DEAR SIR: Climate change is real and it is accelerating. It is a new phenomenon driven by new human activities, such as the enormous amount of fossil fuels which we burn.

It is not caused by the age-old practice of ruminants eating forage. The thousands of coal burning power stations around the world and the vast amount of oil and gas consumed produce 34.5Bt of CO2 annually.

A temperature rise of two tenths of a degree per decade is attributed to this consumption binge.

Here in Ireland we have an ongoing debacle at Dublin Airport. We have a commitment from Minister Eamon Ryan to streamline it and improve throughput. Throughput wasn’t too bad in June with over 2.8 million passengers.

The average CO2 emissions were 0.6t per passenger, or a total of roughly 1.6Mt in total.

As aviation emissions get a free pass, Minister Ryan doesn’t count them, or even mention them. The truth is Dublin Airport is a huge, daily pollution fest and our green Government is committed to making it bigger.

Also our Government wants us to change to electric cars and for every extra electric car, more coal will have to be chucked into the furnace at Moneypoint.

Who wants to drive a coal powered car? The fossil fuel industry must love these guys. What hypocrisy.

However, they do have a solution. Blame the cow. Blame the farmers and food producers. In times of crisis, it is very important to have a common enemy. All are agreed about where the blame lies.

Same message

Our Government, the Greens, An Taisce, the media, all press home the same message - farmers and livestock are the big problem.

Have you noticed when RTÉ News talks about climate change, they never mention the 34.5Bt of CO2, They just put up a picture of a cow.

If you ask the average person in the street, what is the solution to the climate crisis, he will tell you “cut the national herd”.

At an Oireachtas committee hearing on 20 July, Prof Myles Allen of Oxford University, one of the world’s leading climate scientist attended.

During the course of the hearing, he was asked by Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice, “If tomorrow morning we could get rid totally of all the world’s ruminants (1 billion domesticated and approx. 0.1 billion wild), what would be the effect on the globe’s temperature?”

The answer he got was this: “Over a period of twenty years, we would shave a few hundredths of a degree off the globe’s temperature, on a once off basis.

"However it would be completely masked by the two tenths of a degree rise per decade caused by burning fossil fuels”. From this we can deduce that livestock have a very minimal effect on the temperature of the globe.


This deduction is corroborated by vast field trials.

These trials extend over 40 million years and in that time, billions of ruminants have emitted an unfathomable amount of methane, all of which was recycled by the carbon cycle, with only occasional, tiny effects on the planet’s temperature.

There is no reason to believe that ruminants (cows) cannot go another 40 million years without causing global warming, but there is every reason to believe the next 40 years will be very traumatic with the way we burn fossil fuels.

Humanity has to face up to the truth and stop looking for scapegoats. “Experts” can manipulate the metrics and the figures all they like but the truth will eventually be accepted - the effect of livestock on global temperatures is inconsequential.

This will be a great disappointment to the anti-farming lobby and just an inconvenient truth for others. All parties agreeing a scapegoat (cows) does not solve the problem. The truth is, humanity must face reality and must stop burning fossil fuels. Could anything be more inconvenient.