Guest essay by Ronald R. Cooke
In high school and college I did reasonably well in the physical sciences: chemistry, physics and geology. From these studies one can learn that carbon (C) is an element, is widely available throughout our universe, is chemically active (which means many inorganic and organic compounds include carbon), is present in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, is present in all natural fresh and ocean water, is a component of rocks (such as limestone), is a primary element of buried organic materials (including hydrocarbon deposits of oil, coal and natural gas), and is a very important element of the human body (about 18.5% of the elements in our body by mass). In fact, all life on this planet is based on hydrocarbon compounds which include carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
By contrast, carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that occurs naturally everywhere…
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