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Carbon dioxide, lifeblood of our planet

By Ken Calvert - posted Monday, 22 November 2021


The socialist half of our political world is determined to label CO2 as dirty carbon. But I would like to label it as life giving 'blood'. We have two kinds of blood. Bright red arterial on the way out from the heart. That's oxygen as we breathe in. And darker, but not black, venous blood on the way back. That's carbon dioxide as we breathe out. In at 400ppm and out at 4000, CO2 is an essential part of our life. And all that so called "dirty black carbon" is nowhere to be seen.

We don't eat coal, we eat delicious food. Our broad acre agriculture grows vast acreages of various grains for, direct consumption. The rest grows feed herbage for animals to convert into food. Feedstuff into foodstuff, the basis for energy and everything in all our life forms. Those life forms comprise both plants and animals, insects and everything microscopic. Carbon is the basis of all life.

The socialists try to debase energy because they want to downsize industry and capital, but they picked the wrong stuff to demonise. Carbon is a lot more versatile than that. Try buying a couple of carats of diamond for your sweetheart and you will think twice about the price of carbon. Being a science fiction addict I have read of all the other possible life forms in other worlds out there! Silicon is tetravalent, like carbon on the periodic table, and fighting solid rocky robots with liquid quartz for blood makes exciting reading. Taking Germanium, the next one down the table brings up the genre of solid state electronic intelligence. However, the retired scientist in me takes it all with a pinch of the proverbial. For us, its carbon or nothing.

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Ever since steam power created the industrial revolution, coal as the most easily accessible form of carbon has been the most economic source of energy with power that, until the recent appearance of nuclear, exceeded everything else. Even the most elementary railway locomotive could run faster and longer than any horse and carriage. Since 1862 the Flying Scotsman, and its subsequent models to this day, does the London Edinburgh run faster than anything else. That's if you add in the waiting times to get in and out of Heath Row and Edinburgh Airports.

Any steam ship could sail head on into any gale, and that was the end of sail. Yet one line of politics wants to revive wind as the renewable energy of the future. However nobody wants to also mention the cost of those backup spinning reserve power stations that are needed to seamlessly take up the strain when the wind dies down or a cloud goes over the sun. Every one of those back ups, be they diesel, natural gas turbines or whatever, they are `nearly all carbon based.

As sentient beings we breathe in oxygen and we breathe out carbon dioxide; we are intelligent and we are unique. Nevertheless, its only our very recent developments, by means of the Kepler space telescope, that we have confirmed that. We are discovering lots of other planetary systems in the milky way, our own local galaxy. And we have followed up on those discoveries, and tried with every sensory system known to mankind, to find some kindred spirits. However, SETI, the search for extra terrestrial intelligence, which has been going on ever since Galileo invented the telescope, has never discovered another intelligent anything. So, let us more than just surmise, that people are more important than planets. Intelligence is more important than existence. And carbon is not that simple!

Its only in the last half of the 20th century that we have discovered just how complex organic carbon chemistry really is. At university in the early sixties, within many of our lifetimes, our lecturers, admittedly amongst themselves, were still in healthy debate over life's origins, the big bang, and whether Watson and Crick had got it right over DNA? And we are still in healthy debate over both DNA, and the 1070 and more, possible combinations of amino acids in the elementary proteins, that we thought used to make up that simplistic blob of protoplasm that we call an amoeba. Could it all have been derived by chance or providence? Having just read the latest book by Dr.Stephen Meyer, entitled the 'Return of the God Hypothesis', I am convinced that its not only the complexity of life itself but also the so called spontaneity of the 'Big Bang' that we need to think about. Someone needed to enter in all the inputs and outcomes before He/She/It got to press the button!

Are we doing our life and our intelligence a grave disservice by labelling it all dirty carbon? I think so! So lets keep carbon out of politics, even though we want to call the greenies black, because that was their idea and they started it!

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About the Author

Ken Calvert is a retired waste treatments chemist/engineer and has spent most of his working life in the third world, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, and mainly with coffee processing. For every tonne of Coffee beans exported there is 4 tonnes of dirty water and three tonnes of rotten fruit pulp to be disposed of. His website is www.coffee.20m.com.

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