Camels are considered to be one of Australia’s most damaging feral pests, with a herd of more than one million roaming through the Outback and allegedly chomping through native plants and trampling over sacred Aboriginal sites. These quadrupeds also belch out one tonne of methane each per year, making the herd one of the country’s major carbon emitters.
The Australian government is considering an unusual solution to the camel plague and its emissions. NorthWest Carbon, a carbon trading company, has proposed that the government allocate carbon credits to encourage widespread culling of the beasts, arguing that the plan would benefit the Outback environment and help save the planet.
The company has proposed shooting the animals from helicopters and then sending the carcases for processing as pet food and for human consumption.
The plan has been included in the ‘Carbon Farming Initiative’ legislation, which was passed by the House of Representatives and is now before the Senate.
However, under the plan, culling would earn carbon credits that could be bought by industrial polluters to offset their own carbon emissions. In other words, industrial polluters can’t be bothered to clean up their act would be able to carry on as normal, damaging people and the environment, just by purchasing credits.
This type of attitude is totally irresponsible and wrong in just about every possible aspect and it is to be hoped that the proposal is soundly rejected.
Feral camels may be a problem to humans in some areas, no-one is disputing that fact, but surely there must be a less cynical solution. Just culling the herds would be far more acceptable.
Better still. How about ‘remove’ the industrial polluters and give the credits to the camels. After all, the camels can’t help emitting methane, industries can.