Good Bacteria vs. Global Warming

The Charge of the Bacteria Brigade
The Charge of the Bacteria Brigade

Global Warming and Recession seem to be the two large black clouds looming over the world today. My cousin, a microbiologist who lives in Chile and I were, the other day, chatting online about the climate changes that were taking place all over the world. She feels that global warming, while being an issue of importance, tends to have become a bit too hyped up somewhere along the way, being hijacked as it were as a platform or soapbox for politicians to come into the public eye. (her hub)


I was pondering over this when a few days later, a news item caught my eye. In a city in India, a group of researchers had discovered an organism that can devour carbon dioxide and spew it out as harmless calcium carbonate. Now that might seem like something out of a cartoon strip or a sci-fi movie but the fact is, it’s real life. It’s probably Nature’s wonderful way to keep the balance in spite of her wayward human children and the devastating damage they do to everything around them.


Suddenly, there seems to be a glimmer of hope in what seemed to be a hopeless situation. Would growing the bacteria in areas that were known to be contributing actively to global warming reverse the effects of global warming? Could we, once we’ve tried to accelerate this process, be able to control it – or would there be so much of a reverse trend that we lean dangerously to the opposite end?


At this point in time, one cannot really foresee how it is going to work and whether a lab situation can be replicated on a mammoth scale all over the world. Today, the pollution-devouring biological bacteria have, in the laboratory, been purified to a great degree with high titration, and what is in progress is the expression, the cloning and the purification in bio-reactors. What is also being actively looked at is the economic viability of the process. The scientists who are involved in this programme feel that the bacteria could be used at the point of emission in order to filter the waste carbon dioxide and ensure that it does not enter the atmosphere. All this, and a by-product like calcium carbonate which has value.


All said and done, this is the wedge in the door where before there seemed to be none. It’s early days yet and this progress can be seen as a pointer in the right direction. Not as a cure for all global warming ills but as something that will help when the efforts that we otherwise need to take are not enough. When we consciously try to reverse the effects of global warming by taking informed decisions – and keeping this as a buffer – the just-in-case factor.


We need to try and make the world a better place for our children. We’ve raped and ravaged the earth and all she has to offer. It’s time for reparation and the time is now. Here’s Nature opening a door to let us see how she can lend a helping hand. Instead of seeing it as a fix-it, we need to see it as a part of an ongoing heal-the-earth process.

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Comments 54 comments

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Wow...that was powerful and an eye opener for me....and I couldn't agree more with your final statement...we have raped Mother earth and now she is trying to show us a way out...OMG that is just too special...thanks...I sure hope this is read by many...G-Ma :O) Hugs & Peace & healing


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hugs to you too G-Ma - thanks for stopping by to read :)


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

hey shalini

I've always believed in the concept of balance in everything, and yes including nature. If it did not exits then, there will be no coming back from the Ice Age and many other climatic changes that the Earth, including man perhaps, have witnesses. But the problem is how long will it take for balance to do its work and save the day? I hope we all live to witness it someday, or at least our children's children will while it is still possible. :D


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Hi Shalini: This is very interesting and important. I remember reading a few years ago about a guy who was doing a similar thing cleaning up rivers and streams, where the bacteria were literally eating the pollution out of the thing. They showed before and after pictures and the difference was remarkable.

A lyric in a Kurt Weill song goes: Mankind will survive, thanks to it's brilliant. I hope that's true.

Thanks for a great read and a positive report on an early development in our fight to clean up the environment.


BrianS profile image

BrianS 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

Totally agree with your sentiments on this and as individuals if we promote change and/or raise awareness, such as you have here, then the individual influence becomes group influences and eventually a momentum builds so we can no longer be ignored, then we start to make a difference. Keep up the good work.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi Cris - I totally agree - I once planned a series of hubs on 'The Beauty of Balance' spanning various areas in our lives and in the universe - thanks for jogging my memory - I must resurrect the project :) One has to only go through your art hubs and your writing t see that balance at work! Thanks for reading!

Christoph - thanks as always for taking the time to read - yes, isn't it incredible what Nature can do if only we take the effort to find out? Incredible how bacteria and enzymes are being used for effluent treatment today!

Would that be from the Threepennyopera? I saw it a long time ago and there's some vague memory of a song like that!

Brian - thanks for stopping by. Yes, we do need to stand up and be counted. If only.....


phoenixritu profile image

phoenixritu 7 years ago from India

Very good information .... maybe there is hope for us! Wonder if we can control the bacteria though


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

Save the Earth for our children? I think the need is more immediate than that!


