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Cloud Lilies

Sequester carbon, shade the earth & reflect sunlight, all at the same time.
  [vote for,

Hybridized, selectively bred & genetically engineered fast growing Water Lilies with white flowers partnered with hydrogen producing bacteria in their flotation nodules.

They float at altitude drawing moisture from air with air roots.

Reflect sunlight with their flowers.

Shade the earth with their bulk.

Sequester carbon with their growth.

Three birds, one stone.

When they die so too will the bacteria (eventually) & the biomass falls to earth,

Much of this will end up deep in the ocean where anyone so inclined can't burn it & release the carbon again, not too easily anyway.

The floatation nodules are going to need to be really big & we'll want to make sure the flowers don't revert to another colour after they're released to the wild.

When the jobs done & we want to clear the sky just set fire to them & watch the pretty flames, all that hydrogen should make a great show to celebrate with.

[If you don't like water lilies for some reason we can use another plant of course]

We can't see any potential issues with any of this, honest.

Skewed, Mar 29 2021

This idea developed a bit further. Saltwater_20Water_20Lilies
Saltwater Water Lilies [Skewed, Mar 29 2021]

How to Grow Water Lilies In a Pond or On Your Patio https://www.bhg.com...owing-water-lilies/
[Voice, Mar 30 2021]

Water Lilies: Hardy and Tropical Water Lilies for Ponds https://www.gardenf...opical-hardy-ponds/
[Voice, Mar 30 2021]

How do water lilies obtain nutrients from soil? https://www.quora.c...nutrients-from-soil
[Voice, Mar 30 2021]

The Characteristics of a Water Lily https://www.hunker....ics-of-a-water-lily
[Voice, Mar 30 2021]

Nymphaeaceae is a family of flowering plants, commonly called water lilies. https://en.wikipedi...g/wiki/Nymphaeaceae
[Voice, Mar 30 2021]

Greensleeves https://www.youtube...watch?v=bSjfkwvOOAM
[Skewed, Mar 30 2021]


       I can chip in like... fifty bucks to get the ball rolling.   

       They need more than water and air to live and reproduce. I guess we can try and get them to pump phosphate- potassium-chlorate- and whatever other mineral-laden stuff they need in the form of sap but that's a huge amount of energy they'll be needing. They'll not only need huge (heavy) leaves but also the ability to power molecular pumps, segmentation, the ability to drop roots a very long way, and not only strong (heavy) roots but sufficiently hardy ones that they'll become a real invasion. Better get started on those salt water adaptations too -- water lilies can't survive the cold as they are.   

       edit: some water lillies can survive the cold as long as the reproductive systems don't freeze.
Voice, Mar 30 2021

       //deep in the ocean where anyone so inclined can't burn it & release the carbon again, not too easily anyway.//   

       Bacteria will release the carbon instead, often releasing it in other forms like methane.
Voice, Mar 30 2021

       //Bacteria will release the carbon instead//   

       Not all of it, or coal & oil wouldn't exist.
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       Most coal and oil happened, as I understand it, when forests were buried and therefore without oxygen.
Voice, Mar 30 2021

       So, like at the bottom of the ocean then?
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       //need huge (heavy) leaves//   

       The flotation nodules are green you'll note, that's a pretty big photosynthesis area right there.   

       //ability to drop roots a very long way//   

       Why, we already gave them air roots, OK they may be a bit nutrient deprived but there's plenty of water floating around up there, it's called clouds.   

       We're still working on getting them to accept a little gene flow from pitcher plants to help make up the nutrient deficit, the boys in the lab tell me any day now.
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       Those contain volume for hydrogen? Not clouds, floating leaves.
Voice, Mar 30 2021

       //like at the bottom of the ocean then?//   

       Close enough, if the remains ever get there. Starting out lighter than air that seems unlikely to me.
Voice, Mar 30 2021

       //Those contain volume for hydrogen? Not clouds, floating leaves//   

       Whatever they contain (yes it's hydrogen) is irrelevant to the fact that they're exterior is a green photosynthesizing surface so I must be missing your point.
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       Those big floating leaves are lighter than water, but I didn't think they also contained significant amounts of gas. I note the leaves float like boats.   

       edit: at least they look like they do. But according to the internet they're lighter than water.
Voice, Mar 30 2021

       //Starting out lighter than air that seems unlikely to me//   

       Hydrogen is lighter than air, they aren't, hydrogen has this tendency to escape any envelope over time (that's why you need the bacteria to constantly replace it), if they die the symbiotic bacteria dies, no new hydrogen, they'll sink (eventually), no problems there.
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       //Those big floating leaves are lighter than water// //according to the internet they're lighter than water//   

       Um no that's not how it works, they have these things called "flotation nodules", like little blow up floats for plants, go away & read a bit more, I'll still be here when you get back ;p
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       So what you're saying is the leaves currently do not store gas. So those are the big heavy leaves I was talking about.
Voice, Mar 30 2021

       //floatation nodules//   

       I already looked for that and couldn't find anything. A second search also yielded no result.
Voice, Mar 30 2021

       The bulbous bit at the base of their leaves is hollow & air filled so keeps them afloat like water wings on a toddler.   

