The energy lessons of viruses; mutation, isolation and purification
image credit: Jim Baird
- Apr 14, 2020 9:15 pm GMTApr 14, 2020 4:10 pm GMT
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A novel coronavirus is a new strain that hasn’t been previously identified in humans.
It is insidious. Typified by spikes on its surface, it fuses and attaches to the cell of human lungs where it recognizes the cell surface receptor gaining access to the lungs.
Within the lung, it attacks the cells in three phases, the viral replication phase, the immune hyper-reactivity phase, and pulmonary destruction.
Not all patients experience all three phases. According to the early data, 82 percent of COVID-19 cases experienced less severe symptoms while the rest were grave to critical.
Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University said, "The explosion of COVID-19 cases in China was largely driven by individuals with mild, limited, or no symptoms who went undetected."
Lung cells come in two classes: mucus generators and cilia.
Mucus helps protect lung tissue from pathogens and moistens the lungs and the cilia clear debris from the lungs.
Coronaviruses infect and kill the cilia that slough off, filling the lungs with debris and fluids.
Aroused by the virus in the immune hyper-reactivity phase, the body floods the lungs with immune cells attempting to clear away the damage and repair the tissue.
Under normal circumstances the immune cells concentrate in infected areas, but with severe cases of coronavirus, the immune system goes wild and kills anything in its path. At which point the lung damage builds to the point of respiratory failure leading to death or at a minimum permanent lung damage.
The carbon virus too is insidious. Its viral replication phase has lasted five decades, abetted by well-funded climate deniers associated with the fossil fuel industry.
Its immune hyper-reactivity phase has been characterized by the flooding of the body politic with cash and the virus has replicated and mutated into plastics.
Pulmonary destruction has ensued, and oxygen has been sucked out of climate science and energy innovation.
Mutation is part of every virus’s life cycle and part of its survival strategy.
COVID-19 is an RNA virus. It is a collection of genetic material packed inside a protein shell that is more prone to mutation than DNA viruses like herpes, smallpox, and human papillomavirus.
Mutation, however, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some mutations can lead to weakening of a virus but usually changes are slight and make little difference in the disease's transmission and fatality rate.
Coronaviruses spread through respiratory droplets generated when infected individuals sneeze or by close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands and then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
It is halted by isolation, social distancing, quarantine and disinfection.
Global warming too can be solved by isolation, mutation and disinfection.
For fifty years warming has proliferated like a virus, but we can isolate it within the tropical ocean depths where its nastiest manifestations can’t occur.
It can also, in part, be mutated into water, food, surface cooling, sea level mitigation, ocean acidity neutralization, carbon sequestration, poverty reduction, terrorism and war mitigation, disease eradication, learning, democracy and depopulation. And the rest can be quarantined for at least 226 years, after which it can be again metamorphosed the instant it resurfaces, and can be recycled 13 times, until it has been completely mutated into productive energy.
Paul Romer, an American economist, co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, in a 2004 venture capital meeting in California, coined the term, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste,” in reference to rapidly increasing education levels and competition from countries outside of the United States.
The novel energy crisis confronting us requires a novel response.
The energy sector needs to be disinfected and made to produce value-added energy rather than the unnecessary problems it is now creating.
In a post-pandemic world, we won't be able to afford unnecessary tribulation so the more versatile our energy source the better off we will be, and the most versatile source of energy is thermodynamic geoengineering.