Larry Burden

Researchers in Argentina and Germany have attached to cows a flatulence bag to capture how much methane gas is actually produced by a cow. A hose from a bag that sits on top of the cow is run through the rear of the cow into the stomach to capture all the methane generated by a single cow each day. So far, researchers estimate that a single cow produces enough methane in one day to power a car 3,000 miles. They have, also, calculated that all the earth’s cows produce 17 percent of all greenhouse gases generated each year.

This huge problem to our planet has been recognized in our country by such luminaries as AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), who was elected to the House of Representatives from Queens, New York. It’s doubtful, though, if she could recognize the north end of a south-bound cow. I, however, have been on several cattle drives and can speak with some authority when I verify that there might be a flatulence and fecal matter problem.

My query here, though, is how come the leader in innovation and technology, the good ol’ United States, isn’t the leader in the flatulence research? Are the nerds in Silicon Valley — you know, those digital peeping Toms at Google, Amazon or Facebook — only interested in our sex lives or could they attempt something that would really help the Earth? Are they simply unaware of this crucial climate changing flatulence problem?

I, for one, have been ignorant of the extensive consequences of flatulence for years. If I think back, the problem was around when I was in high school. One of the guys on the football team, let’s call him Stanley, was a veritable flatulence virtuoso in the showers after every practice and every game. Stanley even invented, I’m sure, what could have been called flatunotes. Even then, many of us were so grossed out we opted to skip the shower most of the time.

I was still unaware when my wife and I were first married. We had an English bulldog who had the knack of developing an extreme case of flatulence under the dinner table or about half an hour after we had gone to bed. Sometimes it was so bad, I would have to take Spanky, our bulldog, on an hour walk around the neighborhood. I don’t think any of our neighbor’s landscaping or trees were killed. But I’m relatively sure that if the tree rings from any downed trees in the future are examined, they will show a period of extreme environmental stress.

And if those examples aren’t enough evidence of an everyday American being unaware of this flatulence crisis, let me give one more. For several years, we had an elderly man — a friend — with failing health that we checked on occasionally. He lived in a small house and kept it buttoned up tight as a drum because he was always cold. What he didn’t realize, as most of us wouldn’t, was that he had a severe flatulence problem. Nonetheless, even though the visit was excruciating, we stayed as long as we could. His doctor’s had said that he was experiencing breathing problems. No kidding! It took us a good 24 hours after leaving his house before our lungs cleared out and we could breathe somewhat normally. This finally proved to my wife and me the dangers of such concentrated green house gases.

If the above stories, though, seem like some stupid locker room chatter, it’s because this whole conversation we’re constantly subjected to about cows and flatulence destroying the earth is sophomorically senseless. Not a single climate accord — not the Kyoto or Paris accord — proposed by the United Nations has ever required China, India or Mexico, the biggest green house emitters on planet Earth, to adhere to the accord’s restrictions. Only America has been required to conform. How many pigs do you think China has methane bags on? That’s right: zero.

Let’s have meaningful conversations and strive for solutions about things that matter; like the millions of invaders coming across our southern border each year, or our huge national debt that is going to bankrupt us one day, or the crushing health care costs affecting every family in America.

Besides, if we really want a car that can go thousands of miles on a gas, put some of those methane bags on AOC and her comrades in Congress. We’ll never run out of fuel.

Larry Burden grew up in Boise and has done business management and financial consulting all over America for the past 35 years. Larry now lives in Downey with his wife of 40 years, Dianna, where they have a small accounting practice.