8 Ways to Sequester Carbon to Avoid Climate Catastrophe

GR: Developing and testing atmospheric CO2 capture technology is underway. That, at a cost of perhaps a trillion dollars per year, and other less mechanical techniques for preventing climate-change devastation. At the same time, an immediate end to fossil fuel use is necessary.

Reading this article, one gets the impression that by making a total effort, we could control climate change. Of course, wealthy investors will fund and control the technological efforts. So, we pay them to solve the problem they caused? Perhaps we need to concentrate more  on distributed solutions that people can fund and control. Things like dropping meat from our diet, planting trees, and growing our own food.

Saving ourselves from climate change solves only part of our trouble. The other problems are just as serious and will require equally creative solutions.

The true disaster is the careless and relentless destruction of nature in which human-caused climate change joins farming, fishing, hunting, dumping, and urbanization as an instrument of nature’s destruction.

As we struggle to control our fossil-fuel addiction and begin drawing carbon back from the air, we also need to take all those recommended steps to reduce our population and its impact on the Earth. The outlook is not hopeful, the future isn’t bright, and right now, humanity doesn’t much care. Perhaps that will change during the next few years.

This article contains a useful discussion and explanation of carbon-capture solutions.

“Klaus Lackner has a picture of the future in his mind, and it looks something like this: 100 million semi-trailer-size boxes, each filled with a beige fabric configured into what looks like shag carpet to maximize surface area. Each box draws in air as though it were breathing. As it does, the fabric absorbs carbon dioxide, which it later releases in concentrated form to be made into concrete or plastic or piped far underground, effectively cancelling its ability to contribute to climate change.

“Though the technology is not yet operational, it’s “at the verge of moving out of the laboratory, so we can show how it works on a small scale,” said Lackner, director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University. Once he has all the kinks worked out, he figured that, combined, the network of boxes could capture perhaps 100 million metric tons (110 million tons) of CO2 per day at a cost of $30 per ton—making a discernible dent in the climate-disrupting overabundance of CO2 that has built up in the air since humans began burning fossil fuels in earnest 150 years ago.

“Lackner is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of scientists around the world who are working on ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, capturing carbon from the atmosphere using plants, rocks or engineered chemical reactions and storing it in soil, products such as concrete and plastic, rocks, underground reservoirs or the deep blue sea.

“Some of the strategies—known collectively as carbon dioxide removal or negative emissions technologies—are just twinkles in their envisioners’ eyes. Others—low-tech schemes like planting more forests or leaving crop residues in the field, or more high-tech “negative emissions” setups like the CO2-capturing biomass fuel plant that went online last spring in Decatur, Illinois—are already underway. Their common aim: To help us out of the climate change fix we’ve gotten ourselves into.

“We can’t just decarbonize our economy, or we won’t meet our carbon goal,” said Noah Deich, co-founder and executive director with the Center for Carbon Removal in Oakland, California. “We have to go beyond to clean up carbon from the atmosphere … [And] we need to start urgently if we are to have real markets and real solutions available to us that are safe and cost effective by 2030.” –Mary Hoff (Continue: 8 Ways to Sequester Carbon to Avoid Climate Catastrophe).


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