16 March 2006

Carbon


Sick today. Ugh. Thank goodness the ferocious winds drove me to the WB yesterday afternoon, so that today I can snuggle up in a blanket, secure because somewhere Cameron Jamie is making a little girl cry, and somehow making the world a better place for it. How does he manage this tough jingle-butt love? Kranky Klaus was amazing.

So I was laying in bed this morning, rolling the phlegm from one side of my head to the other, thinking about Carbon. Apparently the history of the climate is all about how much carbon is floating freely in the air as CO2. Long, long ago when the earth was populated only by algae, the climate was quite volatile because there was no place for carbon to be except the atomosphere. As we all know, lots of carbon in the atmosphere means that heat radiation stays inside the atmosphere.

Thank goodness life got more complex. Algae doesn't really use very much carbon, but life with more structure does. Your skeleton is carbon based, so are sea shells and coral, etc. Carbon became a building block for solid matter. Living things store solid carbon inside themselves, and then die and trap it forever underground as seashells and coral become limestone, or as swamplands and forests become coal deposits.

Thinking about the carbon cycle this morning was soothing. It's a beautiful image that we are all a part of. I am grouchy with Flannery because he wants to give us too much agency. I think he sees us as apart from the cycle and yet responsible for it. Like a person is the steward of their dog.

I think it's more useful to think about how we are all soaking in it. We are organisms. We become rocks, too.

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