futurama’s solution to global warming
Bender, the loveable villain of the sci-fi comedy sitcom Futurama, has done a lot of interesting things through the show. Not only did he manage to find Robot Hell, he stumbled into a galaxy oddly resembling what could be called a deity with a little imagination, and apparently, played a key role in solving the problems caused by global warming in the far future. You might even say he saved the world with his beloved shiny metal ass by joining every other robot on Earth to vent their exhaust in the same direction, elongating the planet’s orbit and pushing it farther away from the sun.
Of course, in reality, it would take far more than just a few billion robot vents to push some 6 × 1021 tons away from its parent sun, especially when we consider that its equator rotates at just under 1,700 km per hour and generates an absolutely immense amount of kinetic energy in the process. Trying to actually move our world using nothing more than raw thrust more powerful than trillions of nuclear warheads combined, would trigger global tsunamis and earthquakes powerful enough to decimate entire nations. However, none of this means that the Earth could never be moved.
A gravitational nudge from asteroids passing close enough to the planet would gently move it back into an orbit farther from the Sun. All you’d need to do is create a chain of immense asteroids which brush past the Earth to steal a little of its rotational energy with some powerful rockets and a very careful set of calculations to make sure one of these giant space rocks doesn’t crash into the planet. Or, if we really wanted to put as little effort as possible into moving the Earth away from its home star, we could just wait and in just a few tens of thousand of years, the next Milankovitch cycle would trigger another ice age which would last for millennia and render the whole global warming issue rather moot…