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Rod’s Travel Diary

Friday, 22 Oct 2010

Location: Vancouver, Canada

MapWhy 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. That’s why we put in all those rivers. And everyone loves all those rivers. Quite pretty really. Still, we’ll just have to turn them off #2”
SP “No Sir”
CEO (Mildly annoyed) “What do you mean no?
SP “We can’t 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 we’ll 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. What’s in it for the fish #2?”
SP “They get to die for the cause Sir”
CEO “Well that’s 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. What’s 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 “We’ll colour code them Sir. What colour would you prefer?”
CEO “Well, I’ve always liked red…”
SP “Very good, Sir. I’ll call wardrobe…”