Scientists around the world are debating a serious subject at the moment. Cow farts. They're talking about cow burps as well, and ninety percent of animal methane is produced by ruminants (i.e., cud-chewers). These include sheep, goats, camels, water buffalo, and so on, but most of all cattle, of which the world has an estimated 1.2 billion. This gassy mixture isn't useful, so our bodies push it out and away as best they can... in burps and farts. Got it so far? Hope you're not giggling by the way, this is very serious science. Details aside, animal methane does present a definite threat to the environment.
One of the gases found in farts and burps is called 'methane'. A certain amount of methane in the atmosphere is natural, and is a good thing. Along with other so-called 'greenhouse gases' methane collects in the sky and traps warm air around our planet. It's believed 18 percent of the greenhouse effect is caused by methane, putting it second on the list of offending gases behind carbon dioxide. Methane breaks down in the atmosphere to form carbon dioxide, ozone, and water, all of which absorb heat. The temperature of the atmosphere rises, the ice caps melt, and next thing you know you're pumping the Atlantic Ocean out of your basement.
A scientific report published in California claimed that dairy cows in the area were producing almost 20 pounds (in weight, that's almost 10 kg) of gas every year, each. That's a huge, huge amount. If that figure is accurate, it could mean that cow farts were causing more global warming than pollution from cars in that region, as millions of cows live there.
So I had a brilliant idea...you know me...why not build a device to turn methane into energy!!! Wouldn't you know...someone beat me to it. Methane Digester This is just one example of many. Google methane digesters and see what you find. Ok...you get 764,000 English pages/hits? I knew I was slow but didn't think I was THAT slow.
But I'm predicting there's a serious disadvantage to having all that methane stored in one place. If you're not careful, you could end up with a situation that seriously effects your production of energy. The following is an example:
What is even more disturbing is how the animal kingdom evolves. Right now our biggest threat is religious cultures trying to dominate the world through violence and tyranny. I'm predicting in 500 years or so, give or take a million, that the follwoing will be our biggest threat globally.
After all, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was rumored to have been started by a cow in the O'Leary barn. Could this have been a presursor for events to come? And just a reminder, next time you see this sign, take heed in laughing and pointing at the cows. They could be trained bovine snipers practicing their techniques...a dry run, if you will.
Have a great weekend!