- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Saving the baby seals was once the signature cause of environmentalism. The global-warming crowd used the image of an unhappy polar bear “stranded” on a small iceberg to rally support for their cause. Concern for animal rights is now being kicked to the curb in Australia. In order to save the planet, animals must die. It’s all part of a “carbon-farming initiative” designed to help the land Down Under meet its so-called greenhouse-gas emission targets under the Kyoto Treaty.

Aussie lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on legislation that creates economic incentives for companies to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. Those wishing to get in on the subsidies can apply to the government for permission to carry out projects with no purpose other than raking in the credits. “The scheme covers reductions in emissions from savannah burning,” a summary of the current legislation explained. It also covers “animal emissions avoidance projects such as camel reduction.”

That means pyromaniacs can earn extra cash setting brush fires, allegedly to prevent the larger fires started by nature. The deserts of the Australian outback are home to the world’s largest population of camels, so slaughtering these defenseless creatures has become a sanctioned activity. As ruminants, camels emit a great deal of methane. In greenhouse-gas terms, four camels do the same annual damage to the ecosystem as one Toyota Prius. These impious emissions would come to an end as an eco-friendly helicopter rains fire upon 600 to 750 camels each day. At current prices, that would bring a daily bounty of $11,000 in carbon credits.

This also fulfills the left’s desire to do away with capitalism’s fundamental goal of wealth creation. Liberals are establishing a new, artificial economy where destructive activity and creative output are treated as equally important. Burnt offerings and animal sacrifice can thus be made to Mother Earth so that she will be pleased and cool the planet.

One wonders whether animal-rights activists will step up and defend the camels. These hard-working beasts of burden may lack the cuteness of a polar bear and the adorability of a baby seal, but they don’t all deserve to die simply because Al Gore thinks they smell bad.