Tom Purcell, 6/16/2008 [Archive]

Bugged By Global Warming

Bugged by Global Warming

By Tom Purcell

Bugs. They want us to eat bugs.

I speak of a recent article in Time that explains why eating bugs is good for the environment.

As it goes, bugs require "little room and few resources to grow." Bugs are cold-blooded invertebrates, you see. They are efficient. Much more of the grub they eat is converted into edible bug body parts than is the case with our friends the cows.

Cows are warm-blooded vertebrates. They need to consume lots more food just to keep their body temperature steady. Their food is grown on farms. Fossil fuels must be burned to harvest, process and transport it. Farming requires lots of land and water.

"It takes far less water to raise a third of a pound of grasshoppers than the staggering 869 gal. needed to produce the same amount of beef," reports Time.

True, but a hunk of steak is less likely to hop off your plate while you're trying to eat it.

Better yet, bugs are good for us. A 3.5 oz. portion of caterpillars contains 1oz. of protein. That's more than you'd get in the same amount of chicken -- assuming the caterpillars don't try to crawl out of you.

Water bugs have four times as much iron as beef. Of course, you need to be four times as drunk to consume them.

And bugs are tasty. People in other cultures have been enjoying them for years. We narrow-minded Americans wouldn't know that, though. We wouldn't know that chocolate and waxworm cookies are delicious (and I'm not making that one up).

If you find the concept of bug eating amusing -- if you find it icky -- you might want to think again. The way things are headed, you may be eating plenty of bugs soon.

Look, where global warming is concerned, I'm with syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer -- I'm a global warming agnostic. It can't be good that we're pumping so much CO2 into the environment -- and it may be that our activity is having an effect on the climate.

On the other hand, it may be we're having little or no effect. Despite what many global-warming alarmists are saying, science doesn't know for certain. Science has two speeds: "proven as fact" and "not sure." Like it or not, the scientific theory that humans are causing the Earth to warm is still in the "not sure" camp.

Nonetheless, we're racing ahead in an anti-global-warming frenzy. Some global-warming advocates have turned the issue into a religion -- the believers shall be exalted and the deniers shall be burned at the stake.

Many in the media -- folks who are supposed to be skeptical about things -- are as enamored of the "humans-are-destroying-the-Earth" story-line as they are of Barack Obama. They love to report doomsday scenarios that scare the bejesus out of us.

Corporations have jumped on board. They don't want bad press for denying or contributing to warming, and the better-run corporations are exploiting the frenzy to make dough.

As more folks embrace a religious conviction that humans are the cause of warming, the politicians are right with them. There aren't many votes in second-guessing the global warming gods. Both presidential candidates are in the global warming camp.

And the do-gooders, who love to control what the rest of us do, believe they've finally landed an issue that will give them the power they seek -- the power to make the rest of us sacrifice on a global scale to save Mother Earth.

The do-gooders are making tremendous headway. That's why I recommend you bone up on your cooking techniques.

You especially might want to master the use of garlic and butter and other spices and herbs that will effectively mask the taste of those crunchy critters we usually step on or swat.

You might want to invest in a good-quality blender, too ("bugamole," anyone?). Because the global-warming frenzy is picking up intensity. And that means one thing.

Bugs. They want us to eat bugs.

© 2008 Tom Purcell. Tom is a humor columnist nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons. For more info contact Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Visit Tom on the web at or e-mail him at

RESTRICTIONS: 'Tom Purcell's column may not be reprinted in general circulation print media in Pennsylvania's Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties. It may appear only in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and its sister publications."

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