back to article Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch peril

In a desperate attempt to avoid all life on Earth being gradually suffocated by a growing global cloud of noxious cow-belch emissions, corporate chiefs have planted bugging devices on a herd of dairy cattle. The listening devices, it's hoped, may allow top-bracket scientists to sift valuable information from the creatures' …

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  1. Mantrid
    Boffin

    Title should be...

    Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch business...surely?

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    and it was going so well

    right up until the last word. Try "brouhaha".

  3. Joefish
    Paris Hilton

    Fitting cows with microphones?

    Isn't that how Geri Halliwell got started?

  4. Stewart Haywood
    Flame

    It's been done before.

    Men returning from the crusades brought tales of Greek Fire with them. As a counter to this terror weapon, the Brits ( a guy called George actually) developed a method to ignite cow farts and belches and aim them at the enemy. This caused great consternation in the Holy Lands at the time and probably gave rise to the story of dragons belching fire and the myth of St. George.

    Flames for obvious reasons.

  5. Dave Harris
    Thumb Up

    Great headline

    Had to be Lewis with a headline like that. Great stuff

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Alfalfa

    Alfafa is already known to reduce the amount of methane produced by cows. It's more easily digested by them in their first stomach and it also changes the bacteria in their guts.

    Fire because of the methane

    Jon

  7. Geoffrey Summerhayes
    Coat

    Finally...

    A chance to use this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKib6XKJNJQ

    black and white leather jacket

  8. Il Midga di Macaroni
    Go

    Let's be scientifically rigorous here

    CSIRO research back when I was getting their mag in the 90s (before climate change became politically correct) indicated that cow methane was only a problem on lab fed animals. As soon as they were put in an open paddock and fed grass the methane level dropped way off and was considered not a significant contributor to greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

  9. Mike Richards Silver badge

    'automatic on-cow flare stack'

    Now that I want to see...

    Awesome sub as always Lewis.

  10. SmallYellowFuzzyDuck, how pweety!
    Go

    Headline made brain hurty

    I thought "I bet Lewis wrote that headline"

    Didn't read the article but just thought I would add a comment on here.

  11. Nathanael Bastone

    I have been considoring this problem for some time

    I think that perhaps one of the best ways to cut emissions is whenever cows are inside buildings, to make these buildings sealed in such a way that methane will collect at the top of the roof, where it can be periodically burnt off or even collected for use in cars or methane power plants. Outside, large polythene tents [to allow the light in] stretched over fields could serve a similar purpose. Obviously this would increase the temperature inside the tent, which would decrease the amount of food the cows need because the ambient temperature would be closer to body temperature lessening the energy needed to be expended on heat. THis would decrease the amount of gas produced and an equilibrium would quickly be reached.

  12. Andus McCoatover
    Happy

    Almost got it, Lewis...

    Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch peril

    A "p" at the beginning of the last word? Ruined it!

    Could've said "Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch botty-burps". Bloody Belzebub!

    Borry! Bouldn't Besist.

  13. Steve Evans
    Flame

    If methane is so bad...

    Surely the easiest solution is to fit a pilot light on the back end of the cows.

    This might also improve the lighting on dark country lanes at night.

  14. James 85

    Disappointing Alliteration

    Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch blight

    Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch bane

    Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch blot

    Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch blast

    Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch bete noir

    Bubbly-belly-bugging boffins battle bovine belch burst

  15. TeeCee Gold badge
    Joke

    Plan B

    If the science proves to be a bust, they can always take their hours of bovine digestive rumblings, mix 'em down to three and a half minutes, add a back beat and sign a lucrative contract with a Hip-Hop label.

  16. MyHeadIsSpinning
    Welcome

    Bovine Butt Bottles

    I saw an article on the internets where scientists wanted to attach big plastic bottles to the cows sphincters to collect the bio gas for fuel.

  17. Marvin the Martian
    Flame

    Just insert side valve

    As the gas builds up inside, it seems easy to install a pressure valve on cows' sides, with a pilot light? Helps them eat at night and hence grow faster, I bet.

  18. AlistairJ
    Boffin

    What a load of guff

    The problem with collecting methane in a roofed enclosure is that the gas is heavier than air. Ask anyone who's ever been trapped under a duvet with some. And as for the stuff being a worse greenhouse gas than C02, this may be true, but atmospheric methane quickly oxides yielding CO2 and H2O.

    It was all a load of hot air stirred up by the meat=evil lobby.

  19. The First Dave
    Flame

    @Steve Evans

    No, that wouldn't work - the majority comes out the front, hence other people comments regarding fire-breathing...

  20. PeteT

    @AlistairJ

    No, Methane is lighter than air. The problem is the exploding tents

  21. aimeew

    Kiwi cow capers

    I note with pleasure your recent communication regarding the Empire's plans for its ruminant citizens.

    Might I also point you to the PGGRC, amongst other organisations of merit, which is looking into a number of ways to avert burpocalypse, as you so beautifully called it. They're using lasers, yes lasers, to measure ruminant methane (the brain abounds with images of beautifully, nay, surgically sliced, cooked beef and lamb). Large tanks are also being deployed on the backs of these poor beleaguered beasts in an effort, once again, to gauge just how gassy they are.

    And multiple means of reducing ruminant emissions are being looked into, from GMing the bacteria responsible, to vaccines and doing things to the pasture. Gosh!

  22. aimeew

    Kiwi cow capers

    I note with pleasure your recent communication regarding the Empire's plans for its ruminant citizens.

    Might I also point you to the PGGRC (nz), amongst other organisations of merit, which is looking into a number of ways to avert burpocalypse, as you so beautifully called it. They're using lasers, yes lasers, to measure ruminant methane (the brain abounds with images of beautifully, nay, surgically sliced, cooked beef and lamb). Large tanks are also being deployed on the backs of these poor beleaguered beasts in an effort, once again, to gauge just how gassy they are.

    And multiple means of reducing ruminant emissions are being looked into, from GMing the bacteria responsible, to vaccines and doing things to the pasture. Gosh!

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