Cairo became notorious for slaughtering it’s pigs to prevent swine flu earlier this year. The city forgot that pigs had become an essential part of it’s ecology— they ate the organic waste.
The pigs of Cairo ensured there was no need to landfill, saving greenhouse gas emissions effectively. The city is now wondering what to do with its wet garbage.
One experiment was to encourage goats. Sadly, these are picky animals and won’t do for the city what the swine did.
The zabaleen — a local term for waste collectors — have refused to collect wet waste. The city is now struggling to start composting.
With so much wet waste rotting in the city, the greenhouse gases emitted have likely increased. India should learn from Egypt’s follies and consider including piggeries in our formal waste management rules.
Many of you reading this may glance at SuperFreakonomics, the sequel to the best selling Freakanomics.
When you do, look out for the part on climate change, which, says: “Any religion, meanwhile, has its heretics, and global warming is no exception”. But history shows that any global problem of this dimension needs heretics to push the agenda ahead and propel change.
Given the impact the North Americans lifestyle on Indians, we should be happy for even more heretics pushing Americans to shrink their consumption.