by Udo Pollmer / October 28, 2022
"Man-made climate change" breathes on us from the mouths of cows. The breath of cattle pollutes our good air with methane, with swamp gas. As the number of cattle is increasing, the methane content of the atmosphere is...
...rising dramatically. Correct? As far as it concerns our four legged friends, I must disappoint our climatic freaks: The global cattle population has actually declined somewhat since 1990, according to the statistics portal Statista.1 Before the industrialization of agriculture, even more cattle were kept.2 The climate activists have solved the problem in their own way: They simply assume higher stocks.3
Cattle produce methane, or rather their rumen flora. Now, not only dairy cattle have a rumen, but so do all other ruminants, such as sheep, elk, antelope or yaks; indeed, even proboscis monkeys regurgitate. Herds of wildebeest, buffalo and reindeer roam the savannahs, prairies and tundras, continuously belching methane. In North America, settlers almost completely wiped out bison on the Great Plains-50 million animals. In Africa, huge herds of the nomads once grazed. Around 1890, they were abruptly destroyed by the introduction of rinderpest,4,5 an acute infectious disease of cattle.
If the cattle already do not become more, the researchers turn their attention to the feed and the cow patties, because the animals eat a little more today. Each patty releases a little methane, depending on which microbes are dwelling in it, how the fly maggots like it, and how many dung beetles are crawling there. Now blowflies have a different methane balance than beetles, different in the cold than in the warmth, and so on.6 Since the burps and maggots of a herd are not so easily measurable, computer models are replacing research.7 With simulations, the methane balance sheets are controlled as desired from the desk in order to excitedly conjure up deadly climate change.
The methane from rectal fermenters such as elephants, horses or rhinos is often dismissed as meaningless. Yet an elephant releases many times more methane than a cow. After all, it eats half a ton of greenery a day and produces a lot of methane-rich excrement. But from the point of view of the climate protectors, this serves, oh wonder, to save the climate.8 When the pachyderms eat plants, more light comes through the foliage and growth is stimulated. That sequesters carbon.9 When they trample bushes and trees on their way, they encourage the growth of larger trees that store more carbon.10 Soon there will be climate certificates for this, i.e. lots of money.11
Note: No matter what an elephant does, it always serves climate protection. If it eats green stuff, it provides for renewal, it drops excrement behind itself, it promotes the plant growth. Cows, on the other hand, are criticized for eating rare herbs, trampling the grass, contributing to the extinction of species and polluting the air with methane and the water with nitrate. How mendacious!
Not only big game produces plenty of methane, small livestock is hardly inferior to it, such as guinea pigs.12 Recently, beavers caused a stir because they emit almost a million tons of methane into the atmosphere every year.13 Then, arctic gopher squirrels caused a stir in the trade press because three times as much methane escapes from their burrows as the tundra floor normally emits.14 Reindeer also activate the methane in the tundra floor.15 Cause unknown. No one even suspects the number of methane-spreading wild animals, but the climate community considers this methane to be virtually insignificant. 3
In order to maintain the narrative of "man-made climate change" through cattle, the climate church first had to expel all other animals from their biotopes: The first to go were the termites. Around 1980 they were still the biggest climate pests producing 150 million tons of methane annually, according to the old master of climate fraud, Paul Crutzen.16 Thanks to the sophisticated ventilation system of their mounds, the methane from the termites' butts inevitably escapes into the outside air.
Today, termites are considered as climate-smart as elephants. Because in their mounds one found bacilli, which eat methane.17 This has enabled the balance sheet to be revised from 150 million tons down to 2 million tons a year.18 On relevant websites, the narrative has already moved on: termites are already working as "climate protectors.19 It's about time, too, since these crawlers, which are prized by chimpanzees, are soon to replace meat in our kitchens: "Larvae and termites - the menu of tomorrow?" is the rhetorical question posed by an agricultural website. 20
Yet there would be plenty of suspects, especially in the case of insects: leaf cutter ants and cockroaches are as productive as termites.21,22 Their mass alone puts them on a par with ruminants. Dung beetles, grubs and centipedes are known, rather coincidentally, to excrete methane as well.23-25 Over a million other species are waiting to be explored and evaluated.
