The Fart Whisperer

Bill Gates puffing about advanced science: “That’s right. We’re going to make the cows that don’t fart. You name it, we’ve got it under control.”

Not so much.

Capturing cow gasNew diets and feedlot management plus enhanced manure controls will be helpful, but breeding a magic hindgut will not help.

Gas from cows is the burping of ruminant livestock, not so much back-end emissions. It’s methane created by fermentation bacteria breaking down feed in one of the animal’s stomach chambers.

Treehugger points to capturing burps into tanks connected to the cows’ stomachs through a tube!!

About 32% of agricultural gases is nitrous oxide from fertilizers with cow gases in second place at 27%.

A cow burps 75 gallons per day, but the carbon in this gas is not new carbon.

Our ‘atmospheric challenge’ isn’t the re-releasing of carbon that was already adapted on the earth (livestock, plants and forests), but the unearthing of massive volumes of stored carbon sources (oil, gas and coal) and then adding these to the atmosphere decade upon decade.

p.s. I’m teasing Bill Gates. As you’ll read in the interview, he’s contributing a great deal. Some say the free videos of Richard Feynman lectures are not to be missed. [Silverlight required]