Absurdity revealed: to meet climate targets we need to shut down agriculture

If the Green taliban get their way New Zealand will have to pretty much shut down our entire farming system to meet emissions targets.

Current agricultural greenhouse gas reduction strategies can only deliver between 21 to 40 percent of the mitigation required to meet the targets set in The Paris Agreement.

Global greenhouse gases will need to be reduced by around one billion tonnes per year until 2030 in order to limit climate change to below a two degree increase on pre-industrial levels.

However, focusing emission reductions primarily on the transport and energy sectors is not enough to meet that commitment and the agricultural industry is short on options.

Even if the transport and energy sectors reduce emissions to near zero, it would be insufficient according to a study released by Global Change Biology on Tuesday afternoon.

Looks like we will have to kill all the cows.

New Zealand scientist and co-author of the study Dr Andy Reisinger says while more than 100 countries have indicated they want to reduce agricultural emissions, few have a clear plan how to do so.

“For many developing countries, food security, not greenhouse gas mitigation, is an overriding concern,” Dr Reisinger said.

“There are important synergies between increasing the productivity and efficiency of their farm systems and reducing the emissions per unit of food they produce.”

“The more we can engage those countries in a conversation that encompasses both those elements, the better we can ensure that there is enough food to feed the planet without putting the planet itself at serious risk.”

Presently, available interventions would only deliver between 21 to 40 percent of the mitigation required.

Even with efficiency improvements, new solutions are required to reduce emissions while still providing food security with New Zealand government-funded research underway.

This includes identifying lower emitting animals for targeted breeding, developing animal-safe compounds that can suppress methane production in the rumen of animals among others.

Around one third of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas production comes from livestock.

The Greens already have a policy of killing off most of our livestock. I imagine they will pull that one out of the policy grab bag shortly.

 – NewsHub


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  • Tony

    It is part of the wider desire to limit the world’s population – of that I am convinced

    • Damon Mudgway

      Humanity are parasitic, there’s no doubt about that. Not to worry, we won’t be here forever. Fate and chaos have other plans for us.

    • cows4me

      If they feel such a desire to lower the population they are welcome to jump off a cliff, of course they won’t they are special.

  • cows4me

    It’s not the livestock that need knocking off. What use is a Melon, seriously, bludgers , communists , scum suckers and general all round arseholes. They are all so clever jetting around the country, preaching lunacy and self destruction for all that don’t follow their delusional path in life. Yes these arseholes always have plenty to say, it’s easy to talk crap when your stomach is full. Come and try and kill my stock you aholes, come on, I dare you.

    • Quinton Hogg

      Tell us what you really think….

      • cows4me

        I’m not allowed to, they’ll remove the post.

        • Damon Mudgway

          We can read between the lines cows. Don’t ya just love it that your taxes are helping the greens espouse this excrement.

  • Sagacious Blonde

    I’m preparing to diversify.
    My hills here in Morrinsville are going to be prime beachfront according to some graphs. Just working out how best to carve them up for maximum return before I send the cows off to the works.
    By the time I get through the consent process, the water will be lapping my feet and I can settle into gilt edged retirement – lol

  • Andy

    I was under the impression that the methane cycle was a closed loop and therefore largely a non-problem, but somehow we have managed to create an industry out of fixing this non-problem

    • Lord Onerous I

      I was under the impression that **insert any AGW related subject** is largely a non-problem, but somehow we have managed to create an industry out of fixing this non-problem.

      • Andy

        Yes, indeed but some of the scams are a little more obvious than others. Another one that springs to mind is the claim that global sea levels are accelerating. This claim is made by splicing the satellite data onto the end of the tide gauge record. No one can explain why the satellite data reads higher than most of the tide gauge data in the world though

    • JohnO

      By far the largest and most important of all greenhouse gasses is H2O. it absorbs all the light energy that otherwise might be absorbed by methane. Methane is only a greenhouse gas as long as there is no H2O vapor in the air. Most of the planet is covered by water and the air always carries water vapour. Therefore methane is not and never was a geeenhouse gas in the real world. Here is the data for those who want to read it.

  • Annoyed

    This argument annoys me to no end. We are one of the world’s leading Dairy exporters. Our Ag emissions are driven by the need to feed people in other, overpopulated countries. Of course our emissions are high on a per capita basis – the majority of what causes the emissions is shipped away to feed people in other countries.

    Has anyone actually bothered to work out consumed emissions? i.e. linking consumption of resources and the emissions relating to those resources rather than attributing those resources to the country of production. This would have to take best practice into account of course.

  • geoff

    As I understand it NZ’s livestock apparently produces the least methane per head of cattle anywhere in the world.

    • Annoyed

      So what you’re saying is that for the world to be better off we should actually increase our ag production and other countries should limit theirs?

