Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Science--Al Gore and Flatulent Cows

I was minding my own business researching Far Side cartoons the other day when I ran across this. Who would have thunk it? Al Gore was wrong. It's not the US's gazillion gallon fossil fueled hummers causing global warming. It's India's population of 283 million flatulent cows, the largest bovine population in the world.

But before you start sending care packages of Gas-X to India, please note that their best scientists are hard at work, even as I type, looking for solutions.

Blue Bell

One is to recycle all that methane gas for use in farm kitchens. I kid you not. Fossil fuel has nothing on backing up ole Bessie to the kitchen window, plugging her backside into your kitchen range burner and waiting for. . .the inevitable. Voila! Instant omelet, or hot water for your chai.

Actually, it is a little more complicated, but not much. And the idea of cheaply storing the gas in inner tubes (yes, I said inner tubes, you can find some plans here.) makes it low tech enough to be practical and adds another layer to the recycling process.

US scientists have done their own research, which you can read about here.

Of course, it goes without saying that we owe a word of apology to all those teenage boys (you know who you are) who have boldly gone where no scientist has gone before, toiling alone to create a better world with such primitive tools as a bean dinner and a box of matches.

Your burns were not in vain. We salute you.

(I can't believe I actually wrote this.)