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Think yourself fat to save the planet

Two new scientific breakthroughs should allow us to think our way to a greener world.

Gas may well be cheaper, but for how long? The markets shoot up, so does the demand for oil and suddenly you're filling your tank through your nose again.

In my daily quest to rid the world of its ills and leave only the smiles of stupefied faces, I believe I have found the solution to this crushing dilemma. It lies in two very recent scientific happenings.

Firstly, there was the mind-altering research performed at the Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada. Dr. Angelo Tremblay's team of intrepid psychosomatists found that it is entirely likely that thinking can make you fat.

Apparently, thinking uses up so much energy that you want to eat more. And more. Almost 30% more. Which presumably means that Luciano Pavarotti did far more thinking than singing throughout his life. And that Janet Jackson has periods when she cogitates mercilessly, punctuated by swathes of time when she allows air to waft gently from her locks.

Jean-Philippe Chaput, the main author of the study, was quoted in the Daily Telegraph as declaring that: "Caloric overcompensation following intellectual work, combined with the fact we are less physically active when doing intellectual tasks, could contribute to the obesity epidemic currently observed in industrialized countries."

(You see, Americans are so obese because they're so intellectual. Up yours, Europe.)

How, then, can we use this excess of brains and fat to alter our globally warmed landscape? Well, we only need to turn to the daring work performed by Dr. Alan Bittner. I use the word 'daring' because Dr. Bittner's work has sucked him into a little bother.

This appears to be an early experiment in generating enough fuel to go from Copenhagen to Stockholm. CC Stig Nygaard

He is the Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who allegedly turned fat from his patients into biodiesel, which he used to avoid his local Chevron and inject directly into the butt of his Ford Explorer and his girlfriend's Lincoln Navigator.

A gallon of human fat produces about a gallon of fuel. And the mileage you get out of your love handles is roughly the same as the mileage you get from diesel.

I understand and respect that currently it is illegal in the US to use fat produced by human guzzling to power your gas guzzler. But were that law to be relaxed, might we not be able to kill a whole flock of birds with one intellectual stone?

We could encourage the population to think more. People would therefore eat more. Then their excess poundage could be donated to fuel manufacturers. These voluntarily impounded donations would be tax deductible, naturally. And would result in a slimmer, fitter population. Until the people started thinking again, that is.

As the nation would become smarter, so would our cars. And the environment would tweet its gratitude from every river and treetop.

It is encouraging to be able to use science to solve so many of the world's problems by January 2nd. What would you like me to solve next? The financial crisis? I'm already onto it.