GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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

NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot