I usually treat biomass fuel with a bit of levity. In fact, let's be honest: I've only written about it when it's centered on cow poop, leaving out all the groundbreaking, somewhat boring stories of other organic matter like wood pulp or alcohol fumes.
That's about to change, because while the biomass story below is about cute, sometimes ridiculous animals producing energy, it's also rather gruesome and difficult to joke about. Katie forwarded it to me from the Huffington Post, where they dramatically titled it "Heating Plant BURNS BUNNIES To Warm Swedes" (a level of title sensationalism Robert Lamb would likely appreciate).
The weird thing is, it's not much of a stretch: As reported by the English-language Swedish paper The Local, Stockholm's parks have been overrun by bunnies, most the progeny of pet rabbits released by their delinquent owners. To control the numbers of the blooming bunny population, animal control officers shoot the animals when they pop out of their holes. Last year, a whopping 6,000 rabbits were removed from the parks of Stockholm in this way.
But here's where it gets weird: The city didn't want to waste the animals. Instead, they're frozen, shipped off to a heating plant in central Sweden and burned for energy. Yikes, right? Bunny power -- it's hardly a PR-friendly alternative energy.
Anna Johannesson of Vilda kaniners värn or the Society for the Protection of Wild Rabbits, told the paper that "those who support the culling of rabbits surely think it's good to use the bodies for a good cause. But it feels like they're trying to turn the animals into an industry rather than look at the main problem." Huffington Post suggested that while, yes, it does sound thrifty in a sense, it's also a bit "sinister."
I might go with the word "nefarious." What do you think? Bunnies for fuel, or should Stockholm pursue other animal control methods? Plus, how many rabbits are the people of Stockholm releasing into their parks anyway?