Monday 22 October 2012

Blethers - Saving the Planet

Did you know that human breathing contributes approximately 8.5 per cent of all CO2 emissions? 

Apparently humans produce 1 kg of carbon dioxide per day per person. So if there are 6.8 billion humans on the earth, give or take a few, that totals some 6.8 billion kgs per day, or 6.8 million tonnes per day. Each year, the human population produces almost 2.5 billion tonnes simply by breathing.

I was thinking of that during the recent series of party political conferences, and given the excitable state of some of the speakers, supporters and attendees, wondered if they produced more than the national average CO2 emissions during the course of these events?

These are the same people who are giving the world’s vehicle manufacturers such a hard time, telling them to clean up their act.

That’s a fair point. Worldwide, motor vehicles currently emit well over 900 million tonnes of CO2 each year accounting for more than 15 per cent of global fossil fuel CO2 releases. Clearly there needs to be more work done and with Euro-6 emissions legislation on its way (January 2014), Europe is taking a lead.

But here’s the thing, while the politicians apparently ignore that fact our breathing is a big contributor of such emissions, they have completely ignored the single most potent polluter on the planet. Cows.

With 1.5 billion cattle emitting noxious gases, from both ends, livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. This is more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.

So the message is clear. To save the planet, stop breathing and eat more pies.

1 comment:

  1. You would need to try to work out if cows are carbon neutral John. Grass soaks up CO2 - cows eat grass - etc etc. Pretty sure the methane CH4 from the other end of the cow is MUCH more damaging to the atmosphere than the CO2... Personally I would get rid of them all - being a vegetarian!