— No Joke

No Joke

March 6, 2018
Placeholder image

13 billion

tonnes of biowaste produced by livestock every year!

In the search for sources of energy that are renewable, abundant, and friendly to our climate, it may be easy to miss this one. Using animal waste—poo—as a renewable energy source is a serious opportunity, but first, let’s dispense with the jokes:
  • This idea stinks, one commentator famously said, but as an abundant source of renewable, clean fuel, it is brilliant.
  • If you are walking among farmyard animals, another said, be careful where you step. A most abundant clean energy source may be right under your feet.
Jokes aside, the scientific facts are compelling: livestock produce 13 billion tonnes of biowaste worldwide every year, within which is 55% to 65% methane. If that methane is released into the air, it becomes a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than even CO2 in retaining heat in our atmosphere. That is a huge problem, but it is also a huge opportunity because methane, the primary component of natural gas, can be captured and used as clean fuel for heat, light, and electricity, and, when burned, the methane is permanently destroyed. This is, truly, a huge, winning opportunity for our climate. The project in this gift package installs biogas digesters in rural India, which convert biowaste into clean methane fuel for cooking and lighting, helping farmers to reduce firewood consumption (saving forests!), increase crop yields and income, improve hygiene, and join the worldwide fight against climate change. Jayala, who is featured in our most recent update [electronic link], tells her impressive story of how the productive use of animal waste improves lives and helps our planet. Thank you for your support!