Climate Hysteria Turns to Minimizing ‘Cow Burps’

Cows stand in a field at a farm near Nairn in northern Scotland, August 4, 2010. REUTERS/DAVID MOIR

Just when you think the global warming crowd can’t get any crazier, you find that they are now researching how to minimize the noxious effects of cow-belching on the environment by tweaking the bovine diet.

Among frenzied climate watchers, cows have long been a suspicious bunch. A 2012 United Nations report found that the earth’s cattle population actually produces more carbon dioxide than automobiles, planes, and all other forms of transport combined. Moreover, the cow pies they drop and the wind they break produce a third of the world’s twenty-times-more-detrimental methane emissions.

This past summer, EcoWatch published an article reiterating that greenhouse gas emissions from livestock actually account for a higher percentage of total global emissions than the world’s 1.2 billion automobiles.

And yet now, it appears that cow belching is a much bigger problem even than the occasional flatulence that was thought to be so detrimental to the environment because of the methane produced in cows’ stomachs. “Despite misconceptions, most cow methane comes from burps (90%) rather than farts (10%),” Michael Battaglia writes in The Conversation.

Moreover, livestock “is a major global contributor to methane emissions, and methane traps 86 times more heat than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame,” one learns.

Happily, global warming doomsayers are not yet proposing to kill all the world’s cows (though they do propose a major cutback in meat consumption). A group of Australian environmentalists is now suggesting that adding very small amounts of a particular seaweed to cows’ diets could radically reduce the amount of methane cows release.

That particular seaweed, Asparagopsis taxiformis, apparently produces a compound called bromoform that neutralizes the enzymes that produce methane in a cow’s stomach.

All of this is very interesting, of course, in a surreal sort of way.

The truly strange thing is, that climate fanatics are getting so preposterous in their proposals that it is harder and harder to distinguish serious climate news from satirical pieces in the Onion.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.


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