Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Musing on CO2 Emissions


Tonight on the local news was an article that I only partially caught. In it the news reader referenced a new book out about the carbon footprints of animals, or more appropriately the carbon fartprints of animals.

I was laughing too hard to take it seriously, and missed most of it, but I'm OK, didn't really hurt myself. The floor is soft, and I missed the coffee table narrowly, in a gale of laughter.

It seems that animal flatulence is a serious problem for climate change phobes. I have a friend who can clear a room, and often does. If they find out, whoever they are, they'll probably want him tested, and maybe put down.

Apparently, 2 pet hamsters have the same carbon fartprint as a plasma television set. Well, we don't have pet hamsters, and don't even own a plasma TV. We are a little behind in the technology of entertainment, so are we better than 2 hamsters, or do the old TVs break wind like 4 hamsters, or even more? Inquiring minds are asking.

Now, in fairness to hamsters, Dan Fink worked on a way to make his hamster carbon neutral as it were. Skippy is a Syrian hamster, and was selected because of his energy and nocturnal habit of running on his wheel all fricking night long. Fink, being no fink, tried many things but eventually succeeded, sort of. As reported here:
Finally, after Fink glued 14 magnets to a steel ring and fashioned two coils out of 30-gauge wire, he mounted the whole contraption on Skippy's cage. He then hooked up two LED lights to the alternator. Together, they shone bright enough for Fink to find the bathroom in the dead of night. And even though the little rodent was voltage-deficient, "he had torque to spare," Fink says, so he added another light, and another, the resistance increasing with each new load. He got up to six lights before Skippy showed any fatigue.
No report on the impact that the magnets and exposure to electromagnetic fields are having on Skippy yet.

But, there is some question about cow farting, and how to reduce it. It seems that animals, of which cows are a big one, both individually and collectively, contribute 30% of the methane in the atmosphere. Also, the international meat industry, as a whole, or as a hole, produces 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. See this blog item here.

Ronald Reagan who was my kind of US President, because he made no pretensions about the fact that he was an actor and not a really good one, unlike others who are just bad actors, but deny it, apparently had thoughts on global warming years ago as referenced in the blog item linked above:
About 30 percent of the methane in the atmosphere results from microbial action in animals' digestive tracts. This prompted Ronald Reagan's dismissive comment that humans couldn't be held accountable for global-warming gases (of which methane is the most potent), because the most significant source is bovine flatulence.

As contemporary critics noted, however, Reagan overlooked the fact that animal husbandry has vastly increased the number of cattle, making cow farts very much a human-influenced commodity.
I frankly don't know what to make of it, but do not intend to fret or lose sleep. I just find it interesting, because next they (them again) will realise that trees and other plants are big contributors to CO2 emissions, during their life cycle and also when they decay.

I think that I will just put on my tin foil hat, and wait for The Visitors.


Steve said...

LOL!!! This post really cracked me up! Well done!
I think I'll put a link on my blog.

Michael Brandon said...

I wanted to go to bed. It is midnight here, and I was laughing too hard, so decided to share my thoughts with those on the west side of the country who are still up and about.

Michael Brandon said...

Didn't think anyone from the East was still about.

Not sure it is Catholic enough for your blog though.