Camel Insanity in Australia

There is a proposal by some nut-jobs to get in helicopters and fly around shooting camels in order to slow down global warming.  Just think about that for a moment.  The ‘thought’ behind that is it will reduce the methane emissions enough to… well who knows what they are thinking.

Australian ‘kill-a-camel’ scheme attacked

Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Agence France-Presse
Australian camelCredit: Veer Images

PARIS: The world’s association of camel scientists has fought back angrily over Australian plans to kill wild dromedaries on the grounds that their flatulence adds to global warming.

The idea is “false and stupid… a scientific aberration”, the International Society of Camelid Research and Development (ISOCARD) charged, saying camels 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 scheme

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.

Camels were introduced to the Outback in the 19th century to help early settlers cope with hot, arid conditions. Now they number around 1.2 million and, say some, are a pest because of the damage they inflict to vegetation and their intestinal gases.

Absurd calculations

Each camel, according to the champions of a cull, emits 45 kilos of methane, the equivalent of one tonne a year in carbon dioxide (CO2), the main 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. “The metabolic efficiency of camel is higher than that of cattle… camels are able to produce 20% more milk by eating 20% less food, they have different digestive system and are more efficient in the utilisation of poor quality roughages,” it noted.

Emissions tiny compared to cattle

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 1% of all vegetation-eating biomass, and their emissions are just a tiny fraction of those made by cattle, it argued.

“The feral dromedary camels should be seen as an incomparable resource in arid environments,” the group said. “They can and should be exploited for food (meat and milk), skin and hides, tourism etcetera.”

Australia is heavily reliant on coal-fired power and mining exports and has one of the highest per-capita carbon levels in the world. The government plans to tax the nation’s 1,000 biggest polluters for carbon emissions from mid-2012, with a fixed price giving way to a cap-and-trade scheme within five years. To offset their emissions, polluters could buy carbon credits – COsub2 or other greenhouse gases that are avoided through other schemes.

Posted in Bad Science and Fear and Misinformation by inconvenientskeptic on July 7th, 2011 at 4:58 am.


This post has 7 comments

  1. Bruce Jul 7th 2011

    Just make all “Green” australians walk. No cars. No planes. No trains.

    That will solve the problem.

  2. The insanity continues.

    The fear of a trace gas runs deep very deep.It is a wonder why they do not stop breathing out all that CO2 stuff.

    Surely if all the CO2 haters would stop breathing out…………

  3. Charles Higley Jul 8th 2011

    Better yet, there is the problem of disposing of the camel bodies; can’t have them rotting out there and giving off methane and CO2! AND shooting old camels does not have the benefits of shooting the young ones; you snuff out a shorter remaining life expectancy and so you do not get the same bounty as when you kill a young one.

    People actually sit around thinking up all this mental dung and get paid for their “work”? I’ve got to get myself a job like this! You don’t have to think at all, just be stupid and react stupid.

    “Stupid is as stupid does.” – Forrest Gump

  4. bobby b Jul 12th 2011

    Not only is there such a thing as a “camel scientist”, but there are enough of them to form their own association? Huh.

    Many of us struggled in college to find a major that was both interesting and useful. None of my advisers ever mentioned that we could be camel scientists. I feel cheated.

  5. rogojel Jul 27th 2011

    About a year ago there was an article explaining that the humans caused a small ice-age by killing the mammoth in North-America.
    If this worked with mammoth it should work with camel as well , right?

    BTW the only problem was that in the same time a different article expalined how the humans caused a temporary warming by killing off the mammoth in Siberia.

  6. inconvenientskeptic Jul 27th 2011

    This is exactly why real science says that correlation is not equal to causation. Many climate scientists are determined to find a huuman induced correlation for every slight change in climate. Such a method is doomed to fail, but finding a correlation will always be possible. It just doesn’t mean anything.

  7. The thing is, its environmentalists who support the camel cull to save the planet, but this is ok because camels are ugly. If camels were cutesy they would not be in mortal danger. Where I live in Canada, every year we have the east coast seal hunt. Every year the environmentalists go out on the ice flows and try to interfere with the seal hunters, they say killing seals for money is morally reprehensible. If seals were ugly like camels, this would not be an issue. The seal hunters would merely claim they are killing those ugly seals to reduce carbon emissions. So killing seals would not be for money, it would be for carbon credits (which is actually money). So why is it that hunting seals for money is bad, but hunting camels for money is good? Camels are ugly.

    How do these people sleep at night?

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