Location: Vancouver, Canada
Why the salmon are red.
Scene HQ Gaia Planetary Control. CEO sitting at desk working on laptop. Knock at door. Senior Planner Homeostasis Division enters looking focused.
SP: Good morning Sir. We have a problem in the Pacific
CEO: Hmmm. What is it #2?
SP: Our nutrient cycling loop is malfunctioning Sir. The ocean up-wellings are working as planned so our vertical transport component is ok but the lateral transport mechanisms are not working Sir.
CEO Hmmmm. Not working
whats the problem #2?
SP We put in too many rivers Sir
CEO Too many rivers?
SP Yes Sir. The downstream transport mechanism is too efficient. Its overwhelming the other system components. Sir.
CEO Hmmm. Well we had that excess water problem when the glaciers began to melt. Thats why we put in all those rivers. And everyone loves all those rivers. Quite pretty really. Still, well just have to turn them off #2
SP No Sir
CEO (Mildly annoyed) What do you mean no?
SP We cant just turn them off Sir. We have invested too heavily in the water infrastructure and too many other systems rely on them. Turning them off will create havoc and the investors will crucify us Sir
CEO Hmmm. What do you suggest #2?
SP (looking smug) Fish, Sir
CEO (looking bewildered) Fish, #2?
SP Yes, Sir. Fish. Large oceanic fish that swim upstream and die
CEO How will that work #2?
SP Well, Sir. Well need millions of them but well take a small fish and make it feed in the ocean up-welling region till it is large. Then it swims upstream and dies and releases its nutrients upstream
CEO Hmmm. Whats in it for the fish #2?
SP They get to die for the cause Sir
CEO Well thats good I suppose
SP And they get to reproduce before they die and their offspring travel back down to the ocean to collect more nutrient before coming back upstream again
CEO Sounds ingenious #2. Well done. How far will they have to travel?
SP Depends Sir, But some will need to travel a few thousand miles
CEO They can do that?
SP Oh yes, Sir. The technology is quite advanced these days
CEO Very good #2. I see one problem though. Whats to stop all these new fish eating all the food of the fish that are already there?
SP Good point Sir. The new fish will be programmed to stop feeding once they enter the freshwater parts of the river, Sir. The nomenclature group want to call them Salmon, Sir
CEO And how will we be able to tell the salmon from the other fish?
SP Well colour code them Sir. What colour would you prefer?
CEO Well, Ive always liked red
SP Very good, Sir. Ill call wardrobe