Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Battle for our Grasslands and Livestock

By Viv Forbes

Grasslands and arable land cover just 10% of Earth’s surface but (with the oceans) they produce all of our food and fibre. But the productivity and health of our grasslands, farms and livestock are under threat from disproportionate global warming alarmism and immoderate green preservationists.

We are afflicted by methane madness. It is poor public policy that condones restrictions on grazing operations, or taxes on grazing animals, based on disputed theories that claim that bodily emissions from farm animals will cause dangerous global warming.
New Zealand was the first country to propose a “livestock fart tax”. Four hundred farmers then drove 20 tractors to the Parliament in Wellington waving placards and banners saying “STOP THE FART TAX”. The proposal was laughed out of Parliament. But the war on farmers and livestock continues
Used by permission. Cartoonist Steve Hunter. www.clexit.net


Ruminants such as sheep, cattle and goats cannot make long-term additions to the gases in the atmosphere - they just recycle atmospheric carbon and nitrogen nutrients in a cycle-of-life that has operated for millennia. Grazing ruminant animals with their emission products have always been part of healthy grasslands.

Many otherwise genuine environmentalists are assisting the destruction of grasslands with their native pastures and endangered grass birds. Blinded by their love for the trees, they neglect the grasses, legumes, herbs and livestock that provide their food. In Australia they pass laws to protect weedy eucalypts invading the grasslands but ignore the valuable and declining Mitchell grass that once dominated Australia’s treeless plains.

Grasslands are also under threat from cultivation for biofuel crops, from subsidised carbon credit forests and from the remorseless encroachment of fire-prone government reserves and pest havens.

We have the modern methane madness. Mobs of grazing ruminants have been roaming the grasslands since cave-man days. Methane has also been seeping from marshes, bubbling out of oceans, leaking from coal seams and oil seeps and being released in huge quantities from volcanoes. So what more can a few domestic cows and sheep do to affect this? Methane from domestic ruminants is a non-problem.

It is a foolish and costly fantasy to believe that Earth’s climate can be controlled by passing laws, imposing taxes, attempting to manipulate the bodily emissions of farm animals or trying to prevent farmers from clearing woody weeds invading their pastures


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The Clexit (ClimateExit) Coalition, comprising over 190 representatives from 26 countries, has formed the Clexit Grassland Protection Group with nine representatives from five big grazing countries.

 

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