      • geoff

        What I’m saying is what is the rationale in pinging a country that has done everything scientifically possible to limit methane emissions from cattle?

    • Dave of the West Bank

      To heck with the cows – what about termites? Time we got stuck into them, innit?

      “Not only is carbon dioxide’s total greenhouse effect puny, mankind’s contribution to it is minuscule. The overwhelming majority (97%) of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere comes from nature, not from man. Volcanoes, swamps, rice paddies, fallen leaves, and even insects and bacteria produce carbon dioxide, as well as methane. According to the journal Science (Nov. 5, 1982), termites alone emit ten times more carbon dioxide than all the factories and automobiles in the world.”


  • Terry

    And still we wait, mid the welter of propaganda about rising temperatures and seas, for one single properly prepared paper according to the accepted science method proving causation between so-called greenhouse gases (especially trace gas carbon dioxide and methane) and temperature variation beyond the limits of centuries old-observations. Why? It’s the money, stupid. Problem is: it’s OUR money they’re grabbing!

    • PersonOfColor:WHITE

      Unfortunateley the tsunami of propaganda has already succeeded. Even the National party has a full on carbon dioxide emissions reduction policy despite there being NIL evidence that CO2 is in any way a cause of temperature rises.

      Is the great unwashed out there paying attention to the $36BILLION dollar cost to New Zealand of our Paris commitments?

      Politics picks your pockets people. Pay attention!

      • PersonOfColor:WHITE

        Remember, the flag debacle was 0.1% of that!

  • Superman

    Here’s the problem.

  • Dan

    “For many developing countries, food security, not greenhouse gas mitigation, is an overriding concern,” Dr Reisinger said.

    Which is bleedingly obvious. But not obvious enough for the idealists at the Paris junket to understand. Most, if not all of these developing countries, which rely on Agriculture to survive (or mining, or tourism) cannot in any way reduce emmissions. But they were sucked along in the hope of making a bit out of guilt ridden rich countries. And they voted in favour of it.

    While the world tries to cope with food shortages and boost agriculture, encourage sustainable living through such endeavours (I have been on so many of these fora, symposia, conferences and seminars), we get the counteracting demands of carbon footprints and vilification of the very gas that makes horti/agriculture posible in the first place. CO2. We are encouraged to grow more in theory, but discouraged in practice.

  • Murray Pratt

    I haven’t heard what Trumps take is on the U.N but its my guess he’s not a fan. If he becomes president this socialist establishment might lose plenty of power and that can only be a good thing. Our Greenies wont have the P.C tools to bully peoples livelihoods anymore.

    I was a paid up member of Greenpeace many moons ago and remain Blue Green. Greenpeace is all about power, control and dominance and they should have no say in a free country like NZ. I have all faith in Key’s government to handle Green matters as so far they have done a good job of it.

    Having said that, we do need to peg back on dairy farms and look into Fonterra’s business tactics. With their dominance in our market place, it’s like they are farming the farmers and it is supposed to be a co-op owned by them. More competition with dairy companies, less dairy farms and retail prices reflecting NZ prices, or in other words; Just like it was before Fonterra was established. Dairy is great for our export dollar, but it does come at a cost to our environment, no doubt about that. We have to be smarter, that’s all. We need dairy farms and we need to give the guys and girls who work on or own dairy farms more profit than they get right now, that’s for sure.

    • Michelle

      Back to smaller farms where the owner also works on the farm full time
      A win for young ones who want to get into farming and the health of the animals
      Less waste per farm as the numbers of stock are smaller
      Less bureaucracy with these stupid rules H & S, ACC costs which hold farming back
      Yes Fonterra needs a big shake up, the current idiots running the place have no idea

      • KatB

        I know a guy who’s always said, if the dairy industry was growing and improving and leading the world, then surely dairy farms would be getting smaller and producing more. Doesn’t seem to be a great situation to need to buy more and more to make a living.

  • The Fat Man

    There is only one answer that will work.

    It is not rocket science.

    The population of the World needs to be drastically reduced from over 6 billion to around 500 million, or less.

    What I want to know is how they propose to achieve this.

    Its that or adapt to the environment we live in. My vote is to adapt, as we always have.

    • Gollum

      I suspect their answer is shut down enough economic activity so as to starve the 5.5 bn to death

      • PersonOfColor:WHITE

        This will radically reduce the opposition to introducing the socialist utopia.

        I know which ’emitting animals’ I’d like to cull…but perhaps we could just require them to not breath out, or fart. Unlikely to become Green Party policy though…eh?

  • Peter

    The biggest agricultural greenhouse gas producer: rice growing.

  • sheppy

    So in summary a bunch of vegetarians are telling us we need to stop producing meat…. Same day, same rubbish.
    To limit CO2 and resource use, limit the population, it’ll also help with this weeks media party “crisis”

  • Graeme

    Never any mention of the huge populations of the asian and Indian countries and how that contributes to the so called “global warming” togeth with the millions of motorbikes and soon that they use to get around on.

