Re: Cow Belches are Important!
While it's true that methane is a _much_ more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 in the short term, it also (eventually) turns into CO2 and H2O in the presence of oxygen and ultraviolet light. Essentially, it "burns", except it's individual molecules splitting and recombining, so don't expect to see a big flame.
If that weren't the case, well, we'd have a methane atmosphere by now. Since the Carboniferous, fermenting it in the stomach has been pretty much the only way to deal with plants. Plus there's the decomposing of leaves outside or in bogs, which produces the same effect. Essentially a part of most trees, bushes, grasses and so on that ever lived, got turned into methane. Which eventually turned into CO2 and H2O, which were used by plants again.
So while I applaud the initiative to see if anything can be done about the cows' diet, I'm a bit puzzled: why are people so obsessed with the cattle? Rabbits, deer, antelopes, elephants, koalas, termites, and generally any herbivore alive, well, produces methane by the exact same process. Anything that can eat leaves without them being cooked or boiled, produces methane.
If we're going to count cattle burps against their carbon quota for Aussies, why not start counting the antelopes and elephants in Africa against those countries' carbon quotas?