greenhouse effect than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together, worldwide. Livestock is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent. This 18% is a higher share of CO2 than transportation. The world’s 1.5 billion cattle contribute most of the emissions. Source: "Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options" report by Henning Steinfeld and others, from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006.
The livestock sector accounts for nine percent of manmade CO2 emissions. Land-use changes such as deforestation for expansion of pastures and cultivated land for feed crops is responsible for most of these emissions. Livestock are responsible for emitting 37% of manmade methane (with 23 times the global warming potential (GWP) of CO2) most of that from methane produced via digestion by animals with multi-chambered stomachs such as cattle, deer, and camels. Livestock manure is responsible for a large portion of 65% of manmade nitrous oxide emitted (with 296 times the GWP of CO2). Livestock are also responsible for 64% of manmade ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems. Source: "Cow 'emissions' more damaging to planet than CO2 from cars" by Geoffrey Lean, U.K. Independent, 12/11/06.
Who would have thought that camels, livestock, and deer breathing, belching, and farting were warming the planet?
The proposed plan to give carbon credits for slaughtering camels, responsible for high methane emissions coming from their flatulence and belching, was rejected by the Australian government in January of this year. When receiving the great news, the camels belched, lifted a leg and let it fly! Onto the next proposal.