Belmont Club

Silence, ye unbeliever

Science is now saving the world from cow farts.

Yes you read that right. The Telegraph describes how an amazing discovery by Irish scientists may help Britain meet its Climate Change targets. Dr Lorraine Lillis has discovered that cows fart less when fed fish oil, especially those rich in Omega 3 acids. The news was enthusiastically greeted by “Jonathan Scurlock, an adviser at the National Farmers Union, said farmers were willing to modify feed in order to reduce emissions but at the moment there are few affordable options on the market and he encouraged more research into the area.”

Speaking at the Society for General Microbiology meeting in Harrogate, Dr Lorraine Lillis, one of the researchers, said the study could help the agriculture industry cut emissions. She said: “The fish oil affects the methane-producing bacteria in the rumen part of the cow’s gut, leading to reduced emissions.

“Understanding which microbial species are particularly influenced by changes in diet and relating them to methane production could bring about a more targeted approach to reducing methane emissions in animals.” The UK is committed to cutting greenhouse gases by 80 per cent by 2050.

CNN continues the story with a touching piety that must be read to be appreciated.

Lowering methane emissions is important for the environment, as the gas given off by farm animals is a major contributor to greenhouse gas levels. More than a third of all methane emissions, around 900 billion tonnes every year, are produced by methanogen bacteria that live in the digestive systems of cattle, sheep and goats. By volume, methane is 20 times more powerful at trapping solar energy than carbon dioxide making it a potent greenhouse gas.

Through some conjury the Greens have made the earth autoimmune. “Autoimmunity is the failure of an organism to recognize its own constituent parts as self, which results in an immune response against its own cells and tissues.” Humanity, all kinds of living creatures, volcanic activity and even water vapor evaporating from the oceans are now regarded as mortal threats to earth, as if they were never a part of it. Things have reached the stage where Chris Rapley

who formerly ran the British Antarctic Survey, said humanity was emitting the equivalent of 50 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. “We have to cut this by 80%, and population growth is going to make that much harder,” he said. …

Many experts believe that, since Europeans and Americans have such a lopsided impact on the environment, the world would benefit more from reducing their populations than by making cuts in developing countries.

But in that case who will trawl for the fish from whence the fish oil must be extracted to keep the cows from farting? The answer may come from where we least expect. reports, without the slightest awareness of irony, that subsistence farmers from the Third World are now being asked to teach Britons how to garden. All over what used to be called the civilized world, the intellectual lights are going out — and they are turning off the physical ones as well. The AP reports:

From an Antarctic research base and the Great Pyramids of Egypt, from the Colosseum in Rome to the Empire State building in New York, illuminated patches of the globe went dark Saturday night to highlight the threat of climate change. Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries dimmed nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Lenin once said, “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.” After it was realized that Soviet Power couldn’t generate electricity, I think the Environmental Movement decided humanity could do away with the electricity. And maybe in the end, with humanity as well.