This is no laughing matter. If you think biological – especially mammalian – emissions are something to snicker about, think again.
These little things are slowly killing our planet. Apparently.
Learned men, learned women, scientists, climactologists (more about them later), communication specialists, environmental lawyers and concerned politicians all around the world are suddenly sitting up and taking it (specifically – and please excuse the common impolite description – farts) very seriously. And so should you, if you know what’s good for us.
Thankfully, someone’s on the job and the Australian Government has, in great foresight, set aside $26.8million to sort this looming disaster out.
Livestock flatulence is Australia’s third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, a huge contributor to global warming. According to the latest climate modelling, the (largely) silent tragedy these beasts are steadily wreaking actually has, surprisingly to the man in the street, been found to have little to do with the emissions’ temperature.
That was always just an urban myth and a pretty good joke. There are literally reams of analysis on the subject now. Google livestock emissions, and brace yourself.
The $26.8million allocated by the Federal Government is being spent very carefully on 18 specialised research projects over four years aimed at solving the problem. This is outlined by a new breed of climatologist specialising in the ‘critical turning point’ of climate change – increasingly known as the climactologist.
Here are just some of the topics being covered at a little over $1million apiece as part of the research package:
• Breeding low methane emitting sheep and elucidating the underlying biology.
• Methanotrophs in natural ecosystems and their role in ruminant methane mitigation.
• Microbial ecology of hydrogenotrophic rumen microorganisms in response to methane inhibition.
• Use of peptide-phage display libraries to discover peptides that are bioactive against rumen methanogens.
Sounds like we need to act fast.
According to the Animal Liberation organisation’s website, the cattle industry produces greenhouse gases in two ways:
“In South America, vast stretches of Amazon forest have been cleared and burned to make way for cattle ranches. This releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Land is still being cleared in Australia, especially in Queensland, for cattle grazing.
“Methane is another greenhouse gas. It currently contributes about 18 percent to global warming, but may become more important in future because it traps 25 times more heat than the CO2 molecule. Cattle produce methane in their excrement and flatulence, both of which they emit in large quantities. They contribute 60 of the 500 million tons of methane released into the atmosphere per year.”
Crikey! And then, a word of advice:
“A vegetarian diet avoids cruelty and reduces environmental problems.”
Clearly, we must act to set livestock free immediately and then kill the lot of them, to save the planet.
There won’t be too many qualms about culling flatulent pigs, but there may be some resistance to lambs, if not sheep. Horse racing, well, it’s better on the Wii anyway, where you can ride yourself. Pretty much everyone under 20 acknowledges that already.
Several extremely well intentioned special interest groups are concerned that this livestock emissions research does not go far enough and – more to the point – will have to be done very fast, before all the money is consumed by the global financial crisis.
As one top secret report by an eminent team of climactologists – known as Climactologi Occluding Wind Producing Animal Tragedy (COWPAT) – points out, no matter how much work is done to stem the tide of methane emissions from domesticated livestock, it is only the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg.
The real problems are out there roaming unchecked and, so far, unmeasured.
JUMP TO IT
To be considered, because of its sheer numbers in Australia, must be the kangaroo – the perfect high mobility methane manufacturing machine.
Someone must get some quantitative magniloquence data on kangaroos right away. Then, hard decisions are going to be necessary.
The current estimated population of 58.6 million means there are more than twice as many kangaroos in Australia as there are cattle, according to the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia website. This has all the makings of a natural disaster, given what we now know about climate change. The roos, even those few loose in the top paddock, are going to have to go. Sad.
It gets worse – evidence is now emerging that flatulent emissions from eucalyptus-feeding species are even more toxic than at first thought. Koalas – with their pungent Goanna Oil smelling emissions – have got to go too, sadly.
The emu, blue-tongue lizard, lorikeet, platypus, ring-tail possum and wombats are all under close scrutiny. Scientific gaseity measuring systems are being developed so we can get a true picture of what a looming disaster these magniloquent Australian species are creating for our environment.
Perhaps the only hope for a different outcome are new animal methane capture and sequestration technologies being developed that may yet become a source of hydrogen for the new generation of eco-friendly cars. But the clock is ticking. Time and money are running out for our planet.
This is the Flatulence Earth theory.