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I am predicting a perfect storm.  I had an aha moment, inspiration, almost a revelation – a disaster is brewing.  Now that’s just what you need to hear about, right? Another disaster looming.  Well, you may be able to help, so please read on. There are three phenomena that I see coming together over the next few years that are not good. In fact together they stink! Let’s look at each in turn. First, you’ve all heard about climate change and the concern about greenhouse gasses.     It’s a reality. the second phenomenon is the baby boomer generation.  We of the ‘boomers’ are entering our dotage.  Frankly I’m not sure what that is, I’m quite happy with our condo. But I do know I am getting older and so are millions of others born not long after the second world war. It’s the third phenomena that links these two and has me worried (as I get older I find there are more things each day that get me worried – I get anxious about that). Where was I?  Oh yes, phenomenon the third. I’ll nudge you into this gently.  I remember laughing at a Giles cartoon many years ago.  The cartoon showed a scene where the family were sitting around the tv.  Grandma was sitting in a bath-chair – a basket contraption on wheels, wrapped in a blanket.  She had a small, self-satisfied smile on her face.  The other members of the family were pulling faces and wrinkling their noses.  The father was speaking harshly to the dog and pointing to the door.  The caption read something like “Pete hated it when grandma had cabbage for dinner”. The funny thing for me was that Giles obviously wanted us to know that every one in the family knew where the bad smell had come from, or I should say from whom it had come, and it wasn’t the dog!  But being a polite English family they couldn’t blame Grandma. Pete, the dog, took one for the team. As we age, it seems our digestive system processes our food intake differently. Our body seems capable of sufficient gas to keep an airship afloat.  I can’t bring myself to say the four-letter F word that seems quite common today, no not that one, the one that describes the reaction when a sphincter releases the pressure of flatulence.  In the good old days we referred to this as having gas, or wind. I know you think I’m just a persnickety old f–t.  Well toot-toot to you! So here’s my concern.  Is the gas released through flatulence a greenhouse gas?  If so, how much of it does an older person release each day?  And what is this multiplied by the extra numbers of seniors we are expecting?  And, as life expectancy in the west increases what does this do to those calculations.  Will this shortly cause irreparable damage to the ozone layer? What can be done to avert this pending crises?  Our medical practitioners urge us to eat more fibre!  Do they know what the effect of that could be? If you are nearing or have reached that gaseous age please think of the environment and take steps to reduce your gas production – your immediate and world environments will thank you. I feel better for getting that out.

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