Those crazy Brits are at it again: Steve Jones, whose bio declares him “one of the world’s top six experts on the genetics of snails,” penned a column this week for the Telegraph in honor of Perrier’s 150th anniversary. The end product is a slightly rambling, thoroughly enjoyable look at the science of carbonation vis-a-vis climate change, including sentences like, “The break-up of the Arctic ice will also help Neptune to snort up more of mankind’s effluvium.”

First, fun soda facts: Perrier comes from a spring supposedly patronized by Hannibal’s army; carbonated water was invented in the 18th century by holding water above a beer barrel mid-fermentation; and soda-drinkers worldwide consume an average of 100 litres of the stuff each, per year. Which brings Jones to his most important point:

In principle, then, if everybody bought 10 times as much soda each year as they now do, and – crucially – never drank it, then we would mitigate quite a lot of the greenhouse gases that now threaten us.

To put that into context, the amount is roughly equivalent to what the human population breathes out each year (although it is only a few per cent of that generated by industry and the like). In other words, to stop worrying about global warming, go heavy on the gin, easy on the tonic, and hold your breath as you swallow it.

Would the New York Times ever print a column telling you to save the world by stockpiling Coke and making boozy G&Ts? Didn’t think so. Britain for the win.

[via The Telegraph]