A watery grave for climate theories
If you look at the usual methane balances, cattle emissions did increase significantly over the years in the model calculations, but they are still not a big number compared to bogs, swamps and marshes with up to 160 million tons.3 Almost the same amount as these wetlands has recently been supplied by rivers and lakes.3 They have now been newly included as "freshwater"; they are still missing from older balances.26 Reservoirs, with their "climate-friendly" hydropower, also contribute plenty of "climate gas." 27
25 years ago, Chinese researchers estimated that the methane production of rice fields is about as high as that of wetlands.28 But since then, rice emissions have been estimated to be lower from year to year. This calculation can be made easily: when emissions were determined in four fields in the Mekong Delta, the lowest of the four was 300 grams of methane per day per hectare, and the highest was nearly 10 kilograms.29 From such erratic data, swamp gas can easily be adjusted to be politically correct.
Those who consider the methane from our cattle to be dangerous may turn to the peoples of Asia and demand that they drain their rice fields. Or they may demand climate taxes for every sack of rice, just as we are planning to do for meat. But those who speculate on taxes would rather turn to the citizens of states that have more money than brains.
Climate balances are full of pitfalls. Especially treacherous: ducks. When ducks waddle through the "wetlands," emissions more than double. This is the result of a two-year field trial conducted by ETH Zurich. The methane is only partly due to duck poop, but is the result of "intensive grazing of dormant plant roots during the winter. This prevented the plants from sprouting quickly at the beginning of the growing season (...), which led to the changes in methane (...) that we observed."30 Of course, not only ducks, but presumably everything that crawls and flies, provide a release of methane.
Generally speaking, wildlife has, to quote geochemists in Science, "myriad effects" on the Earth's carbon budget.31 But these effects are not visible in the usual remote sensing with satellites. This obscures the true effects of wildlife on nutrient cycling.31 Satellites make it easier for researchers to commit balance fraud.
Birds also shape ecological cycles on the mainland. However, climate researchers prefer to concentrate on fattening poultry, since it is difficult to collect taxes from clever corvids in the open field by means of fear campaigns, but it is certainly possible to collect taxes from stupid turkeys. A 6 kg turkey produces 1.5 liters of methane per day.32 Not much, but with billions of turkeys, it adds up. How much methane might vultures release, or penguins, or the feathered fowl in the rainforest? Even if data are available,33 they are ignored.
Methane - the elixir of life in the oceans
At some point, climate researchers had to admit that fish, whales and other aquatic animals also have an impact on the methane balance. In the Baltic Sea, mussels are said to be responsible for 10% of the emissions.34 So it would be a good idea to pick on the oyster fishermen in the North Sea in the same way as the dairy farmers? One fish is already in the pillory, an edible fish, the tilapia.35 Not only perch and mussels, but all inhabitants of the oceans, lakes and rivers change the methane balance. But climate researchers are keeping quiet about this.
The sea is an important modulator of methane gas, not only because of its flora and fauna. The gas escapes from the sea floor. High pressures and temperatures prevail in the earth's crust. This creates plasma. Methane inevitably forms in it from carbonate-containing rock and the water bound in it.36,45-48 This methane is referred to as "abiotic".
When it escapes from the seafloor, it gradually dissolves in seawater. For climate researchers, this used to be an elegant excuse to "neglect" it. But even some of the bubbles from the deep sea reach the water surface.37 And some are a bit bigger. Off the coast of Namibia, a bubble of methane and hydrogen sulfide destroyed fish populations over tens of thousands of square kilometers.38 The gigantic methane bubbles from the depths of Lake Nyos and Lake Kivu in Africa have also repeatedly led to catastrophes. 39,40
But now methane has been discovered escaping from oil rigs - what a miracle!41 Already the next climatic death is imminent. Unfortunately, the bubbles have no sender, so everything that bubbles up from the continental shelf must be included in the statistics. Of course, this cannot be measured precisely in numbers, as the size and intensity of the bubbles fluctuates and the places where the gas escapes change.95 Then one resorts to guesswork: Now, up to 65 million tons of methane are said to bubble into the sea from the shelf every year.42,90 In addition, there is the gas that escapes at the subduction zones of the continental plates,43,93,96 as well as that abiotic methane that collects under the oceanic crust and rises from cracks in the deep sea floor. 44
And then, in addition to the microbial methane and the abiotic methane from the rock, there's a third type. This is called "thermogenic methane". This is generated by (submarine) mud volcanoes from microbial hydrocarbons in the mud and abiotic gases from the earth's crust.46,49 The above pathways add up to quite a bit.50 But the ocean, which covers 70% of the earth's surface, is stingy and, as climate researchers assure us, releases no more than 12 million tons of all this into the atmosphere.89 You just have to believe it.
