(Editor's note: This is a cached page found by Google so the site no longer exists and may not be available much longer.)
Picture the scene. It's the year 2103, and it's been fifty years since global
thermonuclear war laid waste to the entire northern hemisphere. However, the
southern hemisphere was left relatively unscathed, and there exists bustling,
developed communities throughout the now populous Australasia, Africa and South
America. Miraculously, the human race has managed to avoid making itself
extinct. However, the future of our species is being challenged by a threat even
greater than ourselves: global slowing. Already, the length of a day is over 29
hours, and the rate of day dilation is increasing all the time! In fact, each
day is 530 millionths of a percent longer than the previous one, which may not
sound like much, but if the process continues, a day in 3003 would last a week
Global slowing in not totally unexpected though. According to classical global slowing theory, the planet should lose about one second every 625 years or so, meaning a dinosaur day lasted about 23.5 hours, and a 2103 day should last 24 hours and about half a second. Why are the days getting longer than predicted? What could have caused this sudden deceleration of earth? Scientists all over the world were baffled by the planet's increasing lethargy, and numerous international summits had failed to reach any definitive explanation.
And a week-long day isn't just an inconvenience! As daylight and dark hours continue to lengthen, plant life will be unable to adapt quickly enough to the new conditions, meaning the only primary food sources will have to be grown in artificial conditions, greatly reducing harvests, increasing fuel consumption and destroying whole countries' economies. Things aren't much better in the oceans, as the plankton swarms struggle to survive in the new conditions. Their position at the bottom of the food web means that all other organisms in the ocean struggle to survive too. Clearly something must be done, and done soon!
The problem, obviously, is that people drive on the wrong side of the road.
Viewed from above, every time a car driving on the right passes another going the other way, a system with considerable angular momentum is created. The moment is anticlockwise from above, meaning that the axis is directed outwards, away from the earth. If the northern hemisphere was populated, there would be no problem, as the angular momentum from the southern hemisphere's traffic would approximately cancel that of the northern hemisphere traffic. However, with all cities north of Madrid uninhabitable for hundreds of years, the bustling traffic of the southern hemisphere is unbalanced, and an overall angular momentum will be produced, with an axis from the north pole to south pole. This angular momentum has direction antiparallel to that of the earth's rotation, which passes straight through the poles from south to north. The slowing effect that the southern hemisphere's traffic is having on the earth, though tiny, is enough to cause massive deceleration over decades.
Luckily, this problem for tomorrow has been found today, and it is our responsibility, no, our duty, to prepare for it by driving on the left!
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