Friday, February 28, 2014

Most Plants Shun the Color Green

But it ain’t green, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t green, babe
It ain’t green you’re lookin’ for, babe

(Apology to Bob Dylan)

I’m sure that you have noticed the new green bandwagon where virtually any offensive polluter can transform itself overnight into a model, environmentally-concerned corporation by just saying the magic words “green business or green marketing.” 

Like:  Green coal enterprise lopping off mountain tops, green nuclear plants generating impossible to destroy radioactive byproducts, green natural gas companies fracting and contaminating neighborhood water supplies, and green power plants that to want to turn the planet into a giant green balloon pumped full of carbon dioxide.

It is a testimony to the brainwashing genius of marketing consultants and public relations gurus to see this transformation in action.

Can you imagine a corporate outing to some lush location surrounded by tropical rainforests with dense green canopies or to the evergreen forests at a ski resort in the Sierras.

Look at all the green leaves and needles, look at all the photosynthesis.  “Heh, why don’t we embrace green marketing and start green websites, and Facebook pages and empower green social engineering?”

After all all of our food, building materials and fossil fuels were generated by photosynthesis, so green must be important.

So be it.  It is done.  It likely will continue to be done. 

And it is dead wrong.

The reason that chlorophyll a and b, chloroplasts, and leaves and needles are green is because plants don’t want to have anything to do with green light.  They transmit it and reflect it.  That’s why THEY ARE GREEN!
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In terms of the complex process of photosynthesis in which the energy from the sun is transformed through a very complex sequence of electron transport, and carbohydrate synthesis and oxygen generation from oxidation/reduction reactions, it is all driven by red and blue light, not green light.

Chlorophyll a and b have absorption peaks in the blue spectrum at 420-453 nm and in the red wavelengths at 645-663 nm.  Virtually none of the green wavelengths from 500-600 nm are involved in photosynthesis.

In terms of plant energetics, green wavelengths are reflected and of no value.  From a plant’s energy budget they are trash. 

So you brilliant marketing gurus have based your whole giant worldwide marketing campaign on the color green which is environmental trash.

A better feel good and accurate campaign choice would have been blue and red wavelengths..even white light since it has both red and blue spectra with green sandwiched between.

You could have called it the red, white and blue campaign.  Maybe that was taken?

For those who are dedicating their time and resources to restoring balance on the planet.  Keep up the good work, you can call it any color that you want.




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