Since the industrial revolution, CO2 has been bad, really bad, so much so that we are at the point of sequestering it. Off to the corner it goes never to romp around with the other molecules in the atmospheric playground. Well, except for about 350 of them (