A lot of stories lately have been detailing the unbelievably bad smog situation in urban China. Recently, we read one about some clever entrepreneurs who have come up with a solution to the problem—canned air! The guy is selling them more as a political statement than an actual business venture, but it was enough to remind us that with big problems, sometimes the only solutions left to try are the stupid ones. Here are 5 overlooked solutions to pollution that we are pretty sure will work.
A lot of the focus on the Chinese smog has been about how dangerous it has become, but the bigger question here is really, why are people in China still going outdoors in 2013. We can work on computers, play, meet people, express ourselves, and do our shopping. We haven’t left the house since Netflix started streaming videos in January 2007. All you need is an army of UPS folks with gasmasks (and maybe some internet repair personnel) and we should be all set.
We've all been told that cow farts are one of the leading causes of methane overproduction in the atmosphere. We also happen to know that humans have a long and often disturbing history of messing with the digestive system of cattle for our own ends. Once you have those two facts in hand, this solution basically writes itself. You start with a cow, surgically reverse its entire digestive tract, and viola—a methane filtration system! If everything goes as planned, the cow should now suck in methane from the atmosphere and poop fresh grass wherever it goes.
Evolution in a nutshell—some animals survive the environment, some don’t. Those that survive are generally more likely to pass on genes that are good for surviving in that environment. This means that we can beat pollution by making it even worse so that it kills off a bunch of us! That way, the survivors will be more likely to have pollution -resistant kids. Repeat that for a few thousand years and BAM—problem solved. (Oh, nevermind, we just read that air pollution already kills 3 million people a year, so we’re pretty much already doing this one.)
Roombas don’t have a problem with pollution, neither do Google cars or those nightmare dogs. We’re not saying that we should let the world be taken over by robots—that would be ridiculous. And eventually they would become sentient and kill us all. No, we’re just saying we should get cracking on digitalizing the human mind and downloading it into repairable, replaceable android hosts. At that point, not only will pollution no longer be a problem, it can be our planetary defense system in case carbon-based aliens ever try to invade. Keep it toxic—keep it safe!
In 1971 there was a film called Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster. SPOILER ALERT: Godzilla wins. That was 42 years ago! What has Godzilla been doing for all that time? Not fighting smog—that’s obvious. So, in a way, global pollution isn’t our problem, it’s Godzilla’s. We need to get some little girls down to the seashore to start singing for him to return, pronto! Actually, that might be Mothra—we’ll check our biology textbooks and get back to you.
So what do you think—any flaws in our plans that we’ve overlooked?