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ONE PERCENT SOLUTION . . . (one page per day) Page 54 of 252

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A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.  

Chapter VI: Day/Page 54 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . .  And so, from the stellar womb of this fiery furnace the genesis of life is born when, upon her deathbed, the dying star explodes and births forth into the universe immense blazing clouds of gas and water and dust, the elemental progeny from which we all descend. And when, in time, those elements cool and gather to form new stars and planets, like those of your world and mine, on some of these nascent goldilocks planets—those appropriately distanced from their sun—a germinal chemical amalgam forms, fueled by the sun’s heat from above and stoked by volcanic eruptions from below, infusing the simmering ocean pot with gas and ash and minerals for billions of years, until that one propitious day, that one instant in time, when the electrons from one compound form a fortuitous bond with another, igniting a phosphorous match to spark life.

Then, after a billion years more of infinitesimally-small modifications, two stand-alone life-forms collude, make a team, and fashion a deviously radical design, commonly known as blue-green algae—arguably the most important, abundant, and varied life-form known. Once that happens, once blue-green algae blooms in the seas and grabs hold of that nascent world, the stage is now set for everything to change. Because now, the fledgling planet is transformed by this little green life who patiently, diligently, tirelessly, for another billion years or more bobs about in the ocean using energy from the sun to strip the two hydrogen atoms off a water molecule [H2O], using the hydrogen to make food, and releasing as waste into the air trillions of tons of oxygen.

But oxygen is far too volatile to remain free-floating for long and quickly binds itself to other elements, like iron dissolved in the sea. For hundreds of millions of years, molecule by molecule, dot by dot, the oxidized iron settles onto the ocean floor as rust, laying a foundation of rich iron-ore with which advanced life will one day forge a civilization. Although iron is fairly abundant, being one of the fundamental elements formed in the blast-furnace of stars, it is generally sparsely diffused through a planet’s crust and so not until the oxygen from blue-green algae concentrates it onto the ocean floor is it made more easily available for use by emergent class-1 life.

One may reasonably affirm, therefore, that all of intelligent life’s primal tools, and the foundational girder that buttresses its earliest civilizations, is gifted to us by the noble, tireless efforts of tiny, slimy, pond scum. No monuments are erected. No thanks are ever given. But those are the facts just the same. Without blue-green algae, advanced life as we know it would not be. We should all be eternally more grateful.

As iron and other elements become oxidized. . .  TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .

Available on Amazon , Barnes & NobleKobo, and Smashwords in Digital and Paperback versions.

 This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James    All rights reserved


About Gregory James

After 20 years working and living overseas, I returned to the US and was disgusted by how partisan and polarized the country had become. Civility and compromise are now quaint things of the past, replaced by intolerance and the rule of extremes. So I gave up a lucrative career for staring at blank pages and searching for words, in the hope that words might help enact change. Stupid. . . . I know! But after 9 months of labor I birthed forth a book, entitled ONE PERCENT SOLUTION. Reminiscent of Vonnegut, with a dash of Saramago and Fforde, this humorous, satirical, often irreverent romp mocks the absurd we accept to be normal, ridicules the ridiculously low bar we set, and challenges all of us to demand more of ourselves by making light of what is sacred that shackles us.


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