Australian farmers pay livestock levies, research levies, marketing levies and taxes on every product they sell. These support an army of officials supposedly representing their interests - the Meat and Livestock Corporation, the Wool Corporation, CSIRO and the numerous state and federal agriculture departments and politicians. But not one of these has defended the industry from the obviously fraudulent claim that animal emissions play a significant part in causing global warming.
It does not take even high school science to understand that all animals are part of the natural carbon cycle that uses plants to take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and then uses solar energy to convert this to plant sugars and proteins. The carbon is then taken up by animals that live on plants, and finally returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane as these animals exhale, excrete or expire. Carbon dioxide is a harmless natural plant food. Methane is another harmless natural gas which is oxidised in the atmosphere to carbon dioxide and water. Then whole cycle starts again with no net addition to so-called greenhouse gases.
The phrase “ashes to ashes and dust to dust” expresses more understanding of the carbon cycle than all the failed computerised climate models that rate animal emissions as significant factors in climate change. Animals and plants have always been cycling carbon dioxide and methane with no long term or permanent effect on climate. The wild herds of mammoths, aurochs, reindeer, wildebeest, zebra, bison, antelope, wild sheep, warthogs, horses, camels, rabbits and kangaroos have just been partially replaced by domesticated cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo and pigs. All are part of the natural world and none of them have any long term effect on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
To threaten a carbon tax on animal emissions without recognising an equal credit for the carbon dioxide extracted by them from the atmosphere is shoddy science and shoddy accounting. Surely for all the taxes and levies they pay, farmers can get at least one government scientist, official or carbon accountant willing to state the obvious:
“Cattle and sheep are as green as grass and trees and should not be penalised by any future carbon tax on their emissions”. Governments should state this clearly now and stop including animal emissions in their spurious carbon accounting.
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