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Feed Cows Beans

For anyone who Wants Global Warming
  (+4, -7)
(+4, -7)
  [vote for,

As you know, the average temperature of the Earth has been rising during the last century, and most of the blame has been put on CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. Known as a "greenhouse gas" it tends to block infrared energy, so that at night the Earth radiates a little less heat into Space than when there was lesser amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere.

However, less widely known is that CO2 is not the only, or even the best, greenhouse gas. It happens that plain ordinary water vapor is also a greenhouse gas, but a little less effective than CO2. Another gas, though, methane, is among the best of greenhouse gases. Scientists say that back in the early days of the Planet Earth, before green plants began polluting the atmosphere with oxygen, a major percentage of air was methane, and this helped Life a great deal, because in those days the Sun shone less brightly than today, by 20% or even more.

When oxygen began getting generated, however, it reacted with the methane and today only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere is that gas. The Earth also plunged into an Ice Age so severe that the glaciers almost reached the Equator. THAT'S how effective methane was, as a greenhouse gas!

Anyway, these days there are always crazy people out there doing stuff for their own benefit and the detriment of others. For example, it is known that if the icecaps melt, the ocean level will rise something like 60 meters (200 ft), and millions of people will have to relocate to higher ground. This obviously is an opportunity for anyone investing in land at 60 meters of altitude. You can EXPECT them to WANT global warming, so they can sell those properties at exorbitant (beach front) prices! They may even decide they want to help the process along! One way to do that, of course, is to keep right on burning fossil fuels as fast as possible. So what if the oil is all used up! Just switch to coal, and keep pumping CO2 into the air!

Or, they might decide to get into the methane-production business. Natural gas is methane, of course, so the more leaks in the system, the better! (Well, they still want to SELL enough methane to keep making money from it, and to keep the gas flowing, for more leakage and money, of course.)

Even so, though, it happens that most of the methane in the Earth's atmosphere does not come from leaky natural gas systems. It is produced biologically by bacteria in swamps, for example. But it happens that MOST of the methane comes from a rather prosaic source: the flatulence of cattle. Which finally brings me to this Idea. :)

You want to increase Globa Warming by increasing the amount of methane in the atmosphere? Then Feed Cows Beans!

Vernon, Aug 17 2005

Methane from cattle http://www.ghgonlin...ethaneruminants.htm
Maybe they don't produce quite as much as I originally thought, based on years-ago reading. [Vernon, Aug 17 2005, last modified Aug 02 2015]

BURRRP! http://news.science...hane-emissions-cows
A lot of methane produced by cows comes out in the form of burps. [Vernon, Aug 02 2015]


       Just make sure not to smoke anywhere near a pasture.
Worldgineer, Aug 17 2005

       I thought cows (besides me) were the only ones without that beans-to-gas problem.
reensure, Aug 17 2005

       [reensure], I think the actual biological mechanism involves intestinal bacteria. I suppose that with 4 stomachs and associated intestinal length, cattle simply have more gas-producing bacteria than other animals (and the global population of cattle is pretty large, too). I don't know that those bacteria in cattle wouldn't do their thing on beans, but I thought the idea so funny I couldn't resist posting it.
Vernon, Aug 17 2005

       The science is in fact sound, but I defy you to avoid a "let's all" tag.
david_scothern, Aug 17 2005

       [david scothern], interesting point, but it says right there at the top that this Idea is for those who want global warming. That's certainly not "all".   

       [coprocephalous] (below), thanks (fixed).
Vernon, Aug 17 2005

squeak, Aug 17 2005

       //That's not hardly everyone.// <Tries to pick out implied double negative. Gives up. Gives bone.> Litotes?
sp. "exorbitant"
coprocephalous, Aug 17 2005

       Gave you a bun but for the record I'm against feeding cows beans.
zeno, Aug 17 2005

       I thought the idea was to *trade* cows for beans?
po, Aug 17 2005

       Oxygenated silage will not be farted as methane by cows?
reensure, Aug 17 2005

       [zeno], I also am not a fan of Global Warming.   

       [po], no, that trade was somebody else's Idea. :)
Vernon, Aug 17 2005

       Oh, don't get me wrong [Vernon] I'm all for global warming, it sounds great, I just don't think the cows should suffer.
zeno, Aug 17 2005

       grass flavoured beans can be delicious for many types of cattle.
benfrost, Aug 18 2005

       (greets [benfrost] cautiously... one the one hand, it's nice to see him, on the other, I fear the idea he may have come to post)   

       Separately though, I'm gonna go off on one in a quite inappropriate manner that is completely out of keeping with the light-hearted nature of this idea... Vernon, "let's all" doesn't have to mean every single occupant of the planet; it merely requires that a number of people do something that wouldn't be remarkable if one person did it. Ergo, "let all these people feed beans to cows" is a let's all. QED. Thanks for listening everybody, back to fart jokes.
david_scothern, Aug 18 2005

       [david scothern], thanks for the info. Still, it seems to me that there is enough sentiment against Global Warming that if a number of people tried this notion for real, others would try to stop them. In the end, only a few would be getting away with it, and the result would be reasonably ignorable. :)
Vernon, Aug 18 2005

       Eye catching title morph: Fried Cows &Beans.
reensure, Aug 18 2005

       Perhaps you could try the opposite idea by developing a cowtalytic (cattleytic?) converter tailpipe attachment.
Worldgineer, Aug 18 2005

       [Worldgineer], good show! Go ahead and post it!
Vernon, Aug 18 2005

       It's not so much about the tailpipe with cattle. The vast majority of their methane comes out of their mouths.
Texticle, Aug 18 2005

       // The vast majority of their methane comes out of their mouths. // Yeah. I suppose if I had 5 stomachs I'd belch a lot too.
MoreCowbell, Jun 13 2006

       Actually, most of the biogenic methane on earth comes from microbes. After that, it's termites. Cows are a ways down the list.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 02 2015


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