Camels, nature’s original water conservationists, may be an environmental threat in Australia.
Yesterday morning Newser reported a new bill in Australia that proposes offering carbon credits to citizens who kill a camel.
According to the article, camels have particularly gaseous burps, and over the course of a year can omit 100 pounds of methane, about 1/6th as much as an average car.
Australia has 1.2 million wild camels—the largest population in the world. Officials see them as pests, and also a menacing force behind climate change.
The proposal, which will be voted on by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, “would allow sharpshooters to earn so-called carbon credits for slaughtering camels. Industrial polluters around the world could buy the credits to offset their own carbon emissions.”
When it comes to the cold, hard numbers of cutting emissions, this may be a practical measure. Mark Dreyfus, the government’s parliamentary secretary for climate change is for the bill, and told the Associated Press, “Potentially it has tremendous merit, because feral camels are a dreadful menace across the whole of arid Australia.”
I’m all for using creative green initiatives. But fighting climate change—a man-made problem—by killing animals sounds like the ultimate in fighting fire with fire. Camels in particular are symbolically green—they can travel long distances over deserts with water stored in their humps. In a way, they’re natural-born conservationists.
When it comes to a climate change tipping point, many scientists feel that we’re too late, too far in to thwart major damage. If the straw already broke the camel’s back—what’s the point in killing it now?