The Null Device

The reindeer gas problem

The Liberal Democrats have volunteered to be the butt of humourless-environmentalist jokes by issuing a Christmas statement saying that Santa Claus should deliver his presents by bus because reindeer are too polluting.
According to the Lib Dems, nine reindeer would emit methane with a global-warming impact equivalent to 40,667 tonnes of carbon dioxide as they covered the 122 million miles needed to deliver to every house in the world.
This makes his sleigh ride almost as environmentally unfriendly as an aircraft, which would produce 41,480 tonnes of CO2 on the Christmas Eve trip.
Of course, the question arises of whether a bus covering those distances at the speed required to deliver all the presents would be any less polluting. Unless they mean that Mr. Claus uses existing bus services and other public transport to do his deliveries, in which case they would most probably take many years to complete, and leave many non-urban children completely without presents.

There are 1 comments on "The reindeer gas problem":

Posted by: Paulo http:// Tue Dec 27 11:35:14 2005

Right, but can't eat a bus. More seriously, the methane comes from the grass which fixes carbon from the air. You can assume that gas will end in a grass fluff again, which might not be the case from CO2 from petrol derivative.