Australia Considers Killing 1.2 Million Farting Camels to Fight Global Warming
The Australian government is considering a plan to slaughter all of the nation’s 1.2 million wild camels in a bid to reduce carbon pollution. According to the Daily Mail and Bloomberg, the camel cull could help Australia generate carbon credits which it would then sell to companies wanting to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.
Wait, you’re asking, camels in Australia? Yes, camels. Over a million of them, and growing fast– their population is expected to double by 2020. The animals were brought Down Under by Afghan migrant workers in the 1800s to help lay roads and railroads across the massive, forbidding desert continent. They were also used to transport goods to remote settlements and mines.
But today the camels are seen first and foremost as a nuisance by farmers, and even conservationists. Each camel farts the equivalent of one ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year. Add that up and you’ve got a real problem– well over 1.2 million metric tons of methane polluting the air over Australia. The camels are one of Australia’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters.
The camels also cause more than $5 million in damage to pastoral lands, fences and buildings each year, according to the Australian government.
Killing the animals, which would be done by shooting them from helicopters or off-road vehicles, is “a critically important part of the solution to climate change and bringing Australia along with the rest of the global community in reducing emissions,” Tim Moore, the managing director of Northwest Carbon and the man behind the cull plan, told Bloomberg.
“We’re a nation of innovators and we find innovative solutions to our challenges,” he added. “This is just a classic example.”
It seems to me like it’s a classic example of man dealing with a manmade problem through violence against innocent sentient beings. Killing more than a million animals in this manner is nothing short of a camel Holocaust. Yes, the meat would be processed for human and animal consumption and yes, Australia does have a camel problem. But there’s got to be another way to solve it other than the wholesale slaughter of innocent animals.
Does the plan have a chance to be put into action? Moore thinks so. “I’m confident the proposal, now before the government, will get the go-ahead,” he opined.
Moore added that the mass killing was a “great job opportunity” for Austalia’s often-impoverished Aboriginies.
Mark Dreyfus, the parliamentary secretary for climate change, told the Daily Mail that Moore’s plan is but one that the government is considering to reduce carbon pollution. The plan would be part of the Carbon Farming Initiative legislation and will be debated in parliament next week, according to Climate Change Minister Greg Combet. Bloomberg reports that Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants to begin pricing carbon emissions next year and start trading them as soon as 2015.
It wouldn’t be the first time that camels have been killed en masse in Australia. Tens of thousands of the animals are killed each year; this new plan is just the first time killing all of them has been seriously considered by the government.
Here’s a little friendly advice for Australia, a country I love and once lived in: Per capita, you’re one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters on the planet. How about relying less upon filthy coal power, encouraging the use of more fuel-efficient vehicles (like the US, Aussies love big, thirsty V8 motors), and exploiting your abundant solar and wind resources instead of massacring helpless animals?
ABC (Australia) report from a 2009 camel cull:
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