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Mystery methane surge is due to flatulent cows

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How many cow in comparison to the bison horde that was there before in America? Someone have some stat?

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1 hour ago, Jon the frog said:

How many cow in comparison to the bison horde that was there before in America? Someone have some stat?

According to wikipedia, in 1800 there were approximately 60,000,000 american bisons. Also according to wikipedia "According to an estimate from 2011, there are 1.4 billion cattle in the world.", we can assume that the number rose slightly in the last 6 years. So just considering rough estimates, there are more than 2 times more cattle than there were bisons.

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IMO, looking at the number of Bison there were and the cows mow is wuite inyeresting, BUT, a huge factor is that the Bison free roamed.  Cows are kept in small areas, have little to no exercise and processed foods.  These factors are something to consider

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This has been going around for at least 15 years.   It all started as a wise-crack that got into an EPA publication.  Because it was in there, environmental groups insisted it be investigated.  They sued.  EPA relented and did a study which resulted in a bunch of unfortunate cows wearing devices to catch their "emissions."  The study concluded "emissions" were insignificant.  That didn't make the environmental groups happy, so they sued again.  So EPA repeated the study - same result.  And that's where it ended until the story got onto the Internet where it got a renewed life and has been kicking around ever since.

Doug

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I read that the "cow emissions" do not come from the rear but out of the mouth. Not that it matters well, unless you're standing next to a belching cow.

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2 hours ago, Xeder said:

According to wikipedia, in 1800 there were approximately 60,000,000 american bisons. Also according to wikipedia "According to an estimate from 2011, there are 1.4 billion cattle in the world.", we can assume that the number rose slightly in the last 6 years. So just considering rough estimates, there are more than 2 times more cattle than there were bisons.

ok quite interesting 1.4 billion in the world ! , we killed off the bison from America and the large Fauna of Africa... so in number, maybe near the same big ruminant number in the world... but i think protein rich diet feed for cattle produce more methane when digested.

 

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IMHO, whoever smelt it dealt it. 

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Old news. Meat has been a peril for the planet since at least the 1950's

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12 hours ago, Doug1o29 said:

This has been going around for at least 15 years.   It all started as a wise-crack that got into an EPA publication.  Because it was in there, environmental groups insisted it be investigated.  They sued.  EPA relented and did a study which resulted in a bunch of unfortunate cows wearing devices to catch their "emissions."  The study concluded "emissions" were insignificant.  That didn't make the environmental groups happy, so they sued again.  So EPA repeated the study - same result.  And that's where it ended until the story got onto the Internet where it got a renewed life and has been kicking around ever since.

Doug

We should fit fart catchers to all cows and use the gas as a cleaner fuel, in fact, we should all wear a fart catcher, it would make offices and aircraft less smelly, and I could power a city on my own...

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12 hours ago, Jon the frog said:

ok quite interesting 1.4 billion in the world ! , we killed off the bison from America and the large Fauna of Africa... so in number, maybe near the same big ruminant number in the world... but i think protein rich diet feed for cattle produce more methane when digested.

 

Well, there is also the massive increase in human population, which grew by a lot during the last dozens of years as well as other animals breed by us, so it adds up to quite a big number of gases.

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3 hours ago, seanjo said:

We should fit fart catchers to all cows and use the gas as a cleaner fuel, in fact, we should all wear a fart catcher, it would make offices and aircraft less smelly, and I could power a city on my own...

We could raise cattle on dry pasture.  That would reduce the methane.  Or we could reduce our consumption of beef - be healthier - less cholesterol, etc.

11 hours ago, brizink said:

Old news. Meat has been a peril for the planet since at least the 1950's

The argument is that because one cow in a feedlot eats enough grain to feed 22 people, we could feed a whole lot more people without converting the grain to beef first.  This ignores the realities of raising grain, shipping it, etc.  Personally, I don't plan to give up steak.

Doug

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Posted (edited)

Why do you think cows produce such great fertilizer?  At least we humans aren't being directly blamed for a change.  Indirectly of course as hamburgers are great!

 

Doug - Even if the argument held water, who could or would want to eat grain all the time if you had another choice?  Think of the carbs! Think about the people that can't eat gluten!  We are what we are - meat eaters. Wait!  Are we sure we didn't come from dinos as well as the other "lizards"?

Edited by paperdyer
clarified my "rant"

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2 hours ago, paperdyer said:

Why do you think cows produce such great fertilizer?  At least we humans aren't being directly blamed for a change.  Indirectly of course as hamburgers are great!

 

Doug - Even if the argument held water, who could or would want to eat grain all the time if you had another choice?  Think of the carbs! Think about the people that can't eat gluten!  We are what we are - meat eaters. Wait!  Are we sure we didn't come from dinos as well as the other "lizards"?

Optimum use of resources would still include some meat in the diet.  There are lots of places where you can't grow grain, but you can raise cattle, goats, etc.  These "everlasting hills of Oklahoma" aren't very good at grain production, but they do produce good beef.

One other source of methane from cattle:  feedlots, themselves.  On a wet site, all that manure decomposes anaerobically, producing methane.

Doug

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The article quotes a scientist as saying that methane emissions are higher than they estimated previously.  Maybe it's just that their estimates were wrong.  

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11 hours ago, Big Jim said:

The article quotes a scientist as saying that methane emissions are higher than they estimated previously.  Maybe it's just that their estimates were wrong.  

Or maybe it's this one that's wrong.  Have to do another study to decide which.  Is this really worth the expense and trouble of finding out?

Doug

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Posted (edited)

On 10/2/2017 at 3:15 PM, Xeder said:

According to wikipedia, in 1800 there were approximately 60,000,000 american bisons. Also according to wikipedia "According to an estimate from 2011, there are 1.4 billion cattle in the world.", we can assume that the number rose slightly in the last 6 years. So just considering rough estimates, there are more than 2 times more cattle than there were bisons.

Sorry to be "that guy", but 1.4 billion / 60 million is +20X more, not 2X. 

Edited by Calibeliever

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I like the smelled it, dealt it guy the best.

IMNSHO My late husband could have used a cart catcher. 

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I always thought that methane gas was tinged greenish in large quantities. I wonder if they took into account the gas caused craters in Siberia.?

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Methane is also produced during the break down of their poo.  There's a Lot of fuel lying around a cows paddock at any one time.

Even without a desire for beef the world's appetite for milk and butter is insatiable. 

The negative byproduct of intensive dairy farming is destructive nitrates in the water tables.  Rivers lakes and aquaculture being destroyed at extrapolating rates.

Huge, huge problem of utmost urgency. 

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They should make Gas-X for cows.

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Isn't methane lighter than air and explosive? Why isn't it blowing the roofs off barns?  Somewhere I read they had a fix for this by mixing seaweed with the cows food. Still sounds like a lot of hot air.

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