Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cetacean Liposuction

Last field campaign, I was discussing my whale farm proposal with one of our fieldies. As a South Australian farmer, he’s naturally interesting in any sort of animal husbandry that doesn’t require rain, so after a few kilometers he pointed out an obvious inefficiency in my scheme.

In the original plan, mankind’s oil needs were to be supplied by the slaughter of 630 million sperm whales each year. This isn’t necessarily a problem- environmental groups are historically indifferent to the plight of marine mammals, but it does create a waste management issue.

Whales are only about 10-20% oil, so the mass killing of millions of them would rapidly produce an inconvenient pile of whale carcasses. If the blubber could be extracted from the whale without harming the animal, then this inefficiency can be solved.

Thus, whale liposuction is the obvious solution. Without having to worry about the herd’s growth rate, a steady state population can be maintained with a factor of 10 fewer animals. This the size of the planet to house them will be similarly reduced. It would still require 10 times more water than exists in Earth’s hydrosphere, but instead of having to use Ganymede as a whale breeding facility, we could get by with an icy body the size of Pluto, or Triton.

And there might be additional bonuses. The planet’s cadre of cosmetic veterinarians need never worry about unemployment again, and the prospect of seeing svelte, physically fit whales might broaden the pool of prospective whale watchers.


Anonymous said...

"...Whales are only about 10-20% oil, so the mass killing of millions of them would rapidly produce an inconvenient pile of whale carcasses ..."

Betcha the Japanese would be interested in that!

I can't say I support this idea though...(sorry)

Dr. Lemming said...

Sadly, sperm whale meat is considered inedible, even by the Japanese.

Eger said...

Whales make great oil, but if you kill them, you cut down on your number of producers of both oil and more whales. Liposuction could be the key to solving all of the worlds energy problems. We would just have to harvest it in the summer so they have time to put on some insulation before winter rolls around again.

There's lots of fat humans out there too. Heck, they made soap out of it in Fight Club. I bet you could run an SUV off the stuff. Just have to figure out how to design the seats so they suck the butt fat right out into the gas tank.