Global warming is a big problem. But how do we solve it?

The answer is obvious if you think about it for just a few seconds (but no longer): Have everyone on the daylight side of the planet jump. We all know Newton's Third Law of Motion: When I jump up, the Earth jumps down. Normally this doesn't do much, because I'm a skinny guy and the Earth is really pretty darn heavy when you think about it. But you get a million people jumping and the effect is a million times bigger. We all jump simultaneously, pushing the Earth a bit farther from the Sun, and suddenly there's less risk of sunburn on your nose or massive catastrophic flooding where your expensive house used to be.

So now you're probably thinking, 'Great, I'll go out to a crowded street corner, shout for everyone to jump on the count of three, and global warming is deproblemised', but you'd be wrong. We need more than a crowded street corner of people to jump. We need millions. Luckily, the Internet is the perfit medium for organising such a massive groupjump, so Torsten Lauschmann Professor Hans Peter Niesward, of the Institute for Gravitational Physics in Munich, created http://www.worldjumpday.org/ and started organising. Thousands of people signed up for the momentous jump. In fact, over 600 000 000 people signed up, according to the counter. No, wait, only 598 000 000. No, wait...okay, so the counter couldn't be relied upon. But I signed up, and so did some of my friends. (Around 250 000 people, maybe?) When the time came, we would receive a reminder by email. Then, on the designated date, we would jump. First the people in this part of the world, then the people just west of them, and so on. Because, you know, if people on opposite sides of the world jumped at the same time, they'd cancel out. Only jump when the Sun is above your head!

'But wait!' you object. 'You said July 20, 2006. That was ages ago. Why do scientists say global warming is still an issue?' Well, there were several problems:

Firstly, I never got my email reminder. I know, an avid environmentalist such as I should not require a reminder of such an important event, but between saving the whales and not eating meat and planting trees, I found myself overwhelmed and somehow forgot all about this event until days later. This surely happened to lots of people. That's the biggest reason why World Jump Day failed.

Secondly, it's physically impossible for us jumping to have such an effect unless we launch ourselves into space. Those who did jump probably didn't even go a meter up before landing plot back down on the ground. Oops! Physics. People say it's evil corporations causing these problems, but when we came up with a clever solution, science kept it from succeeded, not Wal-Mart.

Lastly, six billion people, each weighing a generous average of 80KG average, is, like, a billionth of a percent of the mass of the Earth. Something like that. Basically, not much. An atom bomb would have much more force, and those didn't solve global warming, though enough of them sure would.

'Wait one second! You mean this was all bad science and bad math and a huge waste of time?' Well, yeah. Or no. I don't think it was a waste of time. I think it was fun. (Even though I missed it. D'oh!) It was a fabulous joke. Some call it art, even. Probably a few people signed up thinking it was real, but most (???) of us just found it amusing.


  • http://www.worldjumpday.org/
  • 'World Jump Day' on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Jump_Day
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