March 30, 2009

Why not both?

The 2% solution to climate change: Hold the windmills and get me a cow
from National Post

A study in Ireland has discovered that feeding fish oil to cows reduces their flatulence problem and significantly reduces the amount of methane gas they release into the atmosphere.

This is a big deal because, as CNN reports: "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."

A researcher from University College Dublin in Ireland found that by adding 2% fish oil to a cow's feed, methane emissions were reduced 21%. It also helps the cow's heart and circulatory system, and makes the meat better.

Of course, feeding fish oil to cows is not nearly as much fun as restructuring the world's auto industry, closing down oilsands operations and coal-fired plants, building thousands of windmills and stringing transmission wires across continents to carry the higher-priced power, or inventing new taxes to alter the consumption habits of a few billion people. So you probably won't see any Al Gore films about fish oil in the near future.

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