Musings of a Malcontent: Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust. Let’s Go Swimming!

Heating the town pool from the heat of the crematorium and other wonky ideas“Musings of a Malcontent” is a weekly op-ed by GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Carlyle Coash

Well I think I have seen it all.

As a species we embody creativity, innovation and experimentation. There are a multitude of great ideas to support the planet and keep us here for a great long time. It really is amazing. Just as amazing is how ill-advised some ideas are – and how many there seem to be.

I read the other day that the town of Redditch, in England, gave permission to a local cemetery to use the heat from the crematory to warm the pool at the local Rec Center.

Yes, you heard me correctly.

Crematory = heated pool = happy Rec Center. OR

Dead bodies + flames + heat from burning bodies = heated pool.

No matter how you state the equation, it is still a little wonky. Now, I am all for inventive ideas, even crazy ones. Yet this one is in another realm. Frankly it is the swimming pool part that I can’t get around. That was the highest need energy item in the town? The pool?

My mom was cremated, so that may be the sticking point for me really. I would want my mom – assuming she had been in Redditch – to benefit something else other than warm swimmers. After all a little cold water is good for the constitution. Not to mention that her ashes being connected to a leisure activity is just a little…well…weird. Then I read that one of the Nazi concentration camps used the heat from the ovens to warm the commandant’s pool.

I’m guessing they will leave that off the brochure for the Rec Center.

The Nazi’s just bring that bad vibe with them. Heated pool = Nazi death camp. There is just no good way to sell that. Rule one of advertising I would think. Not sure why people have not figured that out by now.

All of this made me wonder; what other bad ideas are out there that profess to be good for us? I found a few. I thought you might enjoy hearing about some of these. I am not making these up by the way.

1) Beaming Electricity from Space

Apparently all you have to do is launch some satellites into space, which have 1.5 mile long solar arrays, and beam energy back to Earth. The only wacky thing that could go wrong is the beam missing the receiver on earth and likely evaporating whatever it happens to hit. So, there is nothing that could go wrong there. That would explain why I have not been able to find where I parked my car this week.

2) Cow Gas Begone!

This one is simple really. Infect cattle with the same bacteria kangaroos have (which is methane-free) therefore cutting down on the 14% of greenhouse gasses caused by cow methane. Easy! Plus those two animals are totally alike so I am sure it will work like a charm. Of course all the other resources used to raise livestock would still be needed – but hey – who needs aquifers?

3) Dishware from Pig Urine

Some Danish scientists have created a way to transform urea – from pig urine – into a bioplastic. Who knew? What is more sobering is that pig urine is used in many different products already. Just think of the product line Ikea could come out with? Maybe it could be paired with furniture made from recycled pigsties. Given the obesity issues in this country it seems ironically fitting to be eating from pig plates. Wilbur would be proud.

4) Intentionally erupting volcanoes

Did you know that when we have big volcanic explosions all of the sulfur dioxide that goes into the air can actually help cool the planet? Even better is the fact that scientists are working on ways to engineer a volcanic explosion to potentially help cooling. Wow. I almost do not know what to say here. I mean – so what if there is a few inches of ash covering everything. At least it will be cooler. Like the beam from space, I am sure nothing could go wrong here.

5) The Petapotty

A square of artificial turf for your dog that sits on a platform in your home. Apparently this prevents your dog from yellowing your neighbors grass and therefore they do not have to use chemicals and such on their lawn. You can even have them come and clean it for you, since really all it is doing is collecting urine. What can I tell you – like all good products it takes more resources to make then it saves. Maybe I can get one for my pet pig.


Seen any bad environmental inventions? Let me know.



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