Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A Lot of Hot Air

"And now"—to use Monty Python’s famous expression—"for something completely different."
There are more or less 7,000,000,000 people polluting the atmosphere. Yes, polluting. Also we are a contributory and persistent factor in the rise of global temperature. Every single one of us. EVERY ONE!!!
No. Not by driving automobiles when we could walk. Nor even by flying to faraway places to satisfy our curiosity, or lie, belly-up to bronze our over-fed torsos. That too, of course. And also by over-heating and over-cooling our habitats. All these are true. But there is one factor that seems to have been studiously ignored by our illustrious scientists.
Yes, faring.
Wikipedia insists that the English word fart is one of the oldest words in the English vocabulary. Considered vulgar, society substituted the word flatulence, which made it OK, although the odor remained.
 “Facts on Farts” by Brenna Lorenz assure us that: “On average, a person produces about half a liter of fart gas per day, distributed over an average of fourteen daily farts.”
Doesn’t sound like much, but… multiplied by seven billion, even if divided by half, comes to 3,500,000,000 liters per day. Now if we multiply this by 365 days (in a year, although most people fart more on Thanksgiving and their birthdays, mostly due to overeating), and a thirteen-year period, then in this present century alone we have expelled some 3,500,000,000 x 356 x 13 liters of hot air into the atmosphere. As the internal temperature of our body is warmer than external, we can safely assume that some 16,607,700,000,000 liters of hot air, around 400C or say 1040F, had been released into our atmosphere during this century alone.
Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is global warming.

16,607,700,000,000 liters of hot air!!!
Sixteen-point-six trillion liters. Enough to melt all the icebergs? Why, that about equals the USA national debt. Or is that also just a lot of hot air?

Since, for once, we are in a jocular mood, I offer you stories I overheard over the years from my favourite friends: my cats and dogs. They may not fart as much as we do, but they also have their problems. Find out for yourself. 

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