Marketplace has an article about Resomation-a new treatment for corpses that is being pitched as the green alternative to cremation. By dissolving the body, they are really only accelerating the natural decomposition process, but this is not always the way that people want to think about what happens when they die. It seems that there are some who are also opposed to this alkaline body dissolving solution because they are worried what will happen to the post treatment liquids. We have entered a time when death is so removed from life that even thinking about having to interact with something that has been part of death is frightening.
If we are really worried about the carbon emissions of cremation, perhaps it is time to return to the old tradition of the dead being laid out on a pyre to be consumed by birds. This does get a bit messy( and the smell is not good) so perhaps the use of dermestid beatles would be a cleaner, most clinical way to dispose of cadavers without the use of any energy at all. The resulting clean bones could be ground into bone meal and returned to fertilize the soil.
No matter what path we choose for disposing of our dead loved ones, we would all be better to remember that we are part of the cycle… and there is no life, without death.