Home on the range: California to start regulating cow farts, manure

california limits cow farts fujitsu cows 1000x666
You’ve got to hand it to the state of California for always being on the leading edge. Via the California Air Resource Board (CARB), the west coast’s largest state sets aggressive goals to monitor and improve environmental factors, especially those that affect air quality. As CARB continues to push for lower vehicle emissions levels, the agency has now undertaken a new challenge, regulating cow farts, according to Fox News.

This week California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1383 into law. The law regulates so-called “short-lived” climate pollutants, including HFC gases, black carbon, and methane. That last item is where cows get involved. The full title of the bill is Short-lived climate pollutants: methane emissions: dairy and livestock: organic waste: landfills.

The short-lived gases don’t stay around long, by definition, but they can cause illness and contribute to global warming because of their heat-trapping attributes, according to Reuters. Courthouse News quoted Governor Brown who said, “We’re protecting people’s lungs and their health.” He didn’t mention aesthetic experience, but likely no one would have argued that sentiment, at least as it applies to methane gas.

The new law calls for a “comprehensive short-lived climate pollutant strategy” by January 1, 2018, to “achieve a reduction in the statewide reduction of methane by 40 percent…”

According to related Fox News coverage, manure is one of the “main methane culprits.” Under the bill, dairy farmers need to find ways to reduce methane emissions to 40 percent below 2013 levels. They have to get it done by 2030.

One solution for farmers will be financial aid from a $50 million polluter fee fund. That money can be used to buy methane-fueled machinery that can create energy that could then be sold to electric companies.

So if we understand this correctly, dairy farm methane will be used to power generators that create electricity to run the farms, and will provide farmers with an additional revenue stream from utility companies.

California is recognized as a technology and entrepreneurial center, and section 3970.5(b)(4)(c) of the bill mentions the “potential for new innovation in technology, energy, and resource management practices.” Sounds like a call for new start-ups – start thinking of funny names now.

It appears that those farmers who don’t use the earmarked funds to buy methane-fueled machinery will have until 2030 to figure out how to convince, train, or coerce their cows to produce 40 percent less flatulence and/or manure.

Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.

Cyber Monday Extended: Best Cyber Week Smartwatch Deals

Cyber Monday is known for its awesome online sales. Smartwatches, fitness trackers .. they both will see deep discounts. Now is your chance to score a new wearable at rock bottom prices.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high-tech and low-budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…

Still have money in your Flexible Spending Account? Head to the FSA online store

Don’t panic if you still have money sitting in your FSA and no doctor's appointments on the horizon. The FSA store has plenty of cool, useful gizmos you’ll want to purchase for your home and your health.
Emerging Tech

Breakthrough male contraceptive gel is nearly ready for the bedroom

A new male contraceptive gel is absorbed through the skin, and promises to temporarily reduce sperm count in order to avoid pregnancy. Here's how you can get involved with a clinical trial.
Emerging Tech

Wearable device spots signs of an opioid overdose, automatically calls for help

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a wearable device that’s capable of detecting an opioid overdose and sending out an alert to medical personnel. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

First baby born using a womb transplanted from a deceased donor

In a world first, doctors have confirmed the birth of a healthy baby girl in Brazil using a womb transplanted from a deceased donor. Here's why that's so potentially transformative.
Emerging Tech

This implant goes beyond pacemakers, helps aging hearts beat more vigorously

The FDA's advisory committee has voted to recommend an innovative pacemaker-style gadget be approved in the U.S. The Optimizer Smart Implantable Pulse Generator boosts performance, strength, and pumping ability of weakened heart chambers.

Forget pumps. This innovative filter purifies H2O in 8 seconds flat

The Grayl Geopress water purification system removes more than 99 percent of all bacteria, cysts, and viruses from water in just eight seconds, providing clean drinking water to travelers and outdoor adventurers.

Built to take a beating and still perform, these are the best hiking watches

A proper hiking watch should track exercise metrics and act as a navigational co-pilot during any kind of hike. Ideally, it'll even have a built-in GPS system and sensors. Here are five of the best hiking watches.

Crush your next workout with the best Fitbit for every activity

Fitbits are amazingly helpful tools for setting fitness goals and tracking progress. However, different activities require different metrics. We've gathered a list of the best Fitbits for running, swimming, biking, and other activities.

These fitness deals come just in time to work off those holiday calories

Finding the motivation to work out is one thing. Finding space at home to get in a few sets and reps can be an entire challenge in itself. Luckily for you, Walmart and Amazon both have space saving fitness machines and tools on sale right…
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.