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UPDATE: As world leaders differ about how to solve climate change at Cop26, studies that promote the value of volcanic ash in healing the environment are coming back around. Started nearly ten years ago, the studies mention its use as a carbon gas neutralizer of sorts. While this author questions the validity of that conclusion, volcanic ash has the potential to provide marine life with a rich source of sulfur and other minerals. Healthier sea life means higher metabolic rates. Plants would use more dissolved CO2 and release greater volumes of oxygen into the water. That conclusion is based on basic biochemistry. It seems nature knew what it was doing all along when it put active volcanoes so close to the ocean.
For many with some years on us, the 1970s news of dying coral reefs was the first indication of some sudden and unexpected environmental change--a change that scientists could neither explain nor remediate. As World leaders congregate in Glasgow for the U.N. Climate Change Conference (October 31-November 12), this lowly resident of Earth wonders if the attendees will continue to grumble about carbon gases and fossil fuel controls or finally come together to re-evaluate their own actions in what has brought the World to this point in time. Personally, I hope for the coral reefs and other forms of wildlife, it is the latter.
|National Geographic Photo |
Until the stunning and informative documentaries of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau in the 1970s, sea exploration was nearly unheard of. And yet, just a few years into its exploration, science was making alarming predictions about the role coral reefs played in the ecosystem. Before even learning to walk in this new science and without looking at the big environmental picture, scientists ran to blame everything from farming to industrial waste for the demise of this small and seemingly insignificant creatures.
Instead of approaching the problem from a fact-based physical evidence standpoint, observation and speculation became the basis for large scale decision-making. As a result, science squandered its first opportunity to repair climate change before it had really started. Now, forty years latter the science has become so corrupted by computer models and economic interests that countries are locked in a false narrative of what climate change is and how it should be reversed.
What is Coral?
While this may be an over simplification, coral are small basic lifeforms that act a bit like nature's water filtration system. Still, they are animals and are subject to the same nutritional (biochemical if you want a big word) rules as all animals. Herein lies the misconception that all environment studies have failed to recognize.
Coming at environmental science from a position of something toxic impacting coral, science has never considered that there is something missing from the environment and that this substance(s) was removed suddenly in the years prior to coral reefs dying.
Was there a light bulb that just went off in the minds of readers everywhere? There should be.
Wrong Science, REALLY?
Like the belief that the World is flat, science has assumed human intervention is needed to keep climate variations in check. Who is to say this assumption isn't along the same misguided observation-based notion as a flat Earth? Is climate change the result of random change in a system that has been in place for millions of years or is it that man has become a bit too confident in his ability to adapt the environment to his own preferences? Will the presenters in Glasgow finally scratch their heads and say "Oops, we made a mistake"? Not likely.
Something is Environmentally Missing?
As mentioned previously, biochemical processes (aka dietary needs) are similar across all living organisms. In simple terms, the absence of a vitamin or mineral that makes humans sick will also make coral succumb as well. The big difference is that humans have disguised these mineral and vitamin deficiencies through modern healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Wildlife has no such method of attaining the nutrients needed to live healthy and relies heavily on an unadulterated ecosystem.
But what is it that could be missing in the environment that would make the whole planet sick? That is the question everyone is trying to answer with little success.
Looking Back to Find an Answer
Unfortunately, history can be an unforgiving teacher when it comes to reminding mankind of its faults and in this case, the reality may be hard to swallow.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, man's excess had caught up with him. Large cities were choking on the fumes of modern convenience. Instead of pinpointing historically recognized toxins like lead and asbestos that could quickly contaminate air and water, leaders chose to take a full-tilt approach to the pinball game that has become environmental science. With little research to back up decisions, industrialized countries regulated a handful of ugly, smelly gases. Still holding fast to their decisions and looking to carbon dioxide as the next culprit, the restriction of these gases has compromised an environmental cycle that had been in place for thousands of years. In the atmosphere, these breathable nutrients would help all life forms self-regulate body functions even in cases of food shortages. Without them, the result is declining populations and possible extinction.
What is Missing?
Ironically, the five elements that make up restricted gases are the same five elements (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur) that form the majority of the World's foods and medicines. Sugar is made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen while chicken is made of all five elements. All life forms, coral, plants and humans alike, require sulfur for common life functions each and every day. Had these gases remained in the atmosphere, rain would have latched on to them and deposited them into the soil and sea where all life could have benefited. This basic concept of renewal has been known for much longer than most experts wish to acknowledge.
Coral's Relationship with Sulfur
Regardless of where life forms live--bacteria in ice near Antarctic, elephants on the Savanna, or coral under the sea--all life forms are subject to the same rules of cell composition. This interconnection makes individual species interchangeable up and down the food chain. As a food, coral is at the bottom and eaten by a great number of species. If it is deficient in minerals, then so is the species that eats it. Each successive meal perpetuates the mineral deficiency until the who World struggles to find good health.
Sulfur is known to impact growth rates, injury repair and reproductive capabilities for all life forms. Without sufficient sulfur in the water, what scientists interpreted as a dying coral reef may have been one that simply could not reproduce itself as fast as it was consumed. There was never anything to blame other than an urban population that wanted to live large without environmental accountability.
What All this Means?
There is only one conclusion and course of action that makes sense if one believes the science as it is reported here. The rush to judgement by those who lived in unsustainable environmental conditions (cities) solved their problem by stripping the atmosphere of essential gases which made the land incapable of producing food and reduced the ability of wildlife to sustain themselves in a natural setting. Rather than acknowledge their missteps early on, the World's leadership built a massive healthcare system to treat human illness and created additives to foods and soils to make them viable. Poor countries were left to become dependent on others and starvation became a worldwide problem.
If one takes a good hard look at the role sulfur plays in every part of the environment, it becomes very easy to see that Clean Air policies did more harm than good and should be rolled back. Fossil fuels are not the enemy here. Man's own ego is.