By CHINMAY MALLIK
(MSc Atmospheric Science E-Mail-mlk_chinmay_15@yahoo.co.in)


M

y idea, though a slightly bizarre, if implemented with discretion and ration, might go a long way in modulating the effect of pollution. It might seem a bolt out of the blue if I suggest that we could actually have ‘Flora in Motion’. Suppose, we comprehend car tops, bus tops etc to reflect viridity -not of lifeless variety but actual ones which breathe (respire), fend food for themselves(actually scavenge off greenhouse gases) and modulate the local albedo. This must require a co-coordinated effort of advanced bio-technology, engineering, some knowledge of atmospheric science, physics and chemistry. In the initial stage, vegetated surfaces could be of two types-contact and no-contact variety. The no-contact variety implies plants of ‘Money-plant’ variety potted suitably in a convincing position within the automobile and they would grow up and spread over, say car tops, and absorb carbon-dioxide in the immediate vicinity(there should be no doubt that concentration of CO2 over busy traffic pavements in comparatively high). They could supposedly bring about a cooling effect and also act as engines of oxygen production. The whole system, I believe seems a bit cumbersome but once we get used up to it; it would no longer play in the mind. There is however a better but tougher path. This implies the contact variety. Perhaps advanced bio-technology could give us something of the algae variety which could actually grow on a suitable top layer construction of which again requires innovative engineering.
This whole thing is just a philosophical concept (may be a chimera) but it could actually be implemented in reality if it stirs a few who can really dream beyond the silver lining in a thunder-cloud. There are bound to be several side effects-benign as well as bedlam. There could be a change in albedo, there could be local variability of moisture, we could be benighted by unwanted localized convections but amidst this chiaroscuro there is hope which I consider not to be ephemeral.