Technology Folklore

SEAOWETOO

The International Association of Scientists gather intermittently to discuss issues of the day. They employ a format that requires members to project themselves into the subject. Unusual certainly, but personally stimulating.

Historically they have role played about WHAT IF I WAS AN ELEMENT OF URANIUM, IS PERPETUAL MOTION POSSIBLE and WHAT IF I WAS A HUMAN EYE. Participants are required to express themselves from technical and application points of view.

In a timely fashion, this year’s subject is WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A MOLECULE OF CARBON DIOXIDE?

A delegate from Austria, Sophia Augustine, stepped forward. I am a molecule of carbon dioxide and feel very special as a result. At standard room and temperature the world knows me as dry ice.  Personally I feel very unique because when I am seen in public I am solid and very cold. When you look away for a period and upon looking back you will see nothing, no evidence like I ever existed. My journey takes me from a solid as dry ice to a gas without seemingly ever being a liquid. My process is called sublimation.

Next to the podium was Ralph Sturgis a research chemist from New Zealand. I am molecule of carbon dioxide in a gaseous form until called upon to distinguish a fire. At that moment the firefighter will release me from my compressed state and spray me onto the burning material. My skills smothers the fire.

An Indonesian scientist, Ismail Wenda, was next. My responsibility as a carbon dioxide molecule is as a refrigerant. I am one of several compounds in refrigerators that provides the cooling effect.

Ulma Jorgensen from Denmark could hardly contain herself when saying I am the great the greatest carbon dioxide molecule of all when I am the catalyst for the photosynthesis process. This is the process of creating sugar and oxygen from carbon dioxide, water and light. Combined these compounds and energy create all forms of vegetation

Following on Tsumugi Suzuki from Japan said that as a molecule of carbon dioxide her skills as a relatively inert gas are welcomed in the welding of aluminum which will burn in a normal environment.

An Irish researcher, Oliver Taylor, commented that providing fizz in soda water gave him a great sense of self-worth.

Eventually the big one surfaced as Margarete Reynolds from the United States opined my role as a molecule of carbon dioxide is as a greenhouse gas, generated from of all forms of anything that is combustible. I contribute to heat retention in the global atmosphere. Until recently my presence was fundamental to the greening of the world until much more of me was generated than the greening process consumed. Too much and we have the dreaded global warming. I am a worldwide villain.

Following on, Frank Smith from Canada introduced himself as a molecule of carbon. His origins are the same as Margarete’s. That is to say, as the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases the more is dissolved in the rivers, lakes and oceans. This changes directly and indirectly all aspects of marine life. Increasing acidity alters food supplies in particular.

The Chair thanked the presenters.  He observed that the influence of carbon dioxide on atmospheric and ocean temperatures is profound.  Some debate remains about climate changes due to increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There is no doubt carbon dioxide absorbed into oceans interrupts ecosystems that are essential to sustaining marine life in all respects. As carbon dioxide I increase water temperatures and acidification both of which discourage plant and marine life.

A conversation ensued among the delegates about the relative impact by the same molecule. For example while constant hubbubs accompany the atmospheric temperature issue, comparatively speaking little is heard about increasing ocean temperature, increasing acidity and the very serious consequences.

The warming of the atmosphere and subsequent outcomes draw a great deal of attention because of the nature of the     energy industry. It is powerful, very profitable, concentrated, major sources of governmental income and now under assail from sources other than fossil fuels.

Marine based industries do not have the same ingredients. Simply put, neither awareness nor politically based actions interfere with the threat to marine based foods because of increasing carbon dioxide dissolving in oceans.

This is in spite of a worldwide dependency on food, employment and taxation.

The Conference Chairman summed up the conversation by observing that ocean warming and acidification is evil twins of global warming.

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Technology Folklore

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