Cow burps and climate

The graph below is courtesy of the 2 Degrees Institute. It shows the level of atmospheric methane over the last thousand years. We are told that the methane burped by cows and sheep is a significant cause of global warming.

If the number of ruminant animals on the planet had tripled in the last 100 years, I might believe this. The truth is that methane-belching ruminants have been here for tens of millions of years. Before the advance of European farmers across America’s mid-west, there were an estimated 75 million bison, deer and elk roaming those plains with no on-going rise in green-house gases. About one hundred years ago, when we started taking coal, oil and gas deposits out of the ground and burning them, methane and CO2 levels rose exponentially. Vested interests, however, want you to be gullible enough to believe this rise is caused by cow burps.

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