Bunnies for Biofuel?

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | August 18, 2010 9:24 am

This week I’m taking part in a short course entitled Energy Technology and Policy at UT. Posting may be light, but in the mean time, take a look at this article from Spiegel last year… Initially I thought this sounded like a piece out of the The Onion, but apparently Sweden is burning rabbits for fuel:

DEU BW Wetter OsternShot, Frozen and Burnt
Sweden Turning Stray Rabbits Into Biofuel

Stray rabbits are getting a raw deal in Sweden. Thousands of them living in the center of Stockholm are being culled, deep frozen and converted into biofuel for heating homes. Wildlife campaigners have criticized the practice.

Thousands of rabbits, some of them pets abandoned by their owners, are being shot, deep-frozen and burned in a heating plant in Sweden, a professional hunter who works for the city of Stockholm said on Tuesday.

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The center of the Swedish capital is being plagued by thousands of rabbits, some of them wild and some of them stray pets, and 3,000 have been culled this year, down from 6,000 in 2008, Tommy Tuvunger, who hunts rodents for the Stockholm city administration, told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Read on here

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Education, Energy, Environment
MORE ABOUT: rabbits, sweden

Comments (6)

Links to this Post

  1. You make Bunny cry! « hectocotyli | August 22, 2010
  1. It’s good that they didn’t introduce a non-native species to deal with this problem. Hopefully people are learning their lesson with that.

    Mostly off topic, I remember seeing an Eastern European (Russian?) fellow on a news magazine show (20/20, I think) a few years ago that was breeding HUGE bunnies. And he was in talks with the North Korean government to breed them for food. Bunnies: it’s what’s for dinner.

  2. Marius

    Rabbits are indigenous to regions of Spain and Portugal, not Sweden. So in a sense they aren’t a native species…

  3. FUAG

    Another great example of where the cuteness of the species directly relates to the level of outrage when they are killed. Much like “Dolphin safe Tuna”…. but what about the Tuna!

    Sounds like they came up with a single solution that covers two problems. Killing two birds with one stone (ugly birds of course…)

  4. peter

    I like rabbit stew…

  5. Thomas

    Amoebamike, red foxes would normally be a good predator on rabbits, but recent decades Swedish foxes have been hit hard by scabies. Also rabbits tend to have easier to adapt to urban environments, foxes have to be more mobile to hunt and thus are more vulnerable to being run over. There are some foxes in central Stockholm, just not enough of them.


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.com For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.


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