theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Community News Network

May 14, 2013

Bodily waste can help solve the energy crisis, author says

Bodily waste is widely considered a topic not to be discussed in polite company; it's something to be flushed and forgotten. But a new book argues that waste, in all its human and animal forms, is worth getting to know intimately.

"The Origin of Feces" (not to be confused with the 1992 Type O Negative gothic metal album "Origin of the Feces") explores the role that excrement has played in all aspects of life, including evolution, the development of language, public health, and sustainability.

According to author David Waltner-Toews, a Canadian veterinarian and epidemiologist, bodily waste can help solve various modern-day challenges, most notably the energy crisis.

For example, in Rwanda, the stuff is processed to produce methane for heat and electricity. In Sweden, the world's first bio-gas train uses energy sourced from a sewage treatment plant. In Nepal and India, cow dung provides energy for more than a million people. Poop collected from a dog park in Cambridge, Mass., produces enough methane to power a street lamp. An agricultural engineering professor at the University of Illinois converted two liters of pig manure into a quarter-liter of oil. "Not much, but it is a start," the book says.

Waltner-Toews takes as humorous approach to the scatalogical subject as you can; one chapter is titled "The Other Dark Matter." But at the heart of the book is a rather weighty message: "Unless we change how we think about" waste, he writes, "we are doomed to forever live in it."



    

WASHINGTON POST-BLOOMBERG--05-14-13 1446EDT



 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Stocks
Poll

Who do you blame more for the trouble in Gaza?

The Israelis
Hamas
     View Results