This sort of appeals: the idea that I might be useful after I’m dead! I am hot stuff when I am alive, so why not?
The city of Durham in England is installing a special crematorium, designed to burn corpses to generate electricity. Apparently, we can get as much 150 kilowatt-hours of juice from a single corpse — enough to power 1,500 televisions for an hour (Oh no! I don’t want to go like that!!)
We are told that the process makes cremation much greener by utilizing its by-products. I’m all for green. But burying is pretty good for ecology too. I’m happy to push up plants and crops (not GMO, thanks).
God, do I sound like a nit-picky corpse?
Thing is, in Europe, tightening regulations on crematorium emissions, coupled with the high price of energy, will lead more and more facilities to go the way of Durham in the future.
Will crematories in the United States follow suit? Not any time soon. The expensive turbine systems being installed in Durham are not yet economically viable for crematories here in the USA. They don’t have enough through-put, I’m told. Cremation in some parts of Europe is over 90 percent, but it is not over 50 percent yet in the USA.
Then there is a better idea: why not eat the old folks when they are gone? That would solve the coming population/food shortage, wouldn’t it? Throw in a bit of salt and pepper; it would certainly add new meaning to the term “spice of life”.
Nah! Actually not. Cannibalism on a global scale could never work in the long term. Humans are just not very “meaty” compared with cows, pigs, deer and other animals.
Even if social conventions broke down to such a catastrophic extent that we began eating each other wholesale, humans are simply not that nutritionally viable when compared to other mammals, says James Cole of the University of Southampton ‘s Center for the Archaeology of Human Origins.
Still, even the fact that these issues are being aired (and they are) gives me the creeps.