When reading the current research on the formation of methane, something is striking: The usual reference to "fossil" natural gas and crude oil is fading away, it is no longer mentioned at all. Instead, the abiotic origin, which was so vehemently denied until now, is spoken of as a matter of course.43-45,47,52-56 Thus the days of the narrative of the "fossil fuels" are numbered, which are supposed to have originated in grey prehistoric times from drained forests.
At the bottom of the sea, the countless "smokers" are witnesses of the gas fields. It is said that this is where life on the planet originated.36 Wherever there is enough methane, regardless of its origin, microorganisms that eat methane settle. They are the very beginning of the food chain. Ringworms, snails, crabs and fish feed on it.91-94
Not getting off the ground
Almost every measurement, every new discovery destroys the current climate model. When cyanobacteria were identified as significant methane producers in 2020, there was great horror.57 Until then, they had been regarded as methane brakes, especially in rice cultivation.58 Particularly embarrassing was the fact that while the rice paddies were thereby freed from methane in purely mathematical terms, Japanese engineers were already working on bioreactors for the production of methane with the help of cyanobacteria in 1999.59
Cyanobacteria are ubiquitous. They can literally be found in every environment. On water and on land, in the scorching sun and deep underground, with or without oxygen, in the Arctic as well as in the tropics. Now the industry is back to the starting point with its "models." Yet cyanos have been regulating the gas balance of the atmospheric envelope since time immemorial. Many researchers are convinced that the oxygen in our atmosphere was produced by these tiny creatures.60 In doing so, they created the prerequisite for the formation of the ozone layer. This is how life was able to develop in the primordial atmosphere in the first place. Not only that. Cyanos, together with methane-producing algae, are among the primary producers. They are at the beginning of the food chain.61,62
To top it off, in 2008 the Max Planck Institute reported that plants produce up to 240 million tons of methane per year63: "Evidence of direct methane emissions from plants also explains the unexpectedly high methane concentrations above tropical forests."64 That is, over those forests that are supposed to save us from climate death. As a rule, their methane is not included in the climate balances. After all, forests are considered a methane sink.
This also bursts the dream of a "climate-friendly" vegan, because animal-free agriculture. When a cow eats grass or a giraffe eats leaves, they release methane. If the greenery is snacked on by other animals, whether Colorado potato beetles or mallard ducks, methane is also produced. If the greenery decays or rots in the wild, methane is also released. The amounts depend on the particular microbes, temperature and oxygen. Composting plants also produce "huge amounts" of methane, despite energy-intensive aeration.65 These are all zero-sum games - whether with or without cattle.
If climate researchers were to take their data seriously, they would have to quickly drain bogs, hunt ducks, drain the Amazon, cut down the rainforest, fatten up bulls there, feed them antibiotics against the methane bacilli in their rumen, and finally get to grips with termites using insecticide. Big game hunters would receive climate certificates for every elephant or buffalo they kill.
Spoiled data from the freezer
We like to believe that methane levels were nice and low in pre-industrial times, but now they are rising dramatically. How was the gas measured back then, 250 or 25,000 years ago? There are no sealed, labeled samples. So one helps oneself with drill cores from the perpetual ice. In it everything is preserved, like in a deep freezer. However, freezers are not a place to store things for eternity, because their contents also age.
At least ice layers can be estimated from the drill core. But that's it. Because ice is not neatly layered like a tree cake, but is exposed to wind and weather. The snow gradually becomes firn ice, which is porous. Centuries pass before gas diffusion finally stops and the lock-in zone forms.87,88 Ice works, cracks and deep crevasses form. Atmospheric deposits such as volcanic ash or clay dust create cryoconite holes that eat through the ice, aided by microbes that consume methane as an energy source.66-68,107 The gases diffuse, become fractionated, and eventually the gas bubbles also displace under the ice load.69,70 Meanwhile, other microbes produce fresh methane under the ice.80 Not to mention cosmic radiation, which also creates new methane directly in the ice.83 This radiation from space is subject to great fluctuations.84,85 So the perpetual ice is anything but a secure safe.
Methane doesn't just make itself comfortable in the ice and wait for a climate scientist to drill a hole in it, does it? It is still active. It oxidizes, consuming oxygen, to carbon monoxide and then to carbon dioxide.69 When ice cores from the depths of Antarctica and Greenland were examined for their methane content 50 years ago, an average of 0.56 ppm was found.71 This corresponds to what is also found today with modern methods. But the author postulated at that time, based on his analysis of the accompanying substances, that it must have originally been about 1.5 ppm. This would correspond to modern levels in Arctic air. Taking the numbers at face value, it looks like the level has tripled. The "dramatic increase" is based on an analytical artifact: the older the cores, the less methane they contain.
