Two simultaneous inventions save world

TomMazanec

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One was a chemical that had a cornucopia of uses and properties, one of which was that it spread on water to a monolayer like oil that was impervious to evaporation. The other was a super-energy source, virtually free.
The chemical, for some reason, was being carried in a supertanker and it does an Amoco Cadiz and the chemical ends up covering the world's oceans. A global hyperdrought results. Humanity, racing towards the Final War using the energy source, instead unites to use it to boil seawater and end the drought.
Story ends that, if they had not been almost simultaneous, either invention would have ended the human race.
Short story 50s or 60s.
 

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