Greek mythology praises culture hero and trickster figure Prometheus as a champion of mankind for having defied the Gods by the theft of fire to give it to humanity and was so credited to have enabled progress of civilization. Or was this instrument of power over all habitat on planet earth just divine feud to humanity? Similar like noble families regard their properties as tenure to be managed in the interests of their future successors‘ social responsibility? A model able to keep flexibility in adapting to unpredictable changes requiring reconsideration, reallocation or new positioning of possessory entrusted to them for the Epoche of their generation.
Zygmunt Bauman eloquently introduces „Fllexibility“ in his book Liquid Modernity. Flexibility‘s ultimate aggregate might be gaseous becoming more or less intangible. Hence the opposite would be solid, namely not really flexible. In between we talk about liquid, from highly to low viscous with special transient forms of solidified liquids like glass or viscoplastic polymerization of gases. The metaphor of liquidity brings about senses of unparalleled options or opportunities. A cold comfort when not knowing what’s next? What are digitalization, humanitarianism, globalization or nationalism when lack of respect in using fire in non-divine ways destroys habitats and living conditions on our planet? As the topical example with Amazon‘s virgin forest on fire, whether by greed driven intentional torching or by already progressed Climate Change’s scorching of our planet’s green lungs.
Life materializes itself in organic matter representing compounds of Nature’s energy storage „Carbon“ with „Hydrogen“ and „Oxygen“ gases. Whereas the latter two are gases mating into Nature’s storable liquid second mass-builder „Water“. Carbon can only be turned to gas by either destructing it through fire or decomposition by exposure to water splitting into Carbon-Oxyde and or Hydrocarbon gases. Consequently once Carbon or hydrocarbons are burned, Carbon has been ultimately consummated and can sustainably only become of tangible use to future generations within biosphere‘s metabolic limits. In view of today’s admitted weather trends likelihood is that overdrawing that capacity imposes scientifically consented adverse effects by Climate Change on future generations. Be it by stepping up heat capacity of the atmosphere or impoverishment of nutrients in plant growth or any other even not yet falsified scientific consensus of repercussions. Fire‘s nature is destructive in the first place!
The only exception to that assertive statement might be value adding processing of inorganic matter into higher aggregates for which no other of today‘s Technology options from heliostats, microwave or photonics are economically reasonably adoptable. And if so, there’d still be an option to go with Hydrogen, as for example direct reduced Hot Briquetted Iron [HBI] production could peer into. Provided though, the Hydrogen was produced reasonably efficient. And that‘s not like for example Austrian policymakers, persuaded by certain profiteers to increase National Power capacity by 50% to supply Electrolysis Hydrogen to its largest steel mill! The country would need to turn twice the waste it currently aggregates, into electricity to drive such an electrochemical Hydrogen production. Instead just 20% of Austria‘s nowadays incinerated waste could be refined into Hydrogen without any additional auxiliary energy needs! As great a Technology Electrolysis is, all its possible applications‘ evaluations best position it into decentralized stationary local closed loop constellations ideally in combination with other regenerative carbohydrate or hydrocarbon resource potentials.
Electrons of course perform fascinating flows of energy. Whether electricity, light, chemical reactions‘ equilibria as well as in ion or proton transfers, electron mobility of solids does also imply adaptability. For example most widespread element in nature being „Carbon“ is characterized by its special electron configuration enabling it to form the most versatile and complex chemical compounds. That‘s why it has been being industrialization’s most rampant energy carrier. The CO2 problems primarily stem from discarding it after single use as if it was a one-way package by just burning it by abuse of the potentially stolen tool „fire“! The only way mankind could disdain Carbon worse than not using it multiple times is trying to eliminate Carbon completely from energy storage concepts! Lavish negligence of uniqueness of one of nature‘s two divine building blocks has now led to inconceivable inappropriate resource squandering in the case of Carbon and should make skeptical against mindless changeover to an exploitation of nature‘s second building block „Water“ under demonization of Carbon without remediating our society‘s ignorance for its full scope properties‘ versatile options for diligent use in harmony with, instead of worshipping against Nature by abusing fire potentially representing an ominous origin stach.