Cool Green Morning: Monday, May 4

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Published on May 4th, 2009  |  Discuss This Article  

We scour the Internets (all of them) to find the five most interesting green stories of the day. Every morning. An absolutely free service. You’re welcome!

  1. Google is conserving energy at its headquarters campus by using goats to trim its lawns for the same cost as mowing the grass. (No word on the methane output of said goats.)
  2. A miracle biofuel plant (in this case, the Jatropha tree) isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, reports Yale Environment 360. Haven’t we heard this story before?
  3. What could Al Gore, James Inhofe and the National Review agree on? The blight of black carbon and its role in climate change, reports Environmental Capital. (Black carbon is otherwise known as soot.)
  4. A 340-person Alaskan village wants to move to higher ground to escape flooding from climate change…if they can find the $130 million to finance the move. (Hat tip: Blogfish.)
  5. Did you know it’s National Drinking Water Week? Neither did we…nor did we know we needed such a week…but WaterWired gives all of us a number of ways to celebrate and educate.
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Comments: Cool Green Morning: Monday, May 4

  •  Comment from TruNorth

    In regards to the goat-grazing method of mowing:
    Yet again the North American public shows they are full of opinions and yet very low on actual knowledge.
    Direct quote: “The goats probably omit methan (note: the person left the “e” off methan, not me) which is worse for the environment then CO2 produced lawnmowers.”
    REALLY? All of a sudden, CO2 is harmless and Methane is the real “bad” gas. Well, if we only knew this earlier….
    My 11-year-old could give a dissertation on how gas powered lawn mowers (which, by the way, is the only thing you can use to mow which is essentially a hill in a field) spew tons and tons of CO2. In fact, gas-powered lawn mower engines are some of the messiest in the world–pollution wise, that is.
    Admittedly, goats do poop. But lets look at the benefits to goat chewing the hill:
    1) No fossil fuels had to be refined to produce the carbon emissions being given by the lawn more (extra carbon there)
    2) Goats produce milk, meat, and cheese for consumption. A lawn mower produdces clippings and, yes, more carbon.
    3) The goats are providing a natural and very earth enriching fertilizer for the ground they are grazing on, far more rich in nutrients than grass clippings–even if they are mulched
    4) Noise pollution from goats: a few bahs unless they are being moved off the hill. Nose pollution from a couple of lawnmowers: icky.
    Needless to say, this does not include the whole other category of what’s more dangerous to operate, a herd of goats or a gas-powered mower, but I figured that one is pretty easy to do on your own. (Hint: goats, while they will ram their head into you, will not cut off your foot.)
    So while goat grass cutting may not be entirely “green” (if we have to use a colour chart) it’s a far bit “greener” than using a mechanical mower.
    Besides, goats are cuter. That’s just my thoughts on the matter, tho.
    :)

  •  Comment from EnJayWriter

    I agree with TruNorth. Hey, with just a little research, you can find that, while goats do emit methane, it’s a heck of a lot less than cows–only about 13% of the average bovine if I read the data correctly. See http://www.inra.fr/productions-animales/spip.php?page=en-article&id_article=332. Even humans and other animals produce methane, so we’re not all blameless. In the end, the Google goats seem like a much better idea than using gas-powered lawn mowers.

    •  Comment from Robert Lalasz

      Sorry — didn’t mean to imply that it’s a bad idea to use the goats because of their potential methane production, just to say that such production isn’t minimal (or totally unproblematic). Thanks for both of your quick comments, though. The perfect is always the enemy of the good…

  •  Comment from TruNorth

    To Robert:

    Comments not directed at you, more at the person who made a comment on the website where the story was linked. (In my mind, I have renamed him Doofus Maximus).

    Keep up the good work with the blog! My morning isn’t complete until I get my daily dose of Cool Green Morning.

    •  Comment from Robert Lalasz

      Thnx for the kind words, TruNorth!

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