Bits and Pieces: Global Population, Methane Gas, and Ecology-Conscious People

This short series of reports includes news on global population, methane gas, and getting land into the hands of ecology-conscious people.

| March/April 1975

Homestead news

Short reports on homestead news.


SELLING BIRTHRIGHT FOR A MESS OF MONEY? RJB Sales Export Inc. of Sequim, Washington has contracted with the Persian Gulf sheikdoms of Dubai and Bahrain to provide them with at least 50,000 metric tons of liquefied cow manure each month for the next three years. American farmers in 40 states are involved in the operation, and will get 5 cents a gallon for their manure. But how much more would that manure be worth if it were merely put back into the U.S. soil from which it comes'?

GLOBAL POPULATION MAY BE EXPLODING FASTER than previously realized, according to a study sponsored by the Environmental Fund. Figures, how world population growing at a rate of 90 million per year … not 75 million, as was previously thought. In the United States, the Census Bureau has declared that 5.3 million people were not counted in 1970. And the population of China — formerly said to be 800 million — was shown to be at least 917 million people, if not more.

NUTRITIONAL YEAST FROM PETROLEUM? Standard Oil Company has announced it will open a plant this year to produce 10 million pounds of yeast (50% protein) annually to be used as a food source.

THE MOST DEADLY SUBSTANCES KNOWN TO MAN —  plutonium 239 — is the primary fuel for Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactors … and The Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., points out that less than an ounce of the material could conceivably kill everyone in the United States. If the government's stepped-up LMFBR development program proceeds as planned. the next 25 years may see us transporting several hundred thousand pounds of the isotope by rail, truck, or plane annually.

THE ENVIRONMENT QUALITY PARTY ain't a weekend celebration, folks … it's a new political organization dedicated to low energy use. Ecological sanity, economic stability, personal realization, and the survival of man. EQP was founded in the belief that conventional politics offers no hope for survival, change, or even recognition of impending disaster.

METHANE IS JUST A LOT OF HORSE MANURE … and Donald Brockman of Neenah. Wisconsin is making good use of both. Brockman — who owns and operates a stable of more than 100 horses (which produce about 100 cubic feet of manure daily) — is installing a huge methane digester plant on his Land. The gas will heat his home, a barn, four large stables, an office, and an indoor riding arena … and will also power electrical generators. That'll mean an annual savings of $5,000 in utility bills! Brockman also plans to mix the carbon produced by hiss digester with lime and sell it as fertilizer, and will raise 250,000 trout fingerlings on the plant's residue slurry.

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