(NaturalNews) In the rush to save the climate from impending global warming doom, US government-funded scientists are studying farts and burps of livestock. That's right -- tax money in America is being funneled into research on animal flatulence! The study, from the US Energy Department's Joint Genome Institute (JGI), was conducted to understand why some sheep produce more greenhouse gas than others. The goal of the study was to find the most efficient way to breed livestock so as to produce the least amount of methane gas as possible.
Specific bacterium linked to higher methane gases in sheep farts
In the study, 22 different kinds of sheep were examined from a breeding program in New Zealand. Some sheep farted less and didn't produce as much methane gas. As the researchers investigated the sheep flatulence, they found out that sheep with low methane emissions had high levels of Methanosphaera, a methane-producing genus of bacteria. They also singled out another methanogenic bacterium, Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii, which was found in sheep with high methane emissions.
After finding the bacteria indicators, the researchers "then identified a methane-producing pathway and three variants of a gene encoding." The elevated methane yields were caused by an important methane-forming reaction.
JGI Director Eddy Rubin said, "The study shows that it is purely the microbiota responsible for the difference."
Government is now officially taxing citizens for livestock farts
The stomach of cows and sheep are specifically designed to ferment their foods before they are digested, so the nutrients can be delivered to their bodies. This is why these livestock are called "ruminants." The bacteria in the stomach "rumen" let off methane gas that is released when the animals fart or burp.
This natural process worries government officials, especially the Obama administration, which vows to cut methane emissions from these animals by 25 percent by 2020. This might be one of the reasons why the Federal Government is running ranchers off of newly appointed public lands and killing livestock in some instances, like at Cliven Bundy's Ranch.
When government conducts flatulence studies like this, they are essentially taxing the people over fart emissions. (Tax money is being used to curb the amount of flatulence taking place on US farms.)
The EPA estimates that methane emissions from livestock make up one-fifth of total methane emissions, so why does the federal government even bother? Sheep and cows have farted for centuries. The earth's atmosphere is more than capable of regulating its own gases.
Fart-collecting backpack invented for cows
Still, governments around the world insist on curbing fart emissions, while some are busy actually collecting the animal's farts. Scientists from the Argentine government recently announced that they have created a backpack for cows that traps methane. The farts are collected and are later turned into green energy.
"A cow emits about 300 liters of methane per day, which can be used to operate a fridge capacity of 100 liters at a temperature of between two and six degrees for a full day," said Ricardo Bualo, a technician from Argentina's National Agricultural Technology Institute who is involved with the project.
The backpacks are designed to hold 1,200 liters of cow flatulence. Once they are filled, they are taken to a lab, where methane is separated, compressed and stored in containers to ultimately be used as power for appliances and cars. The project is at this point still very costly and impractical.
US government plans to control livestock breeding, only accepting sheep that fart less
For now though, the US government is working on a plan to push future sheep breeders into compliance with new sheep genome projects that will only accept the livestock that fart the least.
"If everything went well you could expect introduction of the low methane trait to begin in three years, and for there to be slow but incremental changes to the sheep industry in subsequent years," said lead scientist of the study, Graeme Attwood.