Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ending Global Warming

Climate change is occurring, and while there's a big debate raging about how much of it is human-caused (and those that believe that humans cause 'none' are clearly kidding themselves, as are those who insist that humans cause 'all' of it,), no one seems interested in doing much about it.
Partially this is because two of the main causes, an increase in carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere, both of which come from industry and farming, which in turn makes our lives directly better. No one wants to quit their job or live in a smaller house, or eat less for the earth's sake. Well, maybe a few people, but they are a distinct minority.
However, besides reduction, there is also a way we could remove existing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere: plants. A plant is, for as long as it is alive, keeping its own weight in greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere. This is because the proteins that make up the plant's body are constructed from sugar that the plant makes itself, and nitrogen compounds from the soil. Some plants can even extract nitrogen straight from the atmosphere, enriching the soil with yet more nitrogen compounds.
So my plan is this: Deliberately grow fast-growing short-lived plants, and when they die, either sink them to the bottom of a swamp (where, over the course of millions of years, they will become new fossil fuels,) or lacking a swamp, encase them in cement and sink them to the bottom of the ocean. Should fertility slow down, harvest the current plants and grow clover, which is one of those plants that can get nitrogen from the atmosphere. One year's growth of clover should refresh the soil enough to grow five years of faster growing plants.
On the US west coast, Eucalyptus would work best. In the US gulf coast and east coast, kudzu would be better.
Transportation still needs to be worked out, as this plan will be useless if the dead plants are sent by truck. (The gas burned by the truck might very well return every molecule of CO2 that the plant extracted, statistically.)

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...