  • Andrew

    What one thing can people do that will reduce CO2 (and other greenhouse gases), water use, energy use, prophylactic use of antibiotics in animals (80% of antibiotic use is this kind – leading to antibiotic resistant bacteria) and land use?

    Eat and purchase less animal products!

    • WBC

      The problem is meet tastes really really good. This is because we are evolved to eat it and we are healthier for it.

      Eating less lettuce would be advisable as it has no value to you and simply wastes land.

      No, we need to feed the world but this is only achievable if we address the problem of continual growth. feeding 14 billion will use more food then feeding 7. It is simple mathematics but a tough problem and therefore one that the “feel good about myself while carefully avoiding thinking about the damage my misguided delusion actually do” green crowd will not go anywhere near

      • Andrew

        Something crazy like 30%-40% of all grain produced is used to feed live stock – so not only does live stock use more resources and produce more pollutants they also are doubling down on inefficiency by consuming food that could be used to feed people. So if you are truly worried about feeding people then eat and purchase less animal products.

        • Uncle Bully

          You know what? I’m not worried about feeding more people at all. There are already too many people, so if we just cut the ones who cannot feed themselves adrift, end of problem. Then I can concentrate on breeding and growing big fat beefies so I, and other like minded carnivores, can continue eating big fat steaks.

        • WBC

          An interesting point Andrew but it once again misses the actual crux of the problem. You see, we eat other animals, we evolved to, it helped us evolve into the species we are. Eating only vegetables may alleviate the problem temporarily but it will ultimately lead to more suffering.

          I’m sorry but your argument is exactly the misguided delusion I was referring to – please bare with me. You see, if we don’t solve the breading problem then as a species we will (like ALL other animals) breed until the environment can no longer support us. Except if we follow your example there will simply be more of us that are starving, hence more pain and more suffering. So while things like being a vegetarian provide a feeling of doing good, this only applies when the person doing it refuses to actually look at the long term consequences of their actions, particularly if they are avoiding trying to address the real problem (too many people). In this way it actually makes that person very selfish; sorry but it’s what it is.

          If you think this type of damaging “good intention” is a distant issue (not that that should make a difference) then think again. You only have to look at any third world nation. Well meaning but short sighted people have drastically reduced infant mortality, but without ensuring that reduced reproduction followed. The upshot TODAY, not in the future, is massively increased starvation, poverty and general destruction of the societies that once were. This we can see today, not tomorrow, the evidence is already there, if you don’t believe me then please travel, even just to PNG where whole tribes have fallen from sustainable existence into poverty because they were already in balance with what their world could provide before their number swelled. Now they suffer starvation, and pain. The product of only decades of “good intentions”.

          So… We should eat meat, we should live on the food we have evolved to and enjoy, we should also be vegetarians if we want to be and equally enjoy. But we should also be honest enough to acknowledge what the actual problem is. Finding answers that suit your own lifestyle should be considered very carefully.

    • one for the road

      But the protein supplied by animals is pretty important to our survival…. Catch 22

      • Andrew

        Funny you say ‘survival’ – you don’t see vegans dropping dead (new ipsos-mori poll in the UK had over 500k vegans, more than Sikhs).

        You can get all your protein and amino acids needs just eating a reasonably varied diet.

        • anniem

          Not really interested in the vegan discussion but am very interested in your statement 80% of antibiotic use in animals is prophylactic.I know the poultry industry uses prophylactic antibiotics I wonder what other species is treated prophylactically? Please advise.

          • Andrew
          • anniem

            Yes I completely agree, you are being lazy. That Wikipedia article was poorly written, out of date and as far as I could see had little relevance to NZ. NZ was not even listed individually. There may be some prophylactic use in the pork industry in NZ (as well as poultry industry) but from your comments you are casting aspersions on the beef and lamb industry and it is completely untrue that prophylactic antibiotics are used in beef and lamb NZ. Clarify your thoughts and statements.

  • PersonOfColor:WHITE

    From the Paris Signing Cabinet paper:

    “Financial implications

    46 Financial and economic implications will result from obligations to take
    progressively higher emission reduction targets and provide progressively greater
    amounts of financial assistance to developing countries. The economic cost of
    New Zealand’s 2021-2030 target is estimated at $36 billion (2012 prices), or 1.20% of
    RGNDI. The costs of our subsequent targets under the Paris Agreement and future
    packages of financial assistance to developing countries are unknown.

  • one for the road

    All part of their plan to take us back to the stone age.

  • KatB

    So they’ll receive millions of dollars of funding to engineer the animals and food so neither are worth eating or safe to eat and none of the byproducts safe either.