Saturday, November 28, 2009
"We are all going to die"
Advice to those of an excitable nature, offered as a template.
Why yes we are. Is that news to you? Now stop thrashing about in the water and do something useful. Ideally create wealth so that we can use some of it for nice things like cleaning up and improving education, to a quality level we had 70 years ago. The correct answer is never to display poverty, ignorance, and bad teeth as a badge of honor. To do so is Onanism.
Is CO₂ a poison? Everything is really. The reason that living organisms developed elegant and sophisticated systems for oxidizing iron and transporting the bound oxygen for exchange with CO₂ is that the O₂ is a deadly poison. Many of the processes of life on Earth can be looked at as efforts to survive the corrosive effects of a high Oxygen environment. If the Earth had less free Oxygen and instead the atmosphere was a Nitrogen and Methane mix then organic compounds would be very stable. So stable that they would not need to devote scarce energy to Redox operations and the transportation and elimination of subsequent wastes. Fortunately our distance from the Sun provided the optimal amount of energy to sustain these reactions. More and the compounds would have become unstable and less and the complex chains never react.