Hans Peter Niesward, from the Department of Gravitationsphysik at the
ISA in Munich, says we can stop global warming in one big jump.
The slightly disheveled professor states his
case on WorldJumpDay.org, an Internet site created to recruit 600,000,000
volunteers to jump simultaneously on July 20 at 11:39:13 GMT in an effort
to shift Earth's position.
Niesward claims that on this day "Earth occupies one of the most
fragile positions in its orbits for the last 100 years." According to the
site, the shift in orbit will make the Earth a little further way from the
sun and "stop global warming, extend daytime hours and create a more
However, Niesward doesn't really exist. He is a character created by
Torsten Lauschmann, a German-born artist living in Scotland. Niesward is
Lauschmann himself or an actor.
Lauschmann's multimedia approach has allowed him to explore a wide
variety of subjects, including butterflies, paparazzi photos and, now, a
In 2005, Lauschmann encouraged scientists and bloggers from around the
world to discuss World Jump Day.
"He thought it would just circulate among friends, but it quickly
seemed to morph. Within weeks it was global - people in Australia were
talking about it on the radio," said Neil Mulholland, a reader in contemporary art theory at Edinburgh
College of Art. "The more it was discussed, the more people joined the
site, and it crashed several times."
But will people jump out of environmental activism or a commitment to
Members of the online environmental site treehugger.com have been
debating not only the physical possibility of the jump's promise but the
morality of its outcome.
Some believe it's risky to alter Earth's orbit, while others fear the
jump will make the Gregorian calendar obsolete because of the length of
Earth's new orbit. Others doubt the ability of the world's population to
synchronize an event like this.
The folks at madphysics.com have constructed an anti-World Jump Day
equations drawn up to dispute the validity of Niesward's - or Lauschmann's
One word of caution: The site tells those of us living in the eastern
part of the United States to jump at 6:39:13 because we are five hours
behind GMT, but that is not true in July. Because of daylight savings time , Lauschmann has a part of the
United States jumping an hour