By Judi McLeod
Monday, December 11, 2006
Rolling pastures are calling to environmental guru al Gore. Having blamed man as the chief cause for global warming, he's been proven wrong by a 400-page report to the United Nations.
It's not man's carbon footprint causing climate change but the 1.5-billion and still growing cattle population chewing cud out in farmer's fields.
The report presented to Turtle Bay by the Food and agricultural Organisation, entitled Livestock's Long Shadow, concludes that the main culprit in global warming has been under our noses all the time.
Livestock are responsible for 18 percent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.
It's official: Taking to the roads in an SUV's got nothing on cattle flatulence.
although cattle hold the worst offender category, all barnyard critters have a hand to play in greenhouse gas emissions, and Livestock's Long Shadow includes damage done by sheep, chickens, pigs and goats.
and it's not just climate change that cud-chewing cattle can be blamed for.
They are also charged with a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, to creating dead zones in the oceans from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.
Lest anyone jump to the conclusion that cattle are responsible for little green men type "alien species", the scientists who wrote the report are talking about "Invasive alien species", namely plants, animals and micro-organisms that occur outside of their natural habitat or country of origin, and due to their ability to outperform and outgrow indigenous species, they establish themselves in these non-native habitats.
In layman's language, the weeds, pests, encroachers, invasives, exotics or non-indigenous, in other words, the party crashers.
Cattle are catalogued as environmental bad apples and if nothing comes along to stop them they will double their damage to Mother Earth by 2050 as demand for meat increases.
Burning fuel to produce fertilizer to grow feed to transport it--and clearing vegetation for grazing--produces 9 percent of all emissions of carbon monoxide, the most common greenhouse gas. and their wind and manure emit more than one third of emissions of another, methane, which warms the world 20 times faster than carbon dioxide.
In a textbook case of mistaken identity, Gore misidentified the perp in his movie, an Inconvenient Truth as man. In global warming, the bad guy is the cow not the cowboy. But the box office has already made its big payday.
Had he been paying more attention to Canada, mother country of Kyoto architect Maurice Strong, Gore may have avoided his blooper.
Canada's agriculture Department was on to the cattle long before the UN ever stepped forward. CaD spends a lot of time studying flatulence. ManureNet, a federal government website, dedicated to manure management, keeps the public informed on the latest on flatulence.
according to Ezra Levant in his book Fight Kyoto, "That's where civil servants spend countless hours--and tax dollars--capturing and analyzing animal burps and farts. To cut down on the giggling, departmental staff, including the Minister, refer to these as "livestock emissions", but there's no getting around it: Our government believes that in order to meet our Kyoto obligations, we have to make cattle and sheep toot less. It's no small thing--according to the government, emissions from animals and their manure make up 20 megatonnes of greenhouse gases each year--fully one twelfth the amount Canada must cut back to meet Kyoto's targets."
Then there's Environmental Defence Canada, an eco-activist group dedicated to fart-free living. In October 2002, they released a scathing 37-page report called It's Hitting the Fan--pointing out that cattle and pigs nearly outnumber people in Canada, and all of those animals are farting--creating "foul odours", "toxic vapours" and even cause "headaches".
Bob Friesen, president of the Canadian Federation of agriculture, and his group fired back with their own press release, entitled Environment Group Spreads Manure.
"animals produce manure, manure is spread on the land to grow crops, and animals eat the crops. It's a perfectly natural and beneficial cycle," said Friesen.
Meanwhile, now that the real culprit for global warming has been discovered, al Gore needs a flatulence detector.
Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: [email protected]