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A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



Australian Speakers Agency

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Methane emissions: don’t blame cows and camels, blame the oceans

Steak-lovers — look at the volatility in the graph of methane levels. That is not the cows…

Methane emissions are a bit of a sleeper. They are ignored (even by me) yet and cows, sheep, pigs and lamas produce a whopping 11% of the Australian national greenhouse emissions (mostly as methane and nitrous oxide). Livestock emissions are 70% of our entire agricultural sector emissions. They are so important, at one stage Australia was considering a camel genocide — hoping to stop storms and reduce droughts by knocking off some camels. So if we like ham, steak and hamburgers, we need to pay attention. The carbon-politisi are coming.

The UN thinks we need to worry about methane which has 34 times the impact of CO2 (which is 34 times something immeasurably insignificant, so who cares?). Somehow global methane levels are often blamed on fossil fuels and farting cows, but this latest analysis suggests humans are pretty much irrelevant.

Tom Quirk tracks the annual changes in methane and finds that it bumps up by both big and small amounts, and the volatile pattern doesn’t match human agriculture or mining but rises and falls in time with El Ninos. This is not […]