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Swimming pool to be heated by the dead?

A local council in the UK believes it can combat global warming and save money by using energy from a crematorium to heat its swimming pool and leisure center.

Sometimes, it seems to take a lot of energy to save energy. It seems to take a considerable carbon footprint to save a carbon toeprint.

So please join me in commending the council members in Redditch, U.K., who, according to the Guardian, have come up with a mortally interesting concept to heat their Abbey Stadium swimming pool and leisure center.

They'd like to keep it warm by using cold, dead bodies. Well, scalding dead bodies, to be precise.

I am sorry if this alarms you. But, in a rather charming example of zoning, there happens to be a crematorium next door to the swimming pool. And, well, all the heat generated by carnal incineration tends to get lost in the atmosphere.

Sometimes, British crematoriums can be architecturally interesting. (This one's in London) CC Matt from London/Flickr

So why not use it to warm those who go for a swim in order to delay their date of departure from this earth?

The council is dead certain that it can save 14,500 British pounds (more than $22,000) every year from its ingenious thought. It might seem a little macabre, it says, but it's terribly green.

There are, of course, those who feel a little squeamish about this novel form of body heat. I am not sure I would want my burning granny to be warming large men in Speedos.

Indeed, the Guardian quotes Simon Thomas, a funeral director, who seems concerned about his customers: "I don't know how comfortable people would feel about the swimming pool being heated due to the death of a loved one, I think it's a bit strange and eerie."

Perhaps, though, he should think of it in the same spirit that he thinks of organ donation. In this new era in which we're all supposed to just get along, regardless of our wealth or political persuasion, isn't it lovely that even the dead might have a burning need to give back?