Information Inspired Free Fire Zone

All the Discovery Institute’s talk about “information” has inspired us to present some news articles from PhysOrg that may be of use in thinking about their revolutionary concept. The first is What waste: human excrement can fuel developing world, which says:

Gas produced by decaying human waste is a potentially major source of energy, providing electricity for millions of homes while improving sanitary conditions in developing countries, says a UN report. Biogas — about 60 percent methane — can be produced by having bacteria break down human feces. And it would be worth the equivalent of $9.5 billion in non-renewable natural gas, the UN Institute for Water, Environment and Health said on Tuesday. Residues from treated waste could yield two million tons a year of “solid” fuel worldwide that could reduce charcoal use and the number of trees being felled, which would help in global warming reduction efforts, the report added.

Wow — biogas is worth $9.5 billion! Hey — look at this:

Almost a billion people around the world do not have access to toilets, about 60 percent of them in India, and have to relieve themselves outdoors.

That’s a lot of Discoveroid information, and it’s all going to waste (so to speak). We’re also told:

If their excrement were collected, it could potentially be used to create more than 200 million dollars a year worth of biogas, and eventually rise to 376 million dollars, the researchers said. This volume of energy would be enough to power 18 million homes in developing nations, the report added.

There’s another article on the same subject here: Vast energy value in human waste: UN University.

Why don’t the Discoveroids — who are the world’s experts on this stuff — get busy and harvest all that information?

Okay, that’s all the news at the moment. We hereby declare another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, or even astrology, theology, mythology, and sociology — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

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7 responses to “Information Inspired Free Fire Zone

  1. michaelfugate

    As if Ben Carson weren’t wacky enough. Pastor Kevin Swanson at the National Religious Liberty Conference asked Ted Cruz how important it was for candidates to submit to Jesus Christ as the king of the President of the United States. To which Cruz reportedly replied that the president/commander-in-chief should begin the day on his [or her] knees (doing what – we will leave to your imagination).

    Somehow I am concerned about the US Constitution in all this.

  2. As usual, the discoveriods have it backwards. Instead of turning excrement into energy, they’re turning energy into excrement.

  3. I am wondering if any of the medics that frequent this forum are familiar with this recent (published by University of Chicago last month) book: Body by Darwin: How Evolution Shapes Our Health and Transforms Medicine?

    I’ve not yet seen a copy–and by no means intend to promote it here–but it looks intriguing, especially Chapter 4, ‘DIY EYE: How Developmental Biology Cures Blindness and Rebuts Creationism.’

    If anyone has already read it and can offer a thumbnail review, that would be of great interest!

  4. The Dishonesty Institute is, and has, done a great deal of research on this topic. After accumulating massive amounts of the subject matter in their offices, they have filled many canisters with these vapors, and they carefully scrutinize it and any residual solid waste and apply their ID detecting mathematical formulas to search for any trace of specific intelligent leading to their grand designer. They have also successfully applied the solid residue to their typewriter ribbons and printer ink cartridges, as is evidenced by their articles.

  5. To which Cruz reportedly replied that the president/commander-in-chief should begin the day on his [or her] knees (doing what – we will leave to your imagination).

    I just assume whatever Cruz is doing on his knees it will involve thanking the Koch Brothers for their 15 million dollar contribution.

  6. Just fyi, the Wheelabrator plant in Baltimore, MD converts solid waste into energy. I’d suppose there are other plants doing this. Wouldn’t hurt the Tuters to contribute the massive amounts they must have lying around and collecting dust.

  7. Biogas has a significant flaw: whether burned as fuel directly (P.U.) or converted into a solid fuel and then burned, it ends up dumping CO2, so its effect on global climate change isn’t as great as it might be. (There is some, since methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.)

    A second flaw is that converting, er, natural as into a solid fuel takes energy, so net energy production is decreased. Converting it into a liquid fuel might be more useful, since that could be burned in vehicle engines. Unfortunately that still leaves us with problem #1 above.

    Quite a few creationists might add former Interior Secretary James Watt’s objection. Asked about preserving the natural world for future generations, he replied, “I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns.” For today’s fundamentalists, that would apply to anything we might do to address global warming.