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back to article Belching cattle apocalypse menace sniffed in cowpats

Cattle experts in Blighty and Ireland say they have discovered a much better way of finding out just how much methane is emitted by the world's cows - and thus, how much of a greenhouse-gas problem cattle actually are - by carrying out a detailed analysis of cowpats. Methane, though emitted from agriculture, industries, people …

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Joke

poo

What a load of shit

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Boffin

sureley

Bovine boffins?

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Silver badge

There's a law against that

as title

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WTF?

what's the alternative ?

Much cattle pasture used to be wetland. I'd be the last to argue against the biodiversity and wildlife refuge and refuelling for migrant birds provided by remaining wetlands. But methane isn't called marsh gas without reason. Other cattle pasture never was wetland, so was presumably either moorland, forest or grasslands or clearing grazed by wild animals. In a wild forest fallen trees generally rot, which presumably also generates some methane. So it's completely pointless arguing against cattle rearing based on methane production unless you know the comparable methane productions of alternative or previous land uses.

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IT Angle

but

but we cram more sheep/cow into the same area so i do not think it would matter taking those into account as it would not change the numbers much

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Trollface

Arguing against cattle rearing

You've missed the point. Those who argue against cattle rearing are flower eating hippies, and they argue against you eating cattle because they don't and they are holier than though.

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Facepalm

@Copsewood

"So it's completely pointless arguing against cattle rearing based on methane production unless you know the comparable methane productions of alternative or previous land uses."

Well said.. also simply stating that there are a lot of cows out there passing gas isn't enough... And does John's cow pass as much gas as Mary's? What about effects of diet or local weather conditions? Does a healthy cow pass more gas than one in poor health? How about the differences between a dairy or a beef cow? Male or female? Age?

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Boffin

Would it be so hard...

...to measure it directly?

I'm thinking of a sealed room containg a cow or 3, with air pumped in and out, and the methane content of the inlet and outlet gasses measured over a period of a few days.

I presume that some method can be devised to give an instantaneous reading of methane content - or, at worse to capture samples at regular intervals for later analysis.

It needn't be particularly cruel to the cows - you could paint the walls green, or show them soap operas on HDTV, or something.

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Meh

This has been done.

Humans have shared their shelters with cows since the bronze age. It's a bit smelly. I wouldn't want to spend more than 5 minutes in a house with a running automobile in it.

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Silver badge
Thumb Up

@nyelvmark

That was exactly what I was thinking as I read that article (although showing them soap operas might count as cruelty to animals...!)

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Coat

So if they find low-archaeol cowpatties

Do they describe it to eachother as "This is some good shit, man!!"?

Ok! ok! I'm leaving!!

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Holmes

Examining it?

"Gill has been working together with the aptly-named Dr Ian Bull on a method of determining cattle methane emissions by examining their poo. "

Quickly! Call Gillian McKeith!

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Coat

Methane really burns my arse

On this planet,there are over six billion humans, belching,farting and pooping, and yet the global warming cult fraudsters are wasting tax money on studying bovine-produced methane.

Methinks that they are giving us a bum steer.

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Coat

Methane really burns my arse

On this planet,there are over six billion humans, belching, farting and pooping, and yet the global warming cult fraudsters are wasting tax money on studying bovine-produced methane.

Methinks that they are giving us a bum steer.

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Megaphone

25 times the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere

Oh, I sometimes wish that you'd state where you get these figures from, or at least qualify it more meaningfully (viz. timescales).

Not telling us only makes me want to not stick my fingers in my ears and yell "LALALALALA I'm not listening" for the remainder of the article.

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