Ideology + methane needlessly threatens farm livelihoods

These emissions figures are well over ten years old. You’d think by now, for such a topical matter, the Royal Society might have found the 2017 data. Oh, and the MfE claiming agriculture produces nearly half our emissions is a scandal driven only by ideology. They should start pretending they are non-partisan: reduce methane’s atmospheric lifetime to a more realistic five or six years, remove its demented GWP of 28 times carbon dioxide’s and finally acknowledge that the country is a net carbon sink.1

refer The NZ Farmers Weekly – 22 July, 2019

The Government say farmers should pay for emissions from 2025—just six years away—so long as we devise a means of calculating those emissions.

To get their taxes altered, to reflect changes on the farm, farmers will have to provide evidence like invoices and receipts to prove their animal emissions have gone down.

But they’re having to prove they reduce what cannot be proved causes harm.

Because, which is extremely odd, the government has not produced evidence to show the emissions alter the weather, or that there’s a “climate emergency”. That can’t be fair.

The government will say (because they’ve told us before), “we listen to the IPCC.” But to that we say, “We did exactly that too, we examined what they said, and they have no evidence.”

The situation couldn’t be more pig-ignorant if you threw chicken bones on the ground and claimed to know the future.

A lot of work is being done to reduce methane emissions in our livestock, even without evidence to show it’s necessary. It’s costing a lot of money, taking a lot of time and yet, long before they find out whether it’s possible to reduce livestock emissions, they already plan to punish farmers.

The ideology driving the MfE obscures the fact that ruminant methane has been part of a natural cycle for millions of years.

Whatever the best mitigation technology turns out to be, getting it on to farms will take at least seven years—at least one year AFTER farmers start paying for their emissions.

Strangely enough, that’s longer than methane survives in the atmosphere: about five years.

This is no way to run a country, though regrettably our public scientists let us and our politicians down by not providing evidence of the things they tell us.

1. NIWA scientists (pdf, 185 KB) have carefully measured the atmospheric carbon dioxide on both sides of the country over a 36-month period, finding that New Zealand removes an average of 98 Tg CO2 per year from the atmosphere. This is a net figure, after deducting the result of its human-caused emissions which amount to only 35 Tg CO2 per year. That is a big contribution to the rest of the world.

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I have been fighting this most unjust methane livestock emissions rort because that is what it is . Since it was introduced at the Kyoto climate meeting when the Kyoto Accord was thought up and imposed on the world . I have written about John Maunder who a lot of you know of and he attended the first two climate meetings in Villach and Rio de Janeiro on behalf of the New Zealand government and he was a member of the WMO. John Maunder told me that livestock methane was never mentioned first two climate conferences . Our government went to Kyoto in the expectation that New Zealand was a very low emitter and that we could even be in credit . Then the UN introduced livestock methane to the conference for what ever reason as some of the power brokers believed that farmed livestock have a very bad effect on the environment and they are plainly anti meat and anti milk. I will ask the question .As all other emissions are from fossil fuel and cement manufacture that is extracted from beneath the earths surface where they have been for millions of… Read more »

Brett Keane

Put my submissions in but am unable to speak to them, sadly.
Ten thousands plus fifteen hundred speakers. No wonder they are behind time. Green jiggery pokery evident in the whole process. Brett

Brett Keane

And of course, CH4’s already reedy effect, if ghgs had any (they do not as Maxwell showed), would be extinguished by being present only in billionths. Only radioactive substances can overcome those dilutions. Pity scientific honesty has jumped the warmist ship. Brett Keane


I am certain from my observations that farmed pastures are very good sinks for carbon .My observations have been on my own farm part of which is quite steep and track have been bulldozed around hillsides for access.Areas of red clay are exposed but within a few years the dung has enriched the tracks and they are covered with a good pasture sward and the topsoil is building up . One track was metaled with brown rock and was maintained for access to a cell phone tower .This track is no longer used as I constructed a much easier graded road to the top of the hill .The original track is now covered with vigorous pasture over the road metal.and is incorporated in to a paddock . If this is happening on tracks it has also been taking place on the rest of the farm . I am aware that cultivation does lead to less organic matter in the soil as it is exposed to the air and market gardeners often grow cover crops to incorporate into their soils . A lot of our volcanic soils were fairly shallow with low natural fertility… Read more »

Peter Fraser

It would be interesting to know what tourism adds to NZ green house gas emissions. I guess it must be substantial and may be up there with methane from livestock. Why is the government picking on farmers while ignoring the tourism industry?


The reason the government is attacking livestock methane is because most of our population lives in towns or cities and farming is the easy target . Pastoral farming is the driver that keeps most rural New Zealander’s in work directly or indirectly . This flows through to the cities via the processing plants and ports . It will be a travesty if the government imposes restrictions on livestock farming as it looks that New Zealand will be the first country in the world to do so . Our milk products have the lowest emissions in the world even after shipping half way around the world . If New Zealand reduces output other countries will increase their production and the emissions will go up . I agree with you Peter about tourism emissions ,but when the Greens are part of government this is the result. Common sense and economic well being is disregarded and ideology takes over . I am certain if all livestock were eliminated emissions of green house gasses would increase as market gardening is very intensive user of fossil fuel and urea . Just go to the Pukekohe Hill in the… Read more »

Brett Keane

Yes Gwan, I have seen a 7-inch increase in black topsoil over 70 yrs on well-managed Northland medium hill country. Stock foot tracks too can make useful terraces. So much they will not learn. Brett

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