Friday, April 11, 2014

Do British Farts Cause Global Warming?

Put down those beans! Your next fart may contribute to global warming.

At least that's what a couple members of the British House of Lords seem to think, because apparently British nobility are so well-versed in the ways of science.

According to a story in Wednesday's (London) Daily Mirror, climate change minister Baroness Verma demonstrated she had as much a grasp of science as a climate change denier when she urged the British population to curtail their farting.

She made the statement after Labour peer Viscount David Simon asked whether British people eating so many baked beans contributed to global warming.

I really wish this were an April Fool's joke, but the story ran eight days afterward. Or I could reassure you that the English government is not actually being run by surviving contestants of the Upper Class Twit of the Year. But I can't. If you've seen our own Congress in action, you understand Britain's pain.

According to the Mirror, (official motto: "What are you looking at?") Viscount Simon said to the House of Lords, "A programme on the BBC stated this country has the largest production of baked beans and the largest consumption of baked beans in the world. Could you say whether this affects the calculation of global warming by the Government as a result of the smelly emission?"

Baroness Sandip Verma responded, "You do actually raise a very important point, which is we do need to moderate our behaviour."

Real scientists already know this is just a bunch of bullfarts. Human gas doesn't actually have a significant impact on total methane production.

According to 99.99% of all scientists on earth, carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is the primary cause of global warming, while methane's effects are 20 times greater than carbon dioxide. The remaining scientists work for Fox News.

Further, cows produce a sixth of all the methane on Earth, but our human-powered output is just 1/5,000th of our total greenhouse gas emissions.

So not only is it safe to eat baked beans, we should actually increase our overall consumption. That's because a study in the Canadian Medical Journal released the same week says that baked beans can actually lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

According to lead researcher Dr. John Sievenpiper, eating a single three-quarter cup serving of beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas — also called pulses, I assume because of their. . . effects — can reduce our LDL (bad cholesterol) by as much as five percent, and have a five to six percent reduction of heart attack and stroke risk.

Sievenpiper also said that wind and bloating were among some of the side effects of eating pulses daily. However he said those subsided after a while, much to the disappointment of young boys everywhere.

But not everything is coming up roses for the British baked bean: according to a December article in Britain's Grocer magazine, the amount of baked beans sold in the UK dropped by nearly £21 million last year, resulting in "the biggest decline of all the canned food market." However, the article says this could be a result of the country's economy picking up.

Apparently it's also a marketing problem, as Grocer magazine blamed a "lack of fresh ways to promote baked beans."

Maybe Heinz could air a commercial showing the exchange between Viscount Simon and Baroness Verma. "With Heinz's baked beans, the House of Lords aren't the only ones full of hot gas."

Speaking of global flatulence, other scientists are researching the methane effect of animals as well. By a staggering coincidence — no, seriously; three fart stories in a single week! — Australian scientists published a study in the PLOS One journal about whether camel farts contribute to the greenhouse effect.

After extensive studying and measuring of camel flatulence with special fart-measuring equipment, they concluded "the methane contributed by Australia's feral camels corresponds only to 1 to 2% of the methane amount produced by the country's domestic ruminants."

In other words, for every 100 cow farts, there is only one feral camel fart.

Which means camel farts do not contribute to the greenhouse gas effect.

(I actually only wrote that sentence so I could see it rank number one on Google.)

Feral camel flatulence aside, it comes down to this: the British are eating fewer baked beans, but they're actually very good for you. (The beans, not the British.) The resulting flatulence will not add to the greenhouse effect, while the more enjoyable side effects will dissipate after a time.

So raise your spoon, hike your leg, and think of Viscount Simon and Baroness Verma every time you enjoy another yummy bite of Heinz's British Baked Beans. Eat them for England!

The beans, not the politicians.

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