In this story a benevolent creator designed a planet capable of meeting the needs of billions of inhabitants. To provide the energy needs of the inhabitants the creator planted some of the fuels deep under the surface. The fuels were made of combinations of two basic elements, carbon and hydrogen. For example one carbon molecule combined with four hydrogen molecules made “natural gas”. This fuel could be run through pipes to heat homes, fuel stoves, run cars and turn turbines to make electricity. You could do almost anything with it!
At first the inhabitants thought the fuel supplied by the creator was in short supply and they would have to develop their own means of survival but then they discovered there was hundreds of years of supply in reserve.
Some of the smartest inhabitants noticed that when you used the fuels a colourless, odorless gas was produced. It was composed of one carbon molecule and two oxygen molecules. The more there is of this gas the easier it is for plants to make food. But then some of the very smart inhabitants saw the trap. The planet was booby trapped. If you used the fuels the planet would overheat making it impossible to survive. This was worse than a forbidden fruit tree it was an orchard of forbidden fruit!
The governments of the world banded together to produce a calamity report. Every four years they updated the calamity report and with every report things looked more bleak. A prominent politician made a movie explaining the problem. The movie was shown to school children and some got to see it numerous times. The movie made the children afraid!
Governments earmarked billions to research the full scope of the impending calamity. Respected journals were filled with studies outlining the ramifications of the problem. A consensus view formed. But when the early predictions in the studies didn’t materialize the people of the planet became sceptical. The studies made them think of the story of “Chicken Little” and “The boy who cried Wolf”. Every year trust in the smart ones who discovered the calamity kept slipping. What a dilemma! This must be the strangest story you have every heard. Can you believe it? Probably not.