July 12, 2008

Does your food source break wind?

Farting, burping food sources.

Yes, I've said it before, but I'll repeat it for slow learners: if we all stopped eating meat - or cut down by 90% - this whole "greenhouse gas" thing would blow over.

(Reminder memo: the "greenhouse" PR turned out to be a bust, with the earth being a handy-dandy self correcting little biosphere, according to the most recent, objective, real data. But that's another story.)

Local armageddon mongerer, Prof Ross Garnaut, puts the boot into grubby coal, and places misguided faith in friendly fuels appearing by osmosis, but seems to draw the line at kicking sheep and cows and their windy-ways at each end.
"Professor Ross Garnaut has managed to write a 548-report on climate change in which he mentions Australia's largest current contribution to climate change precisely once — in the glossary, where we find a definition of "enteric fermentation".

Never heard of it? It's what goes on in the digestive systems of ruminants, like cattle and sheep. It produces methane, Australia's largest but also most under-appreciated contribution to climate change over the next few decades.

The second-largest current contribution is coal. It gets mentioned 272 times in the report — as it should.

Why is methane so under-appreciated? There's a political reason and a technical reason.

The political reason is that if telling Australians that they need to pay more for petrol and electricity is tough, telling them they need to consume less beef, lamb and dairy products is going to be tougher still.

Australia's methane emissions come primarily from 28 million cattle, 88 million sheep and a bunch of leaky coal mines. The livestock emissions, on their own, will cause significantly more warming in the next 20 years than all our coal-fired power stations.

The good news is that methane is easy to deal with.

We don't have to wait for engineers to solve a bunch of really tough infrastructural problems. We can do it now. Just stop breeding so many sheep and cattle in Australia. And because methane is such a huge contributor to climate change, this is not just an "earth hour" stunt. This is the real deal."

The missing link in the Garnaut report


  1. I got news for you Caz! I ain't ever going to become a vegetarian.


    Besides.. I am rather partial to a sausage.. Just ask Rory..

  2. Hi Caz

    I had a husband who farted and burped. In fact his nic was "blurter".

    I got rid of him.

    Can I keep my beef/lamb/chicken?


  3. Pammy Anderson got all het-up over Jessica Simpson wearing a t-shirt inscribed with the ambiguous "real girls eat meat".

    Simpson's feisty public defense in response to Anderson was "I eat vegetables too".



    That should shut Anderson up.

  4. That Anderson is one helluva dead beat.
    That she can only get a guernsey on(Australian) BB, these days says it all really.
    She and her artificial boobs are "all washed up " I reckon!

  5. You got rid of him Kae?

    Hell, sounds like you should have BBQed him and served him up with coleslaw.

    I'm partial to veal.

    Get the little critters before they have a chance to emit much of anything.

    Ah, the things I do to save the planet.

    I'm so altruistic.

  6. Anonymous12:57 AM

    I have an elderly dachshund who could account for half the Australian sheep industry on his own.

    He's into trading too. I'm authorisd to say he will consider changing his diet in return for Tasmania.


  7. Now there's a man who cares so much about his steak, he's willing to let the PLANET die for it!

  8. He wants Tasmania? Good for him.

    No need to change his diet.

    The keys are under the mat.