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Hey, Shalini: what a great hub, and a joy to read after all the doom and gloom we've been facing recently. Our responsibility to the balance of nature has never been more critical, and our responsibilities as despoilers of nature have never been more shameful, so this is indeed refreshing to read -- in all senses of the word! A great piece of news: hope it can work on a larger scale.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Ritu - I do hope so - sometimes these things have a sad way of going awry! Thanks for reading!

FP - things aren't really as bad as they seem - but yes, we need to act now!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for coming by Teresa - yes, one does hope it can work the way they envisage it - time well tell, I guess!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Hi Shalini,

How fantastic to read about such a positive and helpful discovery. Presumably these bugs have always been around, but have only recently been identified? Or have they been engineered in some way? I've read a number of very positive pieces of info on HubPages in the last week or so, and it makes me feel that perhaps there is a chance that human-kind might redeem itself. Thanks for bringing us some good news!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Shalini Kagal, that's a very interesting piece of good news. There's a lot of hype about global warming. It's hard to separate fact from fiction.

I do think that nature has a way of balancing things, but we might not always like the way that it does so. I see overpopulation as our biggest problem. The way we got there was by eating too much. I know that sounds silly, but it's actually true.

In hunter-gatherer societies, people work hard for subsistence. There is no surplus, not even of body fat. When women are nursing a baby or carrying a child under the age of four on their backs, they don't ovulate, because you need a certain level of body fat to produce an egg. Children are spaced further apart, and there is no need for artificial forms of birth control.

When we found a way to produce more food with less labor, we opened the way to the current population crisis. I'm not sure I see a way out yet that doesn't involve great suffering. But ... let me know if you find one! You never know. Anything is possible when we combine an understanding of nature with human ingenuity.


kirubaharris 7 years ago

Nature is smarter than we give her credit for.


pgrundy 7 years ago

That is so cool. That's the great thing about life--unexpected good things can happen as well as unexpected bad things. I'm certainly hoping for a nice string of unexpected good things over the coming years. We just never really know what will come next. We could disappear tomorrow, we could be the dominant species in another 1,000 years. We just don't know.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi Amanda - like you, I feel it's so uplifting to read of positive things when a climate of despondency prevails. This has obviously been around but what they are doing now is to make it into a feasible filter to ensure excess carbon dioxide does not escape from any polluting unit. Thanks for reading!

Hi Aya - yes, it is so difficult to differentiate between the hype and reality isn't it? I agree with you - if we don't live according to the rules of the universe, there will be a shakedown to restore balance. Be it population or overeating of which I guess all of us are guilty. I don't thinkNature has any patience with overindulgence!

K - thanks for reading - true, Nature is so smart!

Pam - thanks for stopping by. In troubled times maybe it's good to expect the unexpected - they have to be good! Yes, life's so unpredictable - but therein lies its challenge I guess!


Benjimester profile image

Benjimester 7 years ago from San Diego, California

Wow, that's really cool that those little critters could help us get rid of CO2 at the point of emission. I agree with your cousin that Global Warming has gotten way too much hype recently. We hear about Global Warming weekly, but when was the last time someone mentioned that a lack of clean water around the world causes more deaths than any other factor. Thanks for the really cool info.


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

This could definitely be a bit of very good news. The way you closed out was very important. The last thing we need is a magic cure-all that gives everyone the idea that we can just continue to pillage the planet without concern.

Very welcome information Shalini. Thank you.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading Benji! Yes, I agree with you - clean water, growth-hormone and other additive-free food, pollution levels and allergies - these are issues that are not given the necessary attention.

CWB - thanks as always for stopping by and reading. Yes, we need to start being more responsible and begin by saying - It starts right here, with me!


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

"We need to try and make the world a better place for our children. We’ve raped and ravaged the earth and all she has to offer. It’s time for reparation and the time is now. Here’s Nature opening a door to let us see how she can lend a helping hand. Instead of seeing it as a fix-it, we need to see it as a part of an ongoing heal-the-earth process." Great comment. To use bacteria to clean up our messes is OK but we should stop making messes in the first place. We have to get along with nature, otherwise we will become another extinct creature, hope we learn from history.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

Nature is a great teacher, however, we are often not good learners.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

My hats off to nature. My head could do with a little sunshine.

:)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

cgull - how true - we mess up - and expect nature to clean up after us! Thanks for coming by!

Bob - thanks for reading - you've put it sooo well :)

quicksand - haha - good one - here's to bareheaded sunshine-y days!


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

Since we are on the subject of bacteria, do you remember that the three US astronauts were in quarantine for a period of time after they returned from their historic voyage?


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Maybe the Arizona air didn't quite agree with them? Oh wait - maybe it was those heavy, unwieldy suits with all those arc lights trained on them while they were making that giant leap for mankind :D


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Fantastic reading it really makes one stop and think


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading blondepoet :)


Staci-Barbo7 profile image

Staci-Barbo7 7 years ago from North Carolina

Shalini, as usual, you have brought us the latest information concerning what is being accomplished on the forefront of environmental work, technology, etc. Thank you.

