Reality Break

Cooling our World with CurrenTechnologies

Reality Break 2004 | Blueprint for Third Millenia | Real Politic

 

Cooling our World with Current Technologies   

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/305/5686/968

 

The above link is to an article entitled;

Solving the Climate Problem for the Next 50 Years with Current technologies.  It is a shame one must join AAAS to have access to their articles.  So let me  streamline its skeletal structure. 

 

 

 

 

The authors, S Pacala and  R Socolow explain how our species can easily adapt to climate change by utilizing a number of  solutions which will lessen the amount of carbon in our atmosphere.  By lessening emissions in various ways, and soaking up whatever else we choose, our species can easily stabilize the total amount of carbon in our atmosphere and hence the overall global temperature. 

These solutions are tried and tested and ready to roll.  I find it amusing the most important article in an issue devoted to future hydrogen technology has nothing to do with hydrogen.  We're still very much a carbon-based civ and must implement solutions that address our current emissions. 

 

While the authors simply which to stabilize atmospheric CO2 levels at ~ double [~500ppm] pre-industrial levels [280ppm], I would advocate  aiming for an even lower concentration, say at today's [~375ppm] or even lower.

 

Socolow and Pacala list biological solutions last, yet I feel these should be pursued in earnest more than the others. 

 

1]Reforestation should be our species' first priority.  Phototrophic organisms consist of plants, trees, and algae floating in the sea.  They are ~ 99% of all life on our world and not only soak up/fix/sequester CO2 but exhale/respire for the most part all of our world's O2. 

Our species has desecrated [consumed] ~ half our world's forests if not more as of today... not good.

Still worse, we continue to do so.  When humans torch Indonesia, and set fire to Brazil,  as we are at this very second; we release huge amounts of carbon which adds to overall temperature increases.

Should not biologists promote afforestation first and foremost?  One of the easiest ways to cool our world involves also protecting what is left of much of our world's biodiversity at the same time.  In actuality,  biodiversity seems to have become a fringe benefit next to the importance forests have in cooling our world.

Economically, if equatorial nations TREASURES were ever managed responsibly with no corruption; then Indonesia, Brazil and the Congo could reap future fortunes while emulating OPEC with mahogany and countless other biological products, while also helping to cool our world. 

America, Canada, and Russia too, should not cut down any older pockets of forest, but make them preserves.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/289/5487/2058

Remember however,  protecting all forests worldwide by making them biopreserves more or less is only part of the equation   Not only must we protect those forests and trees which already exist we should reseed as many fast growing, economically viable species as quickly as well.   Phototrophic organisms are the best "tech" our species has at its disposal for  soaking/fixing/sequestering atmospheric CO2.

Saving our pristine forests and at the same time planting trees like there is no tomorrow is best way to begin cooling our world.  

2]Building more efficient buildings in the future mostly from wood made from seedlings now growing and yet to be planted is most likely the best way to store carbon in the near future.   All timber products in the end are small carbon sinks and we should build our civilization around them ... in a biolgically substainable and sane fashion.  Saving old growth forests doesn't mean humans shouldn't still harvest substantial amounts of timber; the key is to do it logically, by planting far more trees than one consumes.  

Wood should be cheap and plentiful.   These newly planted, fast growing trees should then be made into the best homes[carbon sinks] we can build over the next two decades.  Much of our housing should be built with good solid wood, grown expressly to soak up carbon in the first two decades of the Third Millenia.   The homes built over the next two decades should be the most efficient we can create. 

I have some ideas but would prefer to let you design your own dream houses. Mine would be Hobbit-like holes tunneled into the ground in Arizona.  Mostly SolarRoofing on the surface and good solid pine enclosing my space.  How far under do you have to go to keep the temp at ~60-70 or wherever you like it in Arizona? 

I need water from the atmosphere in Arizona.  I can cool a surface down and soak water from the atmosphere at night.   Perhaps a glass trussel with ivy growing on it.  Plenty of surface area.  Or maybe a glass pinnacle with a surface like that of the beetles of the Kalihari cooled down at night. 

In any event, .... I've said too much and people the world over should build extremely efficient houses designed for their environment out of wood

 

3]Pacala and Socolows' last solution, their numero 15 is.... Soil Management

Saving every last strand of forest from Madagascar to British Columbia is a noble idea to empower, yet absorbing large amounts of carbon with hemp and allowing it to fallow will absorb yet more carbon WORLDWIDE and create rich soils with little else added. 

We biophiles must promote it and help get it to the front of the line. It is not that difficult.

