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CO2 is like any human excrement. Babies catapult seaweed forest seed pods to combat ocean acidification. Games explain in all languages.


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Summary

TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/rose_george_let_s_talk_crap_seriously.html Consider that CO2 is also human excrement.  The only real difference between CO2 and poop is that we invented machines to excrete CO2 way faster than we can excrete it.

"Healthy" soap didn't sell.  "Sexy" soap sold.  Also, "keeping up with the Jones" sells.  My mom would say "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink."  New version, "A horse will really suck up the water, if he thinks that will give him more chances to procreate.

"How might we apply this to reduce emissions or get permission/money to research geoengineering?  Some people are money and convenience oriented, but both are really surrogates for improving their procreation desirability.  Maybe we can make support for a carbon fee a "procreation desirability" enhancer.

 

The mad babies’ objective is to establish enough thriving seaweed forests to return CO2 concentrations to what they were in the 1930s before ocean acidification burns most every little creature.  The seaweed forest ecosystems are explained in Dr. Antoine N’Yeurt’s “Negative carbon via Ocean Afforestation.”

The game will have plenty of drama showing the effects of human emission of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels:

  1. The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide which causes it to be more acidic.  Tiny shellfish cannot form shells in acid and die.  The fish that eat the shellfish die of starvation.  Humans won’t have fish to catch and eat.  90% of ocean species go extinct.
  2. The air, water, and land are generally warmer.  Oceans expand as they warm.  Glaciers melt.  Sea level rises relatively unnoticed until storm surge on a high tide destroy cities.  Corals die in warmer water.
  3. Weather becomes more extreme and changes.  Droughts are more common and damage more because water evaporates faster.  Warmer air carries more water to make record floods more common.  People have less food because crops are destroyed more often.


Category of the action

Changing public perceptions on climate change


What actions do you propose?

1.  Produce a scientifically accurate simulation as an interactive video game.

The playing surface is Earth from space, perhaps based on Google Earth.  See Figure 1.  A player is given several seed pod launchers and several seed pods.  The player may select any terrestrial location to set and point seed pod launchers.  (Islands must have at least half their surface area more than 5 meters above 2010 sea level.)   We might start with a few still pictures for background, if not the actual Google Earth.

Each launcher consists of a wind-up catapult and the player’s selected avatar.  Avatars provided in the game are babies with mad expressions.  Avatars may be customizable.  The player aims the catapult, winds it up, and loads one or two seed pods.  The amount of winding determines the catapult’s range.  One winds by moving a finger in a circle on a touch screen or moving a mouse in a circle.  One points by touching one end of the catapult and swinging it.  Per Figure 2, the launched seed pods describe a ballistic arc to (hopefully) land in a good ocean place.  Ocean creatures are relieved to have a seed pod land near them.

While playing, the earth is cooking, little sea creatures are burning in acid, some places are flooding, some places are drying up, crowds of people are moving to escape sea level rise or drought.  The intensity of all this is increasing over time smoothly, from a “now” to “everything dies” over about a month when you first get the game, unless there are successful seaweed forests.  Each actual year, we adjust the “now” in an update of the game to match the past actual CO2 emissions.

You start with one catapult and forty seed pods.  Day 1 the baby can launch two pods.  Day 2, four seed pods.  Day 3, eight seed pods.  Day 4, ten seed pods.  Day 5 and any day after Day 5, you can launch up to ten seed pods.  You can launch no more than ten seed pods per day.

Each “successful” seed pod becomes a 10,000 hectare seaweed forest within a couple hours.  If the forest continues to be effective it doubles in size each day.  The player needs seaweed forest covering about 3,200,000,000 hectare (9% of ocean surface) to prevent “everything dies.”  The forests need to be large and overlapping, like in Figure 3, in order to win.

Version 1

Researchers involved in Ocean Afforestation provide a sketch of “target areas” for the seed pods to land.  Each target area has a probability of success.  Some areas are 95%, some areas are 0% (too close to land is worthless).

The babies, catapults, flight of the seed pods, and growth of the seaweed forests are crudely animated.  The seed pods and forests are simple colored blobs.

Winning is a simple race against time.  The earth keeps “cooking” at the same rate independent of the seaweed forest area.  As soon as your forest area exceeds 3.2 billion hectares, the earth stops cooking and all the critters are happy.  If you have only 3,199,999,999 hectares covered by forest after 30 days, everything dies.

Features for successive versions (or as funding allows)

The seed pods become animated, trash talking, animals: baby dolphins, whales, sharks, tuna, oysters, coral, etc.

Everything is understandable without audio or subtitle language in a way that all 7 billion of us can play in any language.

The area of growing forest counts the overlapped areas only once.

The seaweed forests are micro-animated: a teaming, swarming, wriggling, happy mass of seaweed; associated ecosystem creatures; and the harvesting-digestion-nutrient recycling processes.  This is in contrast to the creatures in other parts of the open ocean, including marine sanctuaries, burning in acid and increased heat.