       We're making the bulbous bits bigger, it's walls thinner, the rest of the plant smaller & filling it (the bulbous bit) with hydrogen.   


       Go & look up water lilies & other floating water plants, when you've figured out how they float in water you should be able to see how this works.   

       If you still can't go & read up on hydrogen balloons.   

       If you still can't then, I can't help you.
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       //I already looked for that//   

       Also, try saving some weight by dropping the first 'a' of "floatation" from your search. Does wonders, I found.
pertinax, Mar 30 2021

       Eek! my spelling sucks .. corrected.   

       Hum, no my spelling isn't wrong there (for once).   

       Young people started spelling it wrong a while back & now both spellings are considered acceptable, I'll leave the edit though.
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       [Carefully writes "I already told you in the idea!" in large capital letters on a piece of card]   

       [Waits expectantly for 'someone' to query how the hydrogen gets into the nodules]
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       But how does the hydrogen get into the nodules?
Voice, Mar 30 2021

       [Sits card with the words written on it in front of camera obscuring all bar the words]   

       [Sound of scraping chair emanates from behind card]   


       [Greensleeves starts playing]
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       //genetically engineered// Right.
pocmloc, Mar 30 2021


       [Greensleeves stops playing]   

       Yes & no, lots of bacteria produce hydrogen as a waste product, we just have to coax one of them into a symbiotic partnership with the plant, so yes, twice over, but no, not directly.
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       Okay, sixty five bucks and not a penny more.   

       [Bangs gavel]   

       SOLD! to the man with the sub standard fast food commodity.   

       Just leave it in an unmarked envelope in the usual place, umm, what was it you were buying again?
Skewed, Mar 30 2021

       "Why are water lilies dangerous?   

       They can cause severe diarrhoea, convulsions, acute kidney failure and even death. “What makes them particularly dangerous is that all parts of the plant are toxic and even small ingestions, such as two or three leaves or petals, or water from a vase containing lilies, can be potentially fatal."   

       Poisoning the world from the clouds. 8th would be proud.
RayfordSteele, Mar 31 2021

       A wispy organic sky floss with abstract aircraft brushstrokes in translucent green shimmer.
wjt, Apr 02 2021

       //all parts of the plant are toxic//   

       Well, we didn't want anything eating them did we, that sort of spoils the carbon sequestration element of the plan.   

       We could have used something edible instead of course, but then the idea becomes "Mana From The Sky" & vested interests wouldn't like that, they'd start moaning about people 'getting stuff for free', which could have caused some funding issues (they have all the money after all), so naturally, we decided against it.   

       Besides, killing off all the cattle forces us to switch to a more plant based diet .. & we wanted the vegetarian vote.   

       //8th would be proud//   


       Why thank you.
Skewed, Apr 02 2021

       What [wjt] said.
pertinax, Apr 03 2021

       That was pretty damn poetic.
Voice, Apr 03 2021

       We just have to visit the right planet.
wjt, Apr 03 2021

       Or the right plant, it's a much shorter journey.
Skewed, Apr 04 2021

       The wrong plant on the wrong planet is an even shorter journey.
pocmloc, Apr 04 2021

       OK that one it is then, they tell me time is short, have you got directions?
Skewed, Apr 04 2021

       We disagree with this fixation by some on the perceived disadvantages of water lilies, culling some of that methane belching biomass could only be another advantage, we know that's true because the vegans have told us so, but if your face is really set against them (you damn floral racists you!) then it doesn't have to be water lilies, we can always use other plants.   

       We thought that was obvious.   


       [Taps away at keys]   

       There, I've edited it in for you, happy now?   

       The water lilies will be so disappointed.
Skewed, Apr 04 2021

       Ah, this is why the Petunias thought, 'Oh no, not again' .
wjt, Apr 04 2021

       Why? what did we ever do to the petunias before? this is a gross slander, we've never laid a finger on them.
Skewed, Apr 05 2021

       Is Twitter about to go off with a succession of angry petunias making allegations against [skewed] stretching back twenty years?   


       That's a relief. Just checking.
pertinax, Apr 07 2021


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