Land, Animals and all that Gas

By Rupert Gregg

A recent study by Stephen Poore at Oxford making claims about land use and all that goes with it has had some publicity. Even an Oxford man can overdo things sometimes and here it is. Gosh those animals only provide 18 percent of calories and 37 percent of protein while taking up 83 percent of farmland and 60 percent agriculture’s greenhouse emissions. Something must be done, or not? Look around as you drive around through the vast tracts of land in the pastoral zones of Australia. Is it really a surprise that hundreds of thousands of hectares have grazing animals in numbers without a crop in sight? There are millions of hectares on the planet unsuitable for any agriculture but will support a well- managed livestock industry quite readily.

Then there is terrible charge about 60 percent of agricultural emissions. Maybe so, but every atom of carbon emitted by one of these sinners came from a plant they ate. That plant in turn got the carbon from, oh yes remember high school biology? Yep, it’s from the CO2 in the atmosphere. Animals don’t create carbon they just help recycle it along with the plants they eat. Net contribution to the dreaded greenhouse gases is zero. So here we again with endless wailing about the evils of animals and the vandals who eat them and how we could all be better if we turned all that land back to whatever use or non-use. The whole land management picture is way more complicated than that, but by all means Stephen Poore can join the happy ranks of vegetarians and try to save the planet. The rest of us can remain happily omnivorous without any fear damaging the climate.

The really interesting question is how it is that we have this ghastly mess on our hands? How is it that anyone signed onto a deal where emissions from animals are counted but the CO2 sequestered in the plants they eat is not? Incidentally only the animals being managed by people in countries with governments stupid enough to buy this croc are in the frame here. Don’t expect to hear about animals, and the people who live off them, in the Americas being affected by this. There is possibly the exclusion of Canada, while Trudeau is there who what lunacy will be agreed? Beyond the EU nothing will happen in the rest of the vast Eurasian continent. The EU will cheat of course, it’s in the DNA. Africa? Not a chance.

That leaves us. An interesting test for Morrison and friends is coming up fast. We have just signed up for more Paris agreement garbage, watch this space.

Rupert Gregg
B. Rur. Sc. UNE

Lifetime experience as a farmer in Southern Midlands of Tasmania and in industry representative organisations.

5 thoughts on “Land, Animals and all that Gas”

  1. Hello Rupert.
    One swallow does not make a summer, check your records for what overpopulation does to the planet let alone the stability of peaceful coexistence between nations. In the last 60 years the world population has doubled whilst the animal population has halved. Bring on the 2050 with 9 billion people on the planet.

    1. Population is in decline in Western countries, hence one of the arguments that immigration is vital for our economies. The overpopulation argument is only relevant for those cultures that will disregard (and already have) climate policies anyway.

      1. Quite so Vicky.

        The European-originated population is decreasing. It’s the other populations that must diminish themselves.

        Chorus gibbering: stage left: Racist…racist…racist…

  2. Yes let’s get rid of all those nasty grass eating meat livestock that belch that nasty methane and exhale CO2. Of course nature isn’t going to replace the decomposition of grass and timber with another organism is it!
    How about free insect killer then, to control the nasty grass and timber eating termites that replace the meat livestock and produce that nasty methane and exhale CO2!
    I’m not sure how long it will take for the population to realise man cannot control the climate, but hell lets spend trillions to prove it!

  3. Greetings Rupert.

    We horrible humans have been able to spread throughout the Earth because, even if we cannot survive in a particular region we have been able to eat the plants and animals in that region. If we don’t then other animals will eat them. At least some of us humans appreciate the need to give animals and plants a good life and a good death.

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