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".The missing link in the Garnaut report
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."