The author of the NYT editorial I wrote about on August 4th brought up this idea:
“Domestically, a power company can earn credits by, say, helping farmers capture methane emitted by animal waste ponds or cultivate land in ways that help absorb carbon.”
I’ve read a few articles about these “black lagoons” (term borrowed from NYT article linked below) of animal waste created by farms, specifically pig farms. Recently, I started wondering whether people really understand what these farms are like. If you haven’t ready anything like The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, you could live on not knowing what kind of atrocities there are out there that are connected to producing your food.
The animals raised on large lot farms are kept in close quarters, and can’t be near each other’s waste because it would make them sick. (Which is quite understandable. It would make me sick too.) So the waste needs to be trucked out of the animals’ barns and deposited somewhere, often on one big piece of land on the same farm. This turns the land into a black lagoon of animal waste that contaminates the soil, possibly the groundwater, toxic gas emission, and tons of other issues that affect the environment and the health of humans.
For further reading, check out:
Flickr user friendsoffamilyfarmers