Just in case we needed a reminder of how misguided governmental attempts at dealing with climate change are, a new kind of crazy has made headlines this week. To fight global warming, Australia plans to kill feral camels.
Because, in all of those political debates about potential responses to climate change, the camel problem always takes center stage.
Camel culling has been occurring in Australia as a means of controlling the feral population, but now the country avers that this despicable practice could be a viable way to fight climate change. A private company called Northwest Carbon has proposed this plan as a part of the government’s carbon farming initiative, which would provide carbon credits for this deed.
It has been widely known for years that animal agriculture is the biggest culprit in global warming.
In November 2006, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations issued a special report called Livestock’s Long Shadow: environmental issues and options, which proved that methane emissions from our food animals pose a bigger threat to the planet that all those transportation and fuel emissions that somehow claim the entire political spotlight. Australia’s plan suggests that the country’s government does not care to acknowledge that wild animals are different from animals produced by the million for human consumption. NB: Feral camels are not agriculture animals. They are not bred for food. The climate problem comes from humans’ overbreeding of food animals, not from free wild animals living naturally.
This proposal is disturbing because it ignores the actual problems behind increasing greenhouse gases, and it offers a disingenuous, attention-grabbing idea to masquerade as a solution. Moreover, this proposal completely misses the mark about how modern society must deal with climate change – by addressing our own behavior. To tackle the aspects of global warming that are caused by humans, we must actually tackle the aspects of global warming caused by humans. Wild animals should not factor into this at all – it is mind-boggling that this actually needs to be said. Yes, camels emit methane, but not in unnatural amounts. Cattle and other agricultural animals factor into the equation because we mass produce them in vast numbers. We’re supposed to try to manage human conduct to make a difference, and not blame wild animals for the problems we created and pat ourselves on the back for shrugging off responsibility yet again.