Low-gas diet to cut ‘emissions’

If not for the aircraft seat belt,I would ha-ve rolled over into the aisle.

Written by Sandeep Dwivedi | Published:March 2, 2009 11:38 pm

If not for the aircraft seat belt,I would ha-ve rolled over into the aisle. Okay,th-at’s an exaggeration,but it’s not everyday that a news report in a local paper about some serious environmental concern gives you a hearty laugh. It was the kind of story that makes one go “You know what!” to anyone within ear-shot. But since I was travelling alone on the Wellington-Napier flight,here is my first chance to share the nugget.

You know what… In New Zealand,fossil fuels and CFCs aren’t the biggest threat to the ozone layer. It is,in fact,the methane gas emitted by over a million belching and burping Kiwi cows and sheep that is giving environmentalists sleepless nights.

According to the report,methane,as a greenhouse gas,is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. And I am just quoting the newspaper,but “the deadly methane emission is from both ends of the livestock”.

Since landing in Wellington,I’d been noticing several ‘save the environment’ initiatives. Stepping out of planes,passengers drop newspapers and magazines in a big green box with ‘Recycle’ written on it,out of habit.

While checking out from the hotel,I saw an elderly couple handing over a handful of pencil-batteries to the man at the reception. A small placard on the wall explained this: “Please hand over used batteries so that they can be reprocessed”. Green cabs are the most used mode of transport here. Running on electricity,the cabs have a lower flagfall,and the fare is lower too.

While New Zealand seems to have taken the necessary steps for environment protection in the cities,the problem still remains in the rural,agricultural areas. But trust them to come up with solutions.

A parliamentary inquiry has been launched to find ways to curb the flow of methane from the meadows. A low-gas diet for the cows and sheep is one solution they seem to be working on.

Dazed by the sights and sounds of suburban New Zealand,I’ve made sure I keep my eyes and ears open,but after reading the Co2W story,I’ve been left wondering if it’s safe to keep the nose open!

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