21 C
Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

Hot air and methane

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One hundred nations have committed at the Glasgow Climate Conference (COP26) to cut methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. But Australia, together with China, Russia and Iran, have refused. Why are we refusing to cooperate? And what is methane?

Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. It is short lived, warming the planet for about twenty years before breaking down.

Since most calculations of global warming are calculated on 100 years of emissions, it has not been considered so dangerous – over a whole century.

But we don’t have another century. The science is clear – we need to cut emissions, and particularly methane, by the end of this decade, not 2050 or 2121. Why wouldn’t we cooperate with that?

Money, of course. Australia’s 100 million cattle and sheep are the problem. Research in the International Journal of Climate Change makes it clear that, measured over twenty years, animal agriculture, including deforestation for pasture, savannah burning and cattle/sheep centeric fermentation, is the source of over half of Australia’s emissions.

The deputy PM let the cow out of the bag this week, saying that the only way to reduce methane by 30 per cent by 2030 would be ‘to go grab a rifle (and) start shooting your cattle’.

Not true of course. At any one time, around half of the cattle in Australia are less than a year old. Stop eating them and stop buying milk, and farmers will stop breeding them. That will dramatically reduce toxic clouds of methane, and the political hot air.

Mimi Bekhechi, PETA


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