Now, an increase in the atmosphere has actually been measured in the last decade. Is it "man-made" after all? As recently as 2011, Nature had complained that methane traces in the atmosphere had remained constant for almost 30 years.72 To date, neither the reasons for the standstill nor the current increase are known. The journal Nature clarifies: The increase is not the cause, but a consequence of the Earth's warming, it says.73 If it gets warmer, the productivity of the biosphere increases and with it the methane in the air. Neither cattle nor boreholes are responsible for the temperature on earth, but our central star.
But climate researchers do not give in so easily. To prove that the globe is suffering from "cows" or "rice paddies" after all, the isotope distribution in the methane molecule is interpreted. But there is no scientific gain from this: depending on the food plant, e.g. whether C3 or C4 plants, the animals outgas different isotope patterns.86 In the microbial world, there are very different pathways to methane, with unknown fractionation effects.74-76 No one can distinguish for sure whether the methane comes from cattle, from grubs, or from bacilli fumigating in the mud of rice fields.
Recently, measurements of the C14 isotope in the ice are said to have shown that 70% of the methane is not of natural origin at all, but man-made.77 The condition of the world is dramatic, so the media recorders in unison. This time, however, it is not the cattle that are in the foreground, but the industry that produces coal, oil and gas. Fracking is causing more and more methane to escape from the wells. In addition, there are leaks in pipelines and emissions from coal mines. Mind the trap: the methane in question is still of natural origin, but now trades as "anthropogenic." At the same time, the amount of methane that is outgassing from the earth everywhere is unknown. After all, the process takes place not only underwater, but also on land. Chinese geophysicists speak of "breathing" of the earth, European ones of "flatulence". 28,51
The C14 researchers' method raises all kinds of questions: For their measurement, they needed a whole ton of ice, which they melted down to extract about 27 micrograms of methane for their C14 analysis. Such an approach is prone to error, if only because of contamination and absorption effects. In addition, C14 is constantly being recreated by cosmic rays, especially at the polar ice caps. To avoid this pitfall, they also measured the C14 in carbon monoxide, which was also extracted from the ice, and used this as a correction factor. However, since carbon monoxide in ice is also formed from methane, the calculation is misleading. Because of the diffusion processes in firn ice, it is not possible to establish "vintage" values. Therefore, a "firn air transport model" was devised and vain measured values were tamed with a "matrix inversion technique".77
Add a few clever "correction factors" and all the climate research data garbage is perfect for calling for a climate tax. Meanwhile, marine researchers are still puzzling over why older layers of seawater sometimes contain more C14 than younger ones.78 Physicists can't explain "mysteriously high" C14 levels in old ice layers.79 The computational models are full of inconsistencies.101-106 Thus, the C14 house of cards of climate researchers is collapsing.
But if methane has been flowing from the earth's crust into the atmosphere since time immemorial, produced by microbes, animals and plants,63 as well as by volcanoes, nuclear power plants and cosmic radiation,81 why is there only 1 to 2 ppm in it to date? So just 1 to 2 millionths? The glass roof of the greenhouse should have flown away by now! Now the air envelope that surrounds the earth is not a closed greenhouse, but it is open. A lot of methane is lost via the stratosphere. In the atmosphere, methane is rapidly degraded by chemical reactions. On the ground, there are plenty of microbes that use methane as an energy source.
The inventors of the greenhouse idea put the half-life of methane at a good eight years. However, this is not a measured value, but the political announcement of the "Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change" - and thus only an expression of opinion.82 But because the earth's methane budget is fed from far more sources than is admitted, decomposition is also much faster.
From nutrient to hazardous substance
Last but not least, let's pay tribute to man's exhaust gases. The good news for all climate disciples: If you don't worry about your food, you produce almost no methane. The situation is different with a consciously plant-based diet. Physicians of the University of Graz measured remarkably much methane in the breath of plant eaters. They found the culprits in the intestines: methane bacteria in concentrations up to a thousand times higher.97 This can have nasty consequences. During intestinal surgery and colonoscopies, the gas sometimes led to explosions, and these sometimes to the death of the patient.98-100
Conclusion: In nature, methane is a sought-after nutrient; in the human intestine, it is a hazardous substance.
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Copyright: EU.L.E. e.V.
Originally published in October 2022: => Pollmers Mahlzeit: Wie Klimaschützer mit Sumpfgas die Atmosphäre vergiften
English editor: Josef Hueber, Eichstätt