Monday, February 07, 2011

Malawi to ban flatulence (seriously)

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Pictured: Fart-free zone

Westerners aren’t the only ones afflicted with nanny-statism so absurd it would be amusing if it weren’t so disturbing. Enter Malawi’s newest approach to combating global warming:

The southern African nation may have made little impact at the world's major climate change negotiations, but that has not stopped it boldly going it alone and drafting the world's first anti-farting legislation. Well, at least the first that doesn't involve livestock.

The Local Courts Bill, set to be introduced next week, reads: "Any person who vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the public to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way shall be guilty of a misdemeanour."

Now to you and me, the bill appears to be aimed at air pollution, right? But fortunately, justice minister George Chaponda isn't hampered by our blinkered legal interpretations and is certain the new bill would criminalise flatulence in order to promote "public decency".

By dismissing solicitor general Anthony Kamanga's reasoned response – "How any reasonable or sensible person can construe the provision to criminalising farting in public is beyond me" – Chaponda has made it clear he understands that methane is second only to carbon dioxide as the most damaging greenhouse gas produced by human activity.

Or perhaps he is more bothered by nasty smells than climate change.

I suppose they should also start passing around memos encouraging them to minimize their import of legumes and garlic bread.

(via The Agitator)