Thursday, 26 February 2009

Who's to blame for all that hot air?

Every so often the teev features an advert advising us all to eat less meat in the name of combating global warming. Go Veg! it exhorts.
It appears that cows are being blamed for releasing enormous amounts of methane into the atmosphere.
Indeed one Andy Thorpe "an economist at the University of Portsmouth, found a herd of 200 cows can produce annual emissions of methane roughly equivalent in energy terms to driving a family car more than 100,000 miles (180,000km) on more than four gallons (21,400 litres) of petrol."
Fair enough, but what about the average bloke and blokette?
How many times do we all pass the wind around each day and how much nitrogen, carbon dioxide and methane does this represent?

This is what population numbers looked like on Monday:
World 6,762,457,963
16:20 GMT (EST+5) Feb 23, 2009
Multiply this total by a factor of at least 10-14 'incidents' per day per person and that's a lot of hot air rising.
And what about all those sewerage treatment plants and sanitary landfill sites - how much methane do they produce globally?
I'm betting that cows are getting a run for their money from humans in the personal greenhouse gas stakes.

So I won't be giving Bessie a kick next time I pass her grazing paddock.
As for that irritating advert - meat is a luxury for most of the world anyway and I can hardly eat less than I do already.

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