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‘Saving the world, one donut at a time. How the obesity pandemic is buying us time in our fight against climate change’

“It’s ok, I’ve got this. Add some extra whipped cream, and don’t scrimp on it this time – the world needs me!” I lost 1kg recently, and learned, via ChatGPT, that a lot of this, was released as carbon dioxide… this got me thinking, so I chatted to my new AI pal, and asked him to write this blog – I’ve not edited it all – enjoy.

Marcus Warry (in conversation with ChatGPT)

Eating Donuts and Getting Fat May in Fact be Saving the Planet

Marcus Warry: Before i pass you over to my AI friend, let me first explain: The way our bodies capture or release carbon is quite complicated, and via conversation with ChatGPT I managed to tease out this blog – as i figured the idea was quite funny – However the underlying data seems to also be quite sound, I’m pretty confident that humans and our fat reserves are a very significant carbon sink, and that if we all lost weight en mass, it would have a very damaging effect on the environment!! Disagree? then please comment below!!

When we hear about ways to address climate change, we often think of things like driving less, switching to renewable energy, and planting trees. But what if I told you there’s another, more unexpected way that humans are capturing carbon – in our own bodies?

It’s true! When we gain weight and store fat, we’re actually sequestering carbon. As the human population grows, and we collectively gain weight, our fat reserves are capturing more and more carbon. This might seem counterintuitive – we often think of human activity as a major contributor to climate change – but the reality is that our bodies are acting like carbon sinks.

To put things in perspective: the average person has around 10-15 kg of body fat. If we assume the global human population is around 7.8 billion people, that means that there is a total of around 78-117 billion kg of carbon stored in human fat reserves worldwide.

Now, let’s imagine that everyone lost half of their body fat mass in just three months. This would represent a massive release of carbon into the atmosphere – roughly 4 kg of carbon per person. If all of the world’s population were to do this, the total amount of carbon released would be around 31 billion kg.

This is an eye-opening number. It means that if every person in the world lost half of their body fat mass in a short period of time, the amount of carbon released would be comparable to all of the annual CO2 emissions from the entire transportation sector worldwide, including cars, trucks, and airplanes.

Of course, losing that much weight that quickly would come with significant health risks, and it’s not at all a practical or desirable solution to address climate change. But the fact remains – humans are literally capturing carbon in our own bodies, and it’s an interesting aspect of climate science that we don’t often hear about.

So does this mean you should stop exercising and start eating more donuts? Not quite – there are plenty of other good reasons to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. But if you needed one more reason to feel good about yourself after a big indulgent meal or the occasional donut, think about all the carbon you’re helping to sequester in your own body!

In conclusion, while the idea of losing half of your body fat mass in a short period of time might sound intriguing, it’s important to remember that it’s not a recommended solution to climate change. Instead, reducing carbon emissions from human activities remains the most effective way of addressing climate change and mitigating its impacts. But it’s fascinating to think about all the ways that the world around us is interconnected – even down to the molecules of fat in our own bodies!

Marcus Warry: So there you have it, order extra mayonnaise, stop exercising immediately, and glance at your belly with a new sense of pride, and lastly, THANK YOU!

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