Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Poo Poos: The New Black Gold

I've always been amazed by how much power is generated by the human stomach. How can a seemingly innocent order of chicken tikka masala inserted into the mouth create so much noise and violence as it exits through the posterior? Film yourself holding a match to your plate of tikka masala and you'll be disappointed when you play it back. Now, a few hours after eating, with the camera running, hold a match to your butt as the tikka masala begins to pass in gas form and you may have a Youtube Classic on your hands. In The Gas We Pass - The Story Of Farts by Shinta Cho we learn that the average adult releases about half a quart of gas per day. 365 / 2 = 182.5. That's nearly 183 quarts - just under 46 GALLONS! - of combustible gas released per adult per year. Surely there is some way to harness this windfall (tee hee) of energy.

Well, some enterprising folks have bypassed farts altogether and have begun harnessing the power of the fart's big brother - the caca poo poo. In this fantastic article, we see how some Kenyans are using their poopies, and the sun, as their energy providers. The poo is used as a very effective fuel and the sun is used to naturally purify water. Although poo based energy would be insufficient to satisfy the average American's gluttonous consumption of energy, perhaps this article does offer some lessons for us. Perhaps we should try to get out of the grip of petroleum and use some other sources that are here at home and in plenty of supply. Like nuclear, hydro-electric, solar, and, of course, wind (in all forms).

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