Australia rejects global farting agreement

Fresh from farting its zero-carbon mitigation unpolicy, the Morrison Government today confirms that flatulence will be protected in the national interest:

Australia is rejecting a push by the U.S. and the European Union to join a global pact to cut methane emissions, expected to be announced at the crucial COP26 summit in Glasgow which starts Sunday.

About 35 nations are expected to commit to support a collective goal to cut output of the greenhouse gas by at least 30% from 2020 levels by the end of the decade. While Australia’s role as a major producer of fossil fuels and agricultural products make it a major emitter, Energy Minister Angus Taylor on Thursday confirmed his nation won’t sign up to the deal.

“We won’t sign our country up to policies that undermine the prosperity of our regions or make life harder for everyday Australians,” Taylor said in an op-ed in the Australian newspaper on Thursday. “Cutting methane emissions by 30% by 2030, as some have called for, will do just that.”

Cows fart out 7% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. The problem is worse the further north grazing goes as the quality of grasses falls leading to increased farting.

There does not appear to be an easy way to cut this unless you stop eating beef.

Which will be hard because I love it!

Houses and Holes
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Comments

  1. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Maybe not. I heard a couple of stories on the wireless this morning on how meat producers are doing it. It’s not perfect but it’s coming ahead leaps and bounds.

    • Haven’t looked into it, but a technological fix must be worth looking into.
      There’d be tourism potential if we could turn them into dragons.

    • Jumping jack flash

      We need to harvest this source of energy.

      Perhaps feedlots could do it?
      But is it a problem for grainfed cows?
      Obviously it’d be a bit harder to harvest the farts of the grassfed ones.

      But maybe that’s the solution? If farting isn’t as big a problem for grainfed cows, Australia could gradually move away from grassfed beef in favour of grainfed. It has a higher retail price and the feedlot infrastructure can be paid for by the carbon credits!

      And if grainfed cows produce the same or more methane than grassfed then this could be conceptually easily collected by overhead exhaust systems, then refined and sold. (Of course feedlot design would need to change to being totally enclosed, but whatever)

      Win/win!

        • Jumping jack flash

          Yes, I think I’ve heard of that some time ago.
          The problem is always the cost and hassle of doing that.

          If we were to exploit existing infrastructure and systems then that’s much better.

          For your average paddock farmer he’s not going to go out and buy a ton of seaweed and then buy feed stations and set them up to feed his cows, but if they start by simply mixing seaweed into the feed at a feedlot then that is probably much easier to do.

        • I’ve heard that seaweed works really well but it causes the meat to have an unusual flavor.
          The flavor is unnoticeable if the seaweed use is discontinued about 1 month before slaughter but this makes seaweed unsuitable for feedlots.

      • Regrettably not so simple. In the process of producing grains to feed cattle (both for beef and milk production) one has to have vast tracts of land. In addition the cattle consume gallons of water per day. IF we are proposing to increase the population to circa 9.5m by 2050 it’s all over on numerous counts. We cannot feed our current population properly !!

  2. Jumping jack flash

    Good to hear. I’d be very concerned about anything that may impact the quality and quantity of bovine flatulence.

    • Jumping jack flash

      Hm,.. not a bad idea, but from the looks of that do they need to drill into the side of the cow to do this?
      Doesn’t sound too safe if that’s the case. I couldn’t find any info on how its attached after 5 seconds of Google.

    • SoMPLSBoyMEMBER

      And Bezos (and every Bezos wannabe) will continue to launch that phallus into space for kicks while our de-carbonized chirren suffer.
      The coming revo will be a whopper. But first, the economic meltdown must happen and it can’t be far away.

  3. The main source is leaks from fossil fuel production I thought. The cows are not the main problem as only 7% and they have been doing it for ever, unlike new sources eg fracking. Aussie emissions from cows has hardly changed in a hundred years, I thought & they provide very valuable and healthy foods. So agree cows should be exempt but not fossil fuel producers.