The “cooking earth” is more graphic and specific, interrupting your viewing and catapult firing by flipping the picture to the affected location and describing the event: 100 Muscovites die from heat exhaustion and wildfire smoke; Flood makes 500,000 homeless Pakistanis; Beef prices double during second year of American mid-west drought, Ocean acidification kills U.S. Pacific Northwest oyster industry; Superstorm Sandy floods New York, …

The “cooking earth” examples become more personal to the game player’s location.  A player in the California sees proportionally more California examples.  Say 10% California; 20% other continental U.S.; and 70% from outside the continental U.S.  Similar for a person in Bangladesh.

People are actively harvesting energy and food from the seaweed masses and paying the player with more seed pods and catapults.

The seaweed forests are macro-animated: moving and deforming with ocean currents; storms move the seaweed; seaweed is sometimes piled on beaches by storms; forests swell and shrink (energy and food products increase and decrease) as herbaceous fish population soar and shrink depending on roaming fish predators (humans, tuna, dolphins,…).

Purchase an upgrade each year for the pace of “cooking” to match actual progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the past year’s improved understanding of feedbacks, tipping points, effects.

Increase the teaching and learning features.  Many actions or results trigger links or sidebars of information you cannot skip until you correctly answer a few questions about the information in that link.  The education features would allow sales directly to schools.  Schools are experimenting with “blended” schedules where students would have an hour a week per general subject (Math, Language, Science, and Social Science) to work on their own.  Teachers need good assignments for blended time.  An educational computer game would be a good assignment.

Increase the “take action” features.  Perhaps the app is free, if people list a valid email address and the game developer then sends notices: Please sign this petition to UK parliament; Please grab a piece of plastic trash out of a gutter; …

 

 


Who will take these actions?

A team of game programmers and science researchers.  Game programmers from Bangladesh and India may be most inspired.  Bangladesh is really feeling the impacts of sea level rise.  India is concerned about Bangali's fleeing floods by emigrating to India.  Both countries are concerned what happens after their river-feeding glaciers have melted.


Where will these actions be taken?

Wherever good game programmers reside and work.

Might be best to check for programmers in higher education near northeast India or Bangladesh.  They are severely impacted by rapid planet change, have programming skills, and are also near good locations for large scale Ocean Afforestation.


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?


What are other key benefits?

Educates everyone in every language.  Make a fast-playing version for major decision makers.  Make a scientifically precise version for researchers.  Make one version for middle school, another for junior high, two versions for high school and high school educated adults.  A version for math and science majors.  A version for humanities majors.  A version for economics majors.


What are the proposal’s costs?

Figure about US$500,000 for an accurate and appealing game.


Time line

A year from signing a game development contract.


Related proposals

Geoengineering                “Rapid negative CO2 via seaweed forests” highlights the carbon dioxide removal (CDR) features of ocean afforestation.

Scaling renewables ….     “Fiji, then Indian Ocean Afforestation” highlights the inexpensive renewable energy and food production of ocean afforestation.

Shifting Cultures ….         “Rapid Planet Change” needs ocean afforestation, a holistic ecosystem to address global issues.

Electric power sector and Fossil fuel sector     “Save the methane!” suggests a carbon tax (credit, fee, dividend, …) to slow oil drilling, build the methane economy, and then ocean afforestation builds the biomethane economy.

Electric power sector           “Replace coal and oil with renewable natural gas (biomethane)” – Ocean afforestation provides the sustainable biomethane supply.

Depolitize climate change - Do not associate the game with a political party.

Global warming bonds - Use bond proceeds to produce the game/scenario or the game to sell bonds.


References

N’Yeurt, A., Chynoweth, D., Capron, M.E., Stewart, J., Hasan, M.. 2012 Negative carbon via Ocean Afforestation.  Process Safety and Environmental Protection 90, 467-474

The above lists 32 references for the calculations involving the Ocean Macroalgal Afforestation ecosystem.  There are six supplemental information documents, some with more references:

OMA-MacroalgaeProduction&DensityCalcs2012 – 42 references

OMA-ProcessConcepts2012 – 2 references

OMA-GlobalCalculations2012,Table2 – 2 references

OMA-AlgalYieldsCalcs&Refs2012 – 45 references

OMA-N2O-EmissionsCalcs2012 – 2 references

OMA-ArtificialGeologicSeafloorStorageOfCO2,2012 – 38 references

OMA-AmmoniaConcentratingToFertilizer2012

 

Migliore, G., Alisi, C., Sprocati, A.R., Massi, E., Ciccoli, R., Lenzi, M., Wang, A., Cremisini, C., 2012 Anaerobic digestion of macroalgal biomass and sediments sourced from the Orbetello lagoon, Italy, Biomass and BioEnergy 42 69-77