Farting camels make global warming worse, death to the camels! It would be nice if there was something (anything?) that we could blame for climate change, other than human actions. But, farting camels? What seems like a ridiculous farting farce, is actually a real plan being considered by officials in Australia to kill camels for their alleged role in global warming.
The idea is that killing camels, who release methane gas when they fart, would solve global warming in Australia because their farting has a serious impact on the country’s carbon emissions. The International Society of Camelid Research Development (ISOCARD), has called the proposed camel-cull “stupid,” and an “abomination of science,” in addition to declaring that it would make camels scape-goats for a man-made problem.
There is no evidence that suggests that camel flatulence causes or adds to global warming. Yet, the kill-a-camel plan was being considered by Australia’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency as part of talks to develop policy to help reduce the country’s carbon emissions. The camel eradication plan was developed by the company Northwest Carbon. The plan would exchange carbon credits for dead camels, based on rates of methane emissions extrapolated from data on the release of methane from cattle.
Cattle and camels are, obviously, different animals who have different digestive systems. The camel metabolism is more efficient than cattle, with camels able to produce 20 percent more milk, while consuming 20 percent less food. The intestines of camels also contain different bacteria, which makes their digestion process more similar to animals like pigs than cattle.
According to ISOCARD, Northwest Carbon’s data about the amount of methane released from camels, in addition to their statistics about the number of feral camels living in Australia is questionable. There are only 28 million camels in the world, and their emissions represent just a small fraction of total emissions when compared to cattle.
Australia still relies on coal for power and has one of the highest carbon footprints in the world. The government has set plans to start taxing the country’s biggest polluters, but these companies will be able to buy carbon credits to offset their emissions.
So far, it remains to be seen what will happen to the camels, but ISOCARD seems ready to fight for feral camels, who in all their farting glory, are not a major player in Australia’s carbon emission problem.
(via Herald Sun)