Good Life Ahead Farming Carbon and Culling Feral Camels for Carbon Credits
Here's a novel idea. Kill pest animals such as camels to cut green house gas emissions.
Dead camels stop breathing, they stop farting and they stop belching carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
This saves a tonne of carbon dioxide equivalents per year for each camel.
Think of the possibilities - this is a bounty hunter's delight.
Even Godaddy's Dad may be able to get a carbon credit for the elephant he killed!
As reported in the Australian newspaper and Financial Times of London - Australian pastoralists may soon be paid to cull feral camels on shooting safaris in exchange for carbon credits.
Carbon Farming in Australia
This is one of the options the Australian Government has released for its carbon farming legislation.
South Australian carbon project manager, Dr Tim Moore, told the newspapers that there were about one million feral camels and the culling could provide a cheap way to offset carbon by a million tonnes.
Large areas of Western Australia are also overrun with the camels.
Northern Territory has a problem with Water Buffalo and there are feral pigs and goats everywhere.
Think of the possibilities and fun!
There may be environmental credits as well as these feral animals do enormous damage to vegetation and sometimes terrorise townships when searching for water.
Each camel killed would produce a total "emissions avoidance benefit" of up to 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over the life of the camel.
Good Times Ahead
The prospects for Australian and American farmers is looking very good.
Lots of relaxing in the verandah ahead - planning the next shoot.
The carbon credits mean that they will effectively be paid not to farm their land so that carbon gets locked up in the soil and stored in plants when cleared land is allowed to regenerate itself. No much to do, but someone has to do it, I suppose.
They can get paid for growing trees which is hardly a very demanding activity compared with cropping and grazing.
They may even get credit for shooting their cows and other livestock - why not - they are carbon emitters. In tough times they can always go out and shoot a few camels, pigs or goats - whatever is on their land!
With vast tracts of lands many farmers may also be entitled to biodiversity and conservation credits.
Its good and relaxing times ahead for sure. They have worked hard all their lives, now is the time to reap the benefits of being a land owner. Good luck to them!
Meanwhile the Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it has funded $17.4 million for pilot projects to set up a scheme for trade in greenhouse gas (GHG) credits. These credits are key components for a cap and trade system, to help reduce carbon and other emissions. Under this trade system, some businesses can earn GHG credits, which they can sell or trade with other businesses, that need them as offsets, to keep under their emissions cap. The polluter pays.
Such GHG offsets can come from anything that act to reduce the level of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gasses. These actions can include such things as a pledge to keep rural land undeveloped, to planting trees, or to change to the way farms process animal waste or use fertilizer.
A $1 million project is being used to show dairy and beef farmers how to handle manure and animal feeding so as to produce less methane emissions and earn credits.
Another $1.2 million grant is to be given to an Indian tribe for improving forest management, replanting trees, and also for not clearing or developing forested lands.
In Australia killing of feral camels, and inoculating cattle to stop them burping methane gas, and early burn-off strategies, have been suggested for the carbon farming initiative.
If killing a camel earns a carbon credit, then so will water buffalo, pigs and other feral animals.
Next killing cows and sheep will earn carbon credits as well, and we will all have to be come vegetarians.
Next in line could be domestic pets.
The days of the bounty hunter will return and they will be paid for carbon credit scalps, like in the old days for foxes and wild dogs.
But why are the wonderful and productive New Zealand and the Australian farmland going to be ruined and retired from farmland producing food, into forests and carbon credit farms when the world is starving and the oil is running out.
Surely these productive farms should be used to grow food or crops for generating ethanol for liquid fuels?
What are future generations going to use for fuel and eat - carbon credits on toast?
Conclusion: The Good Life for Aussie and American Farmers
The Australian Government has estimated that farmers could get more than $600 million over the next ten years by selling their credits domestically and on the international market.
Eventually carbon credits will be able to be traded internationally and its the polluters who pay and so everyone is happy. Indigenous land owners in Australia will also be interested because it will be a new stream of revenue for them and they will be paid not to develop their land.
Farmers could also earn conservation credits for bushland on their properties they conserve or regenerate or for new trees and shrubs they plant, perhaps with an auction system similar to eBay used for them to sell the credits to the highest bidder.
Just Let the Land Regenerate Itself
© 2011 Dr. John Anderson