Most of us consider farts to be little more than a mild embarrassment. But cow farts (and burps) are a scourge upon the Earth, releasing heat-trapping methane that wreaks havoc on our climate. Now, heroic scientists want to put an end to global warming-by-flatulence once and for all.
While it is fun to talk about farts, really most of the methane comes out the front end of the cow.
My takeaway is that methane deserves more attention than it’s getting relative to the CO2 emissions we’re flipping out about, especially if it’s true that climate change may result in the release of large amounts of methane trapped underground/undersea.
If pivoting somewhat to methane relieves some of the economic pressure that CO2-focused legislation is causing, then the pivot seems like an opportunity to have our cake (cut climate change risk) and eat it too (lessen the economic hit from the CO2 focus) somewhat.
It’s people! They really should name the product “soylent wool” 😀
Wendelin Stark would like a new sweater. It’s cold in Zürich, where he lives, so he’d like a really warm one. Preferably one as cozy as cashmere.
Before long, Stark may be wearing one of his own invention, crafted with an ultra-soft wool-like yarn spun from all the stuff that’s left after an animal’s been slaughtered and processed. His team at the Functional Materials Laboratory at ETH Zürich, where he’s a professor, has spent four years creating such a fabric, and recently created a working prototype—of a mitten.
My preferred use for animal by-products is petroleum production. There was news years ago about someone who’d pioneered a contraption to produce petroleum/oil from chicken carcasses, wanting to employ them near chicken farms. I doubt it would be enough volume to fuel vehicles, but given the hurdles that the gelatin wool still has to address – petroleum production for textiles that already work would be a better use of resources to me. We are more dependent on petroleum products than we’d like to admit.
Just what will you be putting on your plate during this holiday season? You probably already know that centuries of selective breeding have produced the creatures we love to feast on, but you might be surprised at how weird the process has been. Here are the 10 most startling origin stories for the animals that most people eat.
On a similar note, I treeplanted with a person who enjoyed dogs but would never own one for sake of the domestication the animal species has undergone over centuries. Which brings up another point – that the list in the article is predominantly North American.