Our world consists of atoms, and nearly all exists bonded to other atoms.  The bonds can be measured and are the story of our world.  Some bonds are locked up like iron and some explode to drive engines. How we manage the locking up for permanence and the exploding to force change results in who and how we are.

In your body atoms are held together by a number of bonds and that number is about 4 followed by 25 zeros. The “4” may need adjusting up or down according to size but the number of zeros is correct.  Bonds hold bones together and some in skin and muscle keep replacing and renewing according to planned template. And then there are bonds that are traded to drive us – the ones for breathing air, pumping blood and moving muscle.

One single currency exchange from the bond carbon-hydrogen to carbon-oxygen is the driver of humans, our lives and our economy and environment.  Every minute, a person trades up those bonds at a rate number 20 followed by 20 zeros, just in breathing. The number goes down to 10 asleep and over 40 when panting. The exact same simple bond exchange is at the heart of driving a car or some giant industrial furnace.  On a global average the “20” (x 1020) is complemented by “80” for hydrocarbon combustion, but in a survey of a heavily industrialized city (Handan, China) the per capita C-H to C-O trade was 7,000 (x 1020) per minute.

The carbon trade accounting does not tell us our state of well-being, like the GDP National Accounts are purported to do.  But it is an accurate measure of human activity.  The picture we get when looking at our own portrait is edifyingly contrasted by the backdrop that is Nature’s carbon cycle.  Half a billion years before human consciousness, life mechanisms began pumping oxygen into the atmosphere through solar powered photosynthesis and other organisms took in to trade up through C-H to C-O.  At the individual level, using “x 1020 per minute” as a flow rate with 20 for human dependency on carbohydrates and 80 for hydrocarbons, for each person the sea recycles 1000 and the soil and vegetation on land 1600. This means human activity is a mere eddy in Nature’s carbon cycle.  It is only in pushing activity at the rate in Handan, up to 7000, that the healing capacity of the Earth is overtaxed.Figure 2Handan

: http://www.coulterexergy.com/archives/1298

No comments yet.