OPINION: In his recent open letter, David Lloyd asked for our help in clarifying the impact of methane in global warming (Will you help, Andrew?, Rural News, 24th August 2021).
My objective is to stop the western world from feeling guilty when eating pastoral red meat and to stop New Zealand pastoral farmers feeling guilty when they produce it.
I need your help. I am sure you would agree with my objectives. I also want to show New Zealand how badly things can go when you create zombie jobs. Under pressure from the king of common sense, Neil Henderson from Gisborne, you broke over and admitted that you understand the ruminant methane issue, admitting that you knew it was not increasing in the atmosphere.
On the July 5 under the heading 'Beef and Lamb NZ launches emissions calculator', your chief executive Sam McIvor said: 'knowing and managing farm greenhouse gas emissions is critical for our future as a trusted provider of sustainable food'. How, sir, do you reconcile these two statements?
There are not many scientists in politics. When the Government produced the absurd suggestion that almost half of NZ greenhouse gas was produced by pastoral animals, no scientist was prepared to say, 'wait a minute that's a gross figure, methane breaks down quickly and a net figure from a constant level of production is zero'.
Methane levels in the atmosphere only increase with more production (from more animals).
It's like steam coming out of a boiling kettle, the steam cloud only gets bigger if you turn up the heat and boil the water faster.
The Helen Clark led Labour government, fuelled by a potent cocktail of ignorance, territorial envy and wishful thinking, created the world ruminant methane research unit in Palmerston North. Every person employed in that unit has put their salaries ahead of the science and have spent the last 15 years telling the world that 48% of greenhouse gases in NZ come from agriculture and that ruminant methane is a big player in global warming worldwide.
In May 2010, I visited the methane research unit in Palmerston North with the express purpose of explaining that there had been a mistake and that methane produced at a constant level didn't increase the amount of methane in the air at all. I got a hostile reception.
John Key's National Party, elected in 2008 with political antennae finely tuned, said we would follow not lead on methane tax.
In 2017, in came the Winston-appointed Labour-NZ First government, and the political momentum built rapidly. All around the world, our world-leading methane research unit has been telling people that biogenic methane is cooking the planet.
I hope you can see just how badly things can go when you pay good money to solve a problem that does not exist. The most recent people to succumb to this irrational political momentum are the Climate Change Commission. They advised the Government to shrink pastoral agriculture by 13%. This will cost the country $3 billion dollars a year, half of it will come out of levy paying farmers pockets.
It is hard to get your head around the damage this advice is doing and will do the NZ economy. It is all based on foolishness and zombie jobs all started in 2005. Zombie jobs are jobs that do more harm than good.
We need your help on this. Please get DairyNZ on board with you. Please ask the Climate Change Commission to explain the science behind their advice as step one. Do they believe that 48% of NZ greenhouse gases come from ruminant biogenic methane or do they understand that is a gross figure and the net figure is zero?
Or are they taking a face saving position advising the Government to shrink pastoral farming by 13% and therefore the economy by $3 billion a year or $8 million a day - based on political momentum developed by zombie jobs in Palmerston North.
Does any country rely more for its wealth on pastoral farming, will any other country follow us down this absurd path of taxing cows for belching?
Will you please help me Mr Morrison to redirect the methane research unit in Palmerston North, the zombie jobs champion of the world.