In the 1980s, Árpád Fogarasi started to build a nuclear bunker in his yard in eastern Hungary. His town was in one of the poorest counties near the Ukrainian and Romanian border. Amateur filmmaker Ferenc Bogdány did a documentary movie with Fogarasi and his neighbor, Sándor Szalacsi.  Fogarasi didn’t know anything about chemistry, but he still wanted to create a machine transforming the water of a well into oxygen for the hermetically-sealed bunker. He did not succeed with the machine and the bunker was abandoned, but he was featured in TV shows and the neighbor became the first Hungarian Internet meme in 2002.
The real story behind the bunker is known by only a few. The first wife of the obsessive bunker builder Fogarasi divorced him after a few days. His second wife also divorced him and forbade him to visit his child. Neighbor Sándor Szalacsi became an alcoholic and in »extreme self-defense« killed his wife. Szalacsi was in prison when he became famous on the Internet. The cheap humor of memes and TV shows served simply to mock less-educated people coming from lower social classes. The 2000s set the stage in Hungary for society to look down upon ordinary people, the working man (jó-munkás ember). The community was dividing and the left-wing party falling apart. The left-wing parties looked down on those people by not supporting them; these people in turn felt abandoned.
In the past few years, the planet has become small like a bunker, where resources like drinking water, clean air, and food are running out. The warming planet has caused me fear and sleepless nights. Although I am not an expert on chemical reactions, I started to think about machines that could reduce the greenhouse effect. Instead of reducing emissions, my machines would transform carbon dioxide into oxygen or other good stuff. They might work like very efficient trees.
I learned from a specialist that the same section of my brain responsible for my fear also causes my greedy consumption and global warming. The base of the amygdala is an almond-shaped section of nerve tissue located on both sides of the brain’s temporal lobe. It is responsible for emotions and survival instincts. It functions almost independently of the limbic system. The amygdala controls the perception of anger, fear, sadness, sexual desire, and aggression. For example, if you ever experienced a dog attack, the amygdala stores this memory and therefore increases your fear of dogs. Is my fear coming from my memories that I visited the hottest deserts on Earth? In case of danger the amygdala can make you freeze or slow down the cerebral cortex, release stress hormones, and increase blood pressure. So based on memories or historical instincts, it can plant irrational fears and behavior. For example, we eat more than necessary because historically the cavemen and cavewomen didn’t always have food, so they stored fat on their bellies for the lean times. Today we consume as much we can afford or even more. My carbon dioxide environmental footprint is around 3.5 times what the Earth, with seven billion people, can survive without a serious environmental collapse. The idea of the carbon dioxide transformer machine is trying to compensate for greedy consumption, instead of reducing it.
To my great pleasure I discovered that there is already a carbon dioxide transforming machine in Switzerland. On the roof of a large recycling center stand 18 metal fans, stacked one on top of the other. These fans suck in the surrounding air and chemically coated filters inside absorb the carbon dioxide. They become saturated in a few hours. Using waste heat from the recycling facility, the filters are heated to 100º C and pure carbon dioxide gas is then collected.  The carbon dioxide is blown further into greenhouses, so the cabbages grow faster. The good thing about this machine is that it makes a profit, so perhaps the idea spreads. In Iceland, carbon dioxide is converted to coal underground on a small scale, using the same technology.  And there is a third option: a car manufacturer that extracts fuel out of carbon dioxide and water.  The water is heated up to form steam that is broken down into hydrogen and oxygen via high-temperature electrolysis. The hydrogen reacts to the carbon dioxide in synthesis reactors, again under pressure and at high temperature. The product of the reaction is a liquid made from long-chain hydrocarbon compounds, known as blue crude. The entrepreneurs developing the new technologies get electricity from solar panels to filter and convert carbon dioxide. The efficiency is still low, almost insignificant in making real change.
Because it’s very hard to catch those carbon dioxide molecules.
The sound of ice is getting
thinner. The rain is falling in
Poison distribution. The skin
on the bruise is melting down,
where a carbon-based life form
loves soda. All aerobic
organisms are producing
this buzzing when they
and lipids to produce energy
by respiration. It feels like
blowing air, like a hair dryer.
The last ice cream is brought
up in a bucket to the roof.
- Ferenc Bogdány: Az atombunker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oKh0-mb770&index=2&list=RD8vqS8tDSS3o
- Matt McGrath: “Climate’s magic rabbit: Pulling CO2 out of thin air,” in: BBC.com, November 15, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41816332
- Alister Doyle: “From thin air to stone: greenhouse gas test starts in Iceland.” in: Reuters, October 11, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-carbon/from-thin-air-to-stone-greenhouse-gas-test-starts-in-iceland-idUSKBN1CG2D4