In an effort to stop CO2 emissions in Australia, the country has come up with one proposal that is completely absurd. They are talking about killing off their wild camel population because they are farting too much, supposedly creating too much CO2.
This proposal has upset many of the world’s associations of camel scientists: The idea is “false and stupid… a scientific aberration,” the International Society of Camelid Research and Development (ISOCARD) said yesterday, adding the animals were being made culprits for a man-made problem.
“We believe that the good-hearted people and innovating nation of Australia can come up with better and smarter solutions than eradicating camels in inhumane ways,” it said.
The kill-a-camel suggestion is floated in a paper distributed by Australia’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, as part of consultations for reducing the country’s carbon footprint.
The scheme is the brainchild of an Adelaide-based commercial company, Northwest Carbon, a land and animal management consultancy, which proposes whacking feral camels in exchange for carbon credits.
Back in the early 19th century, camels were introduced to assist early settlers. There are around 1.2 million camels currently living in the Australian Outback.
According to those who oppose the camels, each camel emits roughly 45kg of methane, the equivalent of one tonne a year in carbon dioxide (CO2), the main global warming gas.
Northwest Carbon says “it would shoot the camels from helicopters or corral them before sending them to an abattoir for eating by humans or pets.” But ISOCARD, an association of more than 300 researchers headquartered at al Ain University in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said the calculations were absurd.
“The estimation of methane emission by camels is based on cattle data extrapolation,” it said in a press release. “The metabolic efficiency of camel is higher than that of cattle, (…) camels are able to produce 20 per cent more milk by eating 20 per cent less food, they have different digestive system and are more efficient in the utilisation of poor quality roughages,” it noted.
In addition, the bacterial flora of camel intestines means their digestion is closer to that of monogastric animals, such as pigs, rather than as cattle and sheep, said ISOCARD.
“Therefore, the estimation of camel methane emission is quite debatable, as well as the estimated feral population.” The 28 million camels in the world represent less than one per cent of all vegetation-eating biomass, and their emissions are just a tiny fraction of those made by cattle, it argued.
For the time being, I assume the camels will be safe while this hot debate goes on. I guess in the meantime don’t stand down wind from a camel!
h/t Herald Sun
Photo Credit: elvis_payne