Ladies and gentlemen, you saw it here first! This is the beginning of a movement that just might save our planet.
There are a few long words involved, and even some numbers, so please bear with me while I explain.
First, the numbers. According to the March 2013 issue of National Geographic, some British scientists have calculated that the world’s overweight people add 3.9 million tons of weight to the planet. With her human population at 7 billion plus, the last thing poor old Mother Earth needs is millions of us, selfishly slurping our supersized sodas, adding weight to the load she already carries.
After all, she’s facing enough challenges. Global warming, for example. Some people believe that melting ice is going to raise sea levels and flood low-lying coastal areas all around the world.
Those two pieces of information may seem disheartening. Put them together, though, and what they add up to is not a crisis, but a wonderful opportunity.
The secret behind this opportunity is the little-known principle of isostasy. This term describes the way the Earth’s crust stays in equilibrium. When an area has a lot of weight on it, it sinks, just like your foam mattress pad or seat cushion does when you sit down on it. When that weight is removed, the area rises, the same way the foam cushion rises back to its former shape when you get up.
Isostasy explains what happens at the end of an Ice Age. All those heavy glaciers melt, and the ground where they used to be rises—no doubt with a great sigh of relief.
Here’s how this could save the planet. Just suppose all the obese people in the world went on diets and lost all those excess pounds. According to the principle of isostasy, the ground they inhabit would rise. This just might lift the coasts enough to keep them above the rising sea levels and save them from being flooded. Losing weight, then, wouldn’t just be good for each of us as individuals. It would also benefit our poor old overloaded planet.
As an added bonus, being slender would allow us not just to cope with global warming, but to even enjoy it. Just think how much better we would look in short shorts and bikinis.
The geologist who shares my life and my living space (which is safely in the middle of the country far about sea level, thank you) was unkind enough to point out that this plan isn’t supported by science. According to him, the theory doesn’t quite hold up.
To which I say, let’s not allow inconvenient facts to stand in the way of progress. When has the lack of scientific validity ever stopped a popular movement? We have slogans to create, websites to build, videos to make, and followers to tweet to. Above all, we have grants to apply for.
To start things off, here is my personal pledge: Starting today, I promise to lose the 8 extra pounds that make up my share of humanity’s 3.9 million tons of excess poundage.
Every great movement has to start somewhere.