I am cheered to know that we have options to reduce CO2 emissions, even after the fact. However, I find myself in agreement with some of the others who commented - I don't wish to see this research development interfere with the task of working to reduce the emissions at the point of emission. This development is good but point of emission reduction is critical.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi Staci-Barbo7 - yes, it does seem like a double-edged sword, doesn't it? Sad that some of the greatest technologies that were meant for mankind's good have been so misused! Thanks for reading.


rainshadow profile image

rainshadow 7 years ago

The earth has gone thorugh many eras of destruction before whether from volcanic activity fostering ice ages or meteors fostering ice ages, etc. As we (and all of current life on planet earth) are here,it is certain that the Earth can recover from unigmaginable devastation to bring life back from nearly any disaster.

But when life IS brough back from a gloabal devastation, it certainly will different than what came before (as we see with the difference between us and the dinosaurs).

Your page here details an expample of nature capability to rebuild. To me it says we still have a chance save our mode of life as a species if we exercise sound knowledge along with ethical applications and essential research. Actually, we probably need a quantum leap in psycholigical understanding to reach such a point.

Anyway, your information here gives me great hope. Thank you.

Rainshadow


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

The dance of destruction and creation goes on - however, it is up to us, though we might be just an infinitesimal speck in the cycle of Time - to make and leave the world the better place - that's why your idea of an ethical revolution makes so much sense! Ethical applications and essential research - sounds like Utopia :) If only.....

Thanks for reading!


Somesh Dutt profile image

Somesh Dutt 7 years ago from India

Nice Hub Shaliniji. A real good read. If this works will definitely create a revolution.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thank you Somesh :)


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur

this bacteria may save the earth by converting carbon di oxide into Calcium carbonate.

Thanks and thumbs up.

I have linked this to my blog about Indian hubbers.

Jyoti Kothari


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thank Jyoti - for linking this hub - much appreciated!


Narendra 7 years ago

Hi Shalini,

Thumbs up for the good bacteria you and Jyoti who sent me here.

Thanks,

narendra


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for coming by and reading, Narendra.


eyeofh profile image

eyeofh 7 years ago from New Jersey

Short, sweet, and to the point...I love it! The bottom line is that no matter which side of the argument you fall on (I personally think that we are overestimating our role in the natural changes that take place over the course of any celestial bodies lifetime) it is never a bad idea to respect your environment. While I agree that politics is a great motivator for this subject, I think, sadly, that profit is the most prominent culprit...as with all things time will tell!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Tragic, isn't it - that profit should be the prime motivator is so many areas. Maybe we are overestimating our role in climate change but, as you say, we need to respect everything around us!


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

Great hub, I'm glad to see that someone is beginning to find some possible remedies for global warming. It is time for the world to realize that we've taken the earth's treasures for years and only have given landfills, pollutions, and carbon monoxide back. It is time to find some means of giving something positive back in order for the earth to remain in a balanced state. Thanks for sharing!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading, Money Glitch - yes, we humans really are such takers when it comes to Nature, aren't we?


itcoll profile image

itcoll 7 years ago

a different and a great stance on this topic.nice shalini.keep it up.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading, itcoll!


s pandey 6 years ago

Fantastic reading it really makes one stop and think


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading s pandey!


Gaurav17 profile image

Gaurav17 6 years ago from saharanpur

Great Shalini,

I liked it too much.

This topic make Me to read the whole article.

Its Intresting.

I like to put it on my blog.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading, Gaurav.


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Great topic & point you brought up in this hub!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Thank you for reading and commenting, Michael Shane


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 6 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

Thanks for a solid Hub, Shalini!

This is a geo-engineering approach that I haven't heard about before, and one which I'll have to look into further.

Personally, I'm afraid that we are going to need to use some geo-engineering approaches, since we are falling down so badly in taking effective steps to mitigate our emissions of greenhouse gases. Yet they could be dangerous, too, and in most cases they are pretty much unproven. (This initiative sounds good so far, yet to be effective it will have to work on a huge scale--and some technologies scale much better than others; often it's not clear ahead of time whether a given idea will or not.)

But I'm getting way off topic. Thanks again for an informative Hub!


celeBritys4africA profile image

celeBritys4africA 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I hit the useful button because I feel your hard work on this hub is paid off.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading!


how-to-make profile image

how-to-make 4 years ago from India

Thanks for sharing this beautiful hub. Atleast I could know that bacteria are also good for some reason.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Thank you, how-to-make!

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