Australia: Let's Kill Camels to Save Planet

Government wants to offer carbon credits in exchange for wiping them out

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 9, 2011 8:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – Meet another global warming bad-guy: the lowly camel. Australia's government is pitching a proposal in which it would be a-OK to kill camels in the name of reducing greenhouse gas emissions—and in exchange for cash. The AP reports that in one year's time, just six of these creatures will burp about 600 pounds of methane into the air, which is roughly equivalent to the amount of CO2 a car produces in the same amount of time. With a population of 1.2 million wild camels, the country sees them as a big problem.

And it's a problem that's growing: The number of camels doubles every nine years despite culls, according to government estimates. The proposal, released for public comment this week, would allow hunters to slaughter camels for meat as well as for carbon credits; industrial polluters would then buy the credits from these sharpshooters to offset their own carbon emissions. Killing the methane-belching animals from a helicopter in exchange for carbon credits would be legit, too, so long as the camel was killed humanely and its carcass abandoned.

In this undated photo released by the Northern Territory government, camels are seen crowded around a drinking trough in MacDonnell Shire of the Northern Territory, Australia.   (AP Photo)
In this undated photo released by the Northern Territory government, camels are seen crowding around a drinking trough pushing horses out the way in MacDonnell Shire of the Northern Territory.   (AP Photo)
Australia may make it OK to kill these belching creatures.   (AP Photo/Steve Holland, File)
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