Carbon Credits for Camel Killing?

An Australian land management consultant has proposed killing large numbers of wild camels in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a major contributor to global warming. The proposal, one of several in an initiative to be debated in the Australian parliament next week, posits that eliminating the camels would generate carbon credits, which industry could then purchase to offset their carbon emissions. Northwest Carbon proposes to shoot the animals or round them up for slaughter, with the resulting meat processed for animal or human consumption.

Camels were imported to Australia in the mid 19th century, where they were used for transport across the vast, arid interior portions of the continent. When no longer needed, they were set loose. Nature took her course and now there are about 1.2 million feral camels in the country. The ruminants are highly destructive “pests” and each camel emits about 100 pounds of the greenhouse gas methane each year.

Convenient Scape-Camel?
Because of its high reliance on coal-powered energy, Australia has one of  the highest per capita greenhouse gas emission levels of any country, and the nation is looking at many ways to address the issue. But is camel-culling a costly diversion from more effective measures? Bloomberg quotes Tony Owen, academic director of University College London’s School of Energy and Resources in Adelaide, Australia:“It sounds like a high-cost way of curbing emissions. We’ve really got to move into the big league where we look at life changing technology.”

The Australian legislature is engaged in a fierce debate over the Labor government’s proposal to introduce a fixed price on carbon emissions–a carbon tax–on large industrial polluters by July 2012. Polls show Australians are bitterly divided on the subject; many fear the tax will further harm the economy, while thousands rallied in support of the tax around the country last Sunday.

Photo: Major polluter or convenient scape-camel?
06-08-10 © Marc Lepage via iStockphoto

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234 comments

Waltraud U.
Waltraud AWAY U.2 years ago

what infantile ideas some idioticbrains are working there ??
kick them out of their profession and in the madhouse with that dumb monsters.
ty

Sarah M.
Sarah M.4 years ago

People will to ANYTHING to hold on to their destructive energy ways, even if it means destroying the earth and everything on it. We were given intellect--why do so many people refuse to use it?! Animals have never been the problem--people are.

Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun4 years ago

Great article. Thank you for this.

Will Rogers
Will Rogers4 years ago

I think camels get Bad Press. No one stands up for camels against this ludicrous idea obviously perpetrated by the oil industry who are trying to deflect attention away from their dirty cars! 150years ago the world was teeming with wildlife, hundreds of millions of buffalo wildebeest elephants horses cows,animals everywhere farting, methane laden swamps that we've since drained ..farting.

Sue Griffiths
Sue Griffiths4 years ago

@Lilia G.
I wholeheartedly agree with you.

Austin R.
Austin Rotter4 years ago

I have no idea the benefits to getting rid of what some call an ecological "pest," but it shouldn't serve as a distraction while the underlying problem persists.

pete M.
peter m.4 years ago

Get to the root of the problem and put in major solar like Germany and wind or even ocean hydro.
What's the matter the oil & gas companies have to big a payoff from their lobbyists!

Lilia Gracia
Lilia Gracia4 years ago

THE CAMELS WERE TAKEN FROM THEIR LAND OF ORIGIN, BOUGHT, SOLD, AND THEN USED...TO CARRY ON THEIR BACKS MERCHANDISE ACROSS AUSTRALIA. WHEN THEY DID NOT NEED THEM ANYMORE, THEY WERE THROWN OUT INTO THE WILD..TO SURVIVE AS BEST THEY COULD. NOW, "THEY" ARE SUPOSEDLY POSING A PROBLEM, SO AGAIN THE STUPID HUMAN BEINGS FEEL THEY OWN LIFE, AND FEEL THEY CAN USE IT, ABUSE IT, DISCARD IT, DESTROY IT...AS THEY WISH. USE YOUR HEAD, USE YOUR BRAINS, USE YOUR HEART. THINK LIKA A HUMANIZED HUMAN BEING. THINK ! FIND A REAL SOLUTION. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT OVER ANY LIFE ON THE PLANET ! THE CAMELS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. WE HUMAN BEINGS AS A SPECIE ARE THE PLANETS PROBLEM.

Tanyaisa P.
Tanyaisa P.4 years ago

OH YEAH, CAMELS REQUIRE LITTLE TO LIVE AND ARE OF GREAT BENEFIT TO PEOPLE WHO RIDE THEM, USE THEM FOR LABOR AND EVEN MEAT. KIDS LOVE CAMELS, SO THEY ARE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AS WELL. SAVE THE CAMELS.

Tanyaisa P.
Tanyaisa P.4 years ago

COAL IS A GREATER ISSUE THAN CAMEL EMMISIONS, AND DON'T GET ME WRONG, I MAY DISAGREE WITH COAL MINING DUE TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, DANGER TO THE WORKERS, MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL, ETC, BUT I SUPPORT THE MINERS, WHO WORK THEIR LIVES AND HEALTH AWAY IN THE DIRTY MINES.