Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Saving the planet, one dead moose at a time

From German news magazine Der Speigel:

Norway is concerned that its national animal, the moose, is harming the climate by emitting an estimated 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year through its belching and farting.

Norwegian newspapers, citing research from Norway's technical university, said a motorist would have to drive 13,000 kilometers in a car to emit as much CO2 as a moose does in a year.

Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. According to the article, Norwegian hunters are expected to shoot 35,000 moose in the annual moose hunt this year, taking the equivalent of 35,000 cars off the road for a year. That's equivalent to installing 2.9 million compact fluorescent light bulbs in terms of CO2 emissions saved.

The bizarre interactions like this that are subparts of the larger climate issue give me pause when people say, "The science is settled". The "science" has yet to be settled in many areas of medicine, in part because we keep asking obvious questions and getting non-obvious or conflicting results. The science shouldn't ever be settled, because we should always be trying improve our results.

Alces alces, climate criminal

Lesson for the day: shooting a moose should count for carbon credits.

Go figure.


Troy M. Stirman said...

Hey- count me in for the cull hunt!

Alces alces americana and Alces alces andersoni are high on my list of future big game hunts.

Moose Farts= High emissions, now that should be your headliner in any hometown newspaper!
(Maybe that's the definition of Farfegneugen into English? Bottle up some Moose farts, insert into Green vehicle and hit the 'gas'...)

Loved it...


Anonymous said...

How did I know that you would pick up on this story... dsd

Mike Riley said...

Thanks so much for a concise look at something for which the science is most definitely NOT settled. The tree-huggers keep saying it's a done deal, but from where I sit, for each scientist who claims global warning is a fact I can show you at least one scientist who takes a more reasoned, questioning approach.
Hang in there!