Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Don't Blame Livestock

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Don't Blame Livestock

Article excerpt

Byline: Belinda Scott belinda.scott@coffscoastadvocate.com.au

IT is very concerning to hear a ridiculous report from biased commentators that methane emissions from Australia's live-stock creates more warming than all our coal-fired power stations.

The fact that this type of comment is allowed any media exposure is absolutely irresponsible, a total exaggeration and harmful to a major agricultural industry.

'Total global emissions directly from the world's livestock industries is only 3%' says a major study from the University of California, whose researchers say that claims by zealous extremists are ridiculous and aimed at taking the heat off the real sources of the problem - the energy polluters.

Australia's contribution from live-stock to the total world emissions is a miniscule 0.29 per cent. In world terms, coal mining emissions are at least three times that of agriculture and the gap is getting wider every day.

The Californian report identifies numerous errors and omissions.

These include not taking into account carbon dioxide fixation by pastures, which is well in excess of that from trees, but being only too happy to measure those emissions from animals burping and breaking wind.

Unfair figures often quoted include emissions blamed on land clearing for farming, especially those in developing nations - and not from cattle themselves. They also neglect to state that crops and pastures then sown and established help to feed a hungry world while fixing CO2 as well.

Official data shows that demand for meat will continue to rise and is set to double by 2050.

This is in line with increasing population and changing food preferences - especially in Asia. To meet this rising demand a policy is needed that supports sustainable meat production in countries like Australia. …

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