Saving the world 101

A master in ancient mythology Moses aptly describes in his First Book of Moses the effects of climate change on the hydrological balance of the planet. “In the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.”

The same book interprets this with the term flood – someone else might describe it as random variation in the context of standard deviation. The same occurred in Sotkamo a few years back, and the same appears to be ahead globally at some point. The guilty one is likely not the Beast described by Isaiah and Daniel in the Book of Revelations, even if it did arise from the water.

On the other hand, we may also consider the popularity of metal-based silverware and its partial share in the exponential growth of the steel industry. The global volume of the steel industry alone amounts to over a thousand million tons. A discussion on its necessity is hardly needed. Living, eating and transportation all require these raw materials. As the population grows, so does everything else, requiring resources. These have successfully been developed by engineers who, in the process, have also caused the above-mentioned impending global flood. Everything will undoubtedly lead to the same biblical outcome.

Time will tell, and naturally, anything can happen. Soon the essence of dark matter is also likely to be discovered and once 90% of the world’s matter is at hand, it won’t be long until someone makes use of it. At this point, we are facing a universal challenge, with the storing of low-level dark matter into the Betelgeuze constellation being considered. Whatever happens, the culprit is bound to be the same: humans’ constant need to research and develop. The cure can often be found with the cause – whether in public debt, overexertion, hangover or saving the world.

By definition, research & development refers to systematic activities to increase information and the use of information for finding new applications. The definition usually includes basic research, applied research and development, at least.

Basic research includes handing out Nobel Prizes, although the amount of actual impact at this stage is close to zero. Correspondingly, applied researchers develop some sensible and useful purpose for these discoveries. We are those who put things into practice and see to it that they work. Thus, we systematically carry out activities as a result of research and/or through information gathered through practical experience for the purpose of developing new materials, products, production processes, methods and systems or significantly improving existing ones.

In this framework, our part of the world is saved when engineers drive electric Mercedes cars on the bus lane in the morning traffic. The cars have been manufactured in Europe with Finnish raw materials and within an efficient and integrated value chain. Period.

Undoubtedly, this has saved many people from a premature death while at least trying to curb the warming of the climate. On the side, a few mines and chemical factories have been opened and people employed. Perhaps this is enough to be developed for a few years. Come and join us – we will report on the work.

Jani Kiuru

Chief Research Officer

Finnish Minerals Group