"soil C sequestration improves and sustains biomass/agronomic productivity ….has the potential to offset fossil-fuel emissions by 0.4 to 1.2 Gt C/year, or 5 to 15% of the global emissions.. … [and] the close link between soil C sequestration and world food security on the one hand and climate change on the other can neither be overemphasized"

 http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/304/5677/1623  

No ...it cannot.  This is slightly off the topic ... but it is a corollary of creating soil with hemp.  Farmers planting hemp will have many a tychoon whose market evaporates fuming,  ... but ask me if I care.  You can't make money on solar cells?    .....In any event according to this most excellent article .... our farmers could lock in .... 5-15%of the total carbon  humans "exhale".

 But ...as the supragenius  http://www.jackherer.com/ makes all too clear ....  the current creators of fertilizers and other assorted molecules will most likely be as recalcitrant as "fossilized conglomerates" are towards photons and biofuels. 

4] The 14th remedy of Pacala and Socolows' blueprint is of course biofuels and our number four.  Many nations  run very efficiently on biofuels.  Why not America?  I'm not going to go into it... and hope you can figure it out.  You can pay a farmer to fill up your tank and cool the planet ... and grant your brothers and sisters whispering, ‘There’s no place like home.'  their wish.  We need to bring them home now and fill our tanks up next year on carbon from the air. 

 

5]Wind generated electricity is Pacala and Socolows' number 10 and I am a huge fan.  Since I have a rebel streak I hope to channel constructively I advocate building your own turbine and getting off the grid.  But Exxon building one million windmills from Texas to Saskatchewan is kosh too.  As long as they do it without my tax dollars.

 

6]Their first is improved fuel economy.  I would prefer my own personal helicopter which runs on hemp and gets 30 km to a liter ... why are we building roads?  I won't go into it.  But I can think of many good arguments to look upon roads and wheels as archaic 

Seriously folks... our vehicles can get excellent fuel economy.  You can get a big full-sized VAN;  a big container that gets 40-50 mpg on fuel homegrown by family farmers.  But guess who doesn't like this idea? 

 

7]Photoelectric Electricilty.  Solar Cells.  SolaRoofing is someone else's baby.  I don't know squat about em but hope to see them tax-free athe very least.  I love off grid electricity.  I love the idea of bulding them in exceptionally hot environments from Cali to the Sahara.  They should make great roofs eventually. 

 

8]Improved coal-powered plant efficiency.  Guys if we're going to throw money at an idea ... how bout geothermal plants?

 Rather than invest capital in something somewhat laughable if it wasn't so toxic, nuclear power plants [09], why not simply create deep mantle turbine technology?

Biologists are almost unanimous in believing nuclear fueled plants  should gradually be decommissioned.  A corrupt nuclear power plant construction industry is then forced to figure out how to tunnel into America's Northeast;  generating steam with the next generation of turbines.  Pacala and Socolows' 04 describes how we could cleanse our current coal plants .... and I am all for it.  But will not endorse one more radioactive source of energy [their number 9]... nor new power plants  not  fueled with hydrocarbons absorbed from the atmosphere. 

I do not know if geothermal plants are economically competitive with say hemp, nor how much land America has to fuel energy, but I agree on cleansing our existing fossil fueled energy plants, ...but not with my tax dollars.   

9]Substituting Natural Gas for coal.  Ironic isn't it?  In that Natural Gas is a fossil fuel and most biologists would say, "BURN IT ALL" 

It all comes down to molecules.  Natural Gas leaves nothing but water and some CO2. It would be awesome if you could grow something similar .....

...in principle. 

 

   The remaining solutions are most likely useful if they are not subsidized while forests are still being incinerated.  6,7, 8, 12

Homo sapiens already has the “tech” to sequester carbon.  Fast growing species fix carbon quickly and efficiently.  These can be transformed into organic carbon, biofuels, paper, furniture, …a virtual endless list of sinks. 

 Biological solutions are what we would like to stress.  As well as the true nature of those who cling insanely to the status quo. 

Kerry and Bush represent a threat, in that neither will make the fundamental changes needed at this point in spacetime as far as any future United State’s Climate Shift Policy is concerned.  The situation can be remedied easily as this [most excellent] article points out, but the status quo is entrenched and the source of our currents wars.  As scientists, you will have to fight an old battle to create sanity.

I would again like to thank the two authors.  Our own website envisioned a future climate shift policy somewhat like a global jigsaw puzzle; Brazil, Indonesia, Zaire safe and tree farms being seeded;  global stabilization of sapiens population; alternative sources of energy. Thanks to this article we can now advocate pursuing a global cooling strategy that seems scientifically sound and with many more pieces.

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