Wednesday, January 7, 2015


While the Spongebob Squarepants of  the  Palaeoclimate Wars  stalks
the giant clam  as propaganda fodder, others are putting the megamolluscs to more tasteful use . 

If grown to 100 kilogram adulthood, these tropical creatures can be a trifle tough on the half shell,  but  slow-cooked Tridacna gigas chowder presents a savoury and nutritious way for people to consume their way into carbon neutrality by turning their trash into an environmental treasure.

Eating just one jumbo giant clam a day can mount into a yard-filling shell midden in the space of a year, and since the clam's carbonate carapace is almost pure limestone -- white as a cool roof and  1/7th carbon by weight, soup sequestration could easily offset the average American's  6 tonne a year addition of carbon to the atmosphere, and spare suburbanites much hard labor by eliminating the need for gas guzzling trips to the garden center to fetch lime for the lawn.

A trifling investment in dimensional analysis reveals added benefits.  Removing a cubic foot or more of clam per capita from the water each day could take a bite out of sea level rise, as  tens of cubic meters  of clamshells a year times 7,000,000,000 chowderheads could generate enough tonnage of abstracted water for each square kilometer of ocean surface to stem the rising tide of thermal expansion by nearly a milimeter. 

With enough chowder, and long enough driveways, SUV owners can put Prius drivers to shame for discarded giant clamskells can be crushed into an ideal driveway paving  enough of which can offset or even reverse the impact of the fuel these gas guzzlers burn,  for the clamshell's high albedo can amplify the white roof effect in rolling back the urban heat island effect of the black asphalt that covers all too many roofs and roads today.