“UK farmers are tackling climate change” according to a report in BBC News 18 August 2019.
Farmers are regularly condemned by climate change activists and environmentalists because farm animals “produce greenhouse gas emissions”. According to the BBC “Agriculture is currently responsible for about 9% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from methane.” However, many modern farming methods can decrease the emission of methane and carbon dioxide.
Methane can be used as a fuel to generate electricity and many farmers are using methane from manure slurry to do this. Agricultural scientists are researching feed additives that reduce the production of methane by animals’ digestive systems. Others are breeding animals for naturally lower methane production.
Farmers are also reducing carbon dioxide, by planting trees and using high tech methods for selective weeding, fertilising, planting and water management. Trees have other benefits besides using up carbon dioxide. They provide shade and shelter from winds, allowing animals to spend more time outside, rather than indoors, which also helps with the methane problem. They also help stabilise soil, and fruit trees provide an extra crop for farmers. The high tech precision methods for monitoring and tending crops and pastures use drones and robots, rather the tractors, which reduces the amount of diesel fuel used on farms.
Editorial Comment: These farming methods are all commendable practices, but they will not change the climate. They are examples of good stewardship of the earth that is part of mandate given by God to Adam and Eve “to fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) Climate activists such as David Attenborough claim this means God gave human beings permission to destroy the earth. (See our report “Attenborough on Teaching Evolution” here) However, any destruction of the environment through bad farming or industrial practices, or bad soil and water management, is the result of our rebellion against our Creator, which has resulted in selfish and ignorant behaviour towards to earth and other animals, as well as to each other.
God’s original instructions meant we were to use the resources of the earth wisely, which means using out God-given intelligence to understand the environment and use those things that we can control in a way that is beneficial and sustainable. It also means having the discernment and humility to know what forces in the natural world we cannot control, and therefore look to our Creator to manage according to His purposes. Farmers can control how they plant and manage their crops and raise their livestock, and that does make a difference to their surrounding environment. However, they will never be able to control the sun, wind, clouds, volcanoes and ocean currents, which are the powerful forces that do change the climate.
There is an Australian connection to the research into food supplements that reduce methane production. Researchers in Australia have found a red seaweed named Asparagopsis, which grows in Australian coastal waters, reduces methane production by up to 99 percent, when added to cattle feed. See report: “Scientists prepare to farm puffy pink seaweed that stops cows burping methane” ABC News 15 August 2019 here.
For more on methane emissions, climate and ruminants see our answer to the question: CATTLE: Why did God invent cows when they give out gases that are so harmful to the environment? Answer here.
Evidence News vol. 19 No. 14
28 August 2019
Creation Research Australia
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