Evan Smith

By Evan Smith, '11

The U.S. makes up just over nine percent of the world’s total population, yet, according to The Washington Post, it produces about 20 percent of the world’s pollutants. The reason for this startling output; however, is not due to the U.S.’s industry or environmental negligence. It is, in fact, due to our farts.

Farts can be amusing at times, with names such as the Car Bomb, the Morning Glory and, of course, the Sunday Church Surprise; however, flatulence, being about 10 percent methane, according to eMedicineHealth, is a leading environmental hazard, and nothing to joke about.

With the fate of the world in our hands, the U.S. is currently breaking new wind in limiting flatulence, and has recently passed gas laws designed to monitor flatulence levels across the country. These devices, known as fart monitor straps, have brought forth a wide array of data on fart levels in each state, with Nebraska overwhelmingly at the top of the scale with a whopping 2.13 million fps (farts per second).

So how do we solve this problem? There is no easy solution. Even Al Gore, who touted environmentalism in his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, is notorious for his flatulence—some say it even cost him the state of Florida in the 2000 presidential election, where the extreme heat causes the stink to be multiplied tenfold.

“I could taste it,” one witness said, referring to Al Gore’s hypocrisy. “I could taste it in my mouth—it tasted like global devastation.”

While our politicians may not be able to stint their own carbon fart-print, these plans to reduce flatulence methane levels can actually help in solving the global warming problem. According to the organization EarthSave, there are already efforts to lower the high amounts of cow flatulence in the atmosphere, so why not humans, too?

It is no more far-fetched than the idea of a giant “solar umbrella” over the country—an idea which, according to Environmental Graffiti, NASA has already spent over $80,000 in designing. Nor is it any more ridiculous than Nobel-Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen’s idea of pumping large amounts of sulfur into the atmosphere, simulating a massive volcanic eruption. As reported by National Geographic, this method may help to block out UVA rays but would also cause massive worldwide droughts. And it would probably make the planet stink like rotten eggs, too.

Therefore, I ask you to consider the fart. Consider what it does to the planet—to the trees and the animals, the streams and the hills. And, hopefully, years from now our ancestors will look back and wonder, with amazement, how we were able to hold back our farts, thus ensuring the survival of the human species.