Diary

Today's "Idiot with a calculator" Award goes to ...

All Nippon Airways. This is so dumb I’m having a hard time actually believing it’s not actually a hoax, but according to this story, as an experiment, the geniuses at ANA are going to save the planet by having you urinate before you board the plane. Given this is Japan’s domestic airline, there’s a green tea joke there but I’m leaving it to you to come up with it.

Airline staff will be present at boarding gates in terminals to ask passengers waiting to fly to relieve themselves before boarding, The Independent reported.

ANA hopes the weight saved will lead to a five-tonne reduction in carbon emissions over the course of 30 days.

Leaving aside the hoax of global warming, if you read the rest of the story and do the math yourself, you find the ‘idiot with a calculator’ in there without too much trouble.

Let’s take their contention that the average bladder carries 15 ounces of liquid at face value as well as the unspoken assumption that everyone showing up at the gate really has to go! Now if you accept my assumption that the weight of urine’s about the same as water that means, on a 150 passenger airplane, if everyone gets on empty … and their kidneys don’t function for the duration of the flight… then you didn’t haul about 141 pounds of urine on that flight. (OK, you realize that if you asked everyone to dispense with 10 pounds of carry on luggage you’d be 10x more green, but that’s not what I’m carping about here.)

They say they’re going to do this on a whopping 42 flights over the course of a month. Well, if you continue with their math, that’s 150 people times 15 ounces of urine times 42 flights or 94,500 ounces of urine, equating to 5,906.25 pounds or 2.95 tons.

Hold the phone. According to the story, not hauling 2.95 tons of urine through Japanese skies “will lead to a five-tonne reduction in carbon emissions”? A “tonne” is a metric ton, that is, 1,000 kilos. At 2.2 pounds per kilo what the contention is here is that not hauling around 2.95 tons of urine keeps 11 tons of carbon out of the atmosphere?

We have one of two things here– either we should just give up on all this green baloney because the planet and the human race is doomed or, we have an idiot with a calculator in charge at ANA.