    • Muttafukabuttasaurus.MEMBER

      Mostly the processes involved in decaying vegetation, either aerobic (more recent production via cattle or those vents at your local dump) or anaerobic (geological like a sorta proto-coal)

  4. Reus's large MEMBER

    Or we could stop selling the majority of the beef we produce to China, perhaps as the biggest consumer of everything they can lead by example and stop consuming and polluting the world. Or they could release a virus that makes us take a vaccine that wipes out the rest of us and have the world to themselves …

  5. The BystanderMEMBER

    I am shocked that a Coalition Government with such a strong record on combating climate change would refuse to sign this agreement. Completely out of character of them … /s

  6. Cows do not produce methane from thin air. The methane is produced from the grass which captures methane and is a methane sink. Cows merely return the methane to the atmosphere, then more grass grows and sequesters methane, and so the cycle continues. Net methane added to the atmosphere is nil.

    • No, fvckwit, all wrong! Plants absorb H2O + CO2 + sunlight to produce carbohydrates (sugar, etc). It’s called photosynthesis.
      Methane is formed in the bowels of animals which consume the plants. When released into atmosphere it is far more harmful than CO2.
      And you’re welcome.

      • Hang a sec… While you are correct, methane decomposes into CO² in about 12-13 years. So unless you are increasing meat production the total atmospheric methane content should be somewhat consistent. The lever to pull here is consumption of bovine products, but that becomes difficult when the highest consumers without the ability to change their consumption habits are poorer nations. I see you took exception to the comment above, but I would like to know what you think of my comment as I feel that these discussions become very emotive, and it sounds like you have a good grasp of the detail.

  7. TheLambKingMEMBER

    There does not appear to be an easy way to cut this unless you stop eating beef.
    Which will be hard because I love it!

    And consuming dairy.

    I think “Lab-grown food will soon destroy farming – and save the planet” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/08/lab-grown-food-destroy-farming-save-planet

    RethinkX have interesting (if optimistic) ideas https://www.rethinkx.com/food-and-agriculture

    But the principle is that with ultra cheap energy (solar during the day,) you can mass produce proteins at much cheaper prices in a factory. Milk will be the first product. Once you can produce milk that is essentially the same at a cheaper price (with no real variables) in a factory, then the dairy industry is dead. This is predicted to happen before 2030. So the LNP hope and prayers for a technology solution might come to help him – but they should be underwriting this industry! Australia exporting industries of fossil fuels and farmed proteins might be dead before the end of the decade.

    • won’t it be like the fake meat products now, ie hit the headline numbers for protein etc but be a fundamentally different at the micro/chemical level and possibly full of added ingredients?

      • Protein doesn’t need to come from plant based meat alternatives – how much protein do you think you actually need (hint it’s not a lot)

        Try a Beyond Meat burger then report back

        • I think Zulu might be referring to nutrient content. Take for example tomatoes grown hydroponically; without vitamin B added to the growth medium the fruit is deficient in vitamin B because of the lack of soil bacteria. So I’m sure lab meat will get there, but the comment is addressing the lack of detail ‘beyond’ the requirement to hit protein numbers. I don’t know much about the regulatory requirements of meat alternatives, but I think the comment is valid and a sensible answer would be helpful.

  8. Non managed grasslands burn more soil carbon than managed. The question is what do you do with all the places you cannot crop.

    Animals are good because they eat what we cannot and then we eat them. Well managed grasslands are also a net sequester of emissions.

    The Australia that existed prior to white men was managed forests and grasslands. Herbivores roamed, just different herbivores.

    A good solution would be to allow viable supply chains of Roos. Good meat and low enviro impact. Got to get over the cute fluffy thing though. Really farkin hard to herd as well, they are jumpy carnts

  9. Muttafukabuttasaurus.MEMBER

    Okay, lets do away with feedlots, and massive monoculture horticulture/ cropping, Australia can feed itself as could most of the Southern Hemisphere. No food exports for the Northern hemisphere would reduce the primary cause of human caused climate change…. over population.

  10. Greenhouse thingy is more like a religion every day. In North America, they used to have annual bison migrations events that used to run for hundreds of kilometres involve millions of animals and leave trails a mile wide – similar to that in Africa in times past. There used to be so many carrier pigeons in N. America, the sky used to go black for hours on end (now extinct)!

    I suppose the worlds climate was a far bit warmer when dinosaurs where running around, due to flatulence? Who knew?

    The crazy thing is we are talking about tiny increases, whose theoretical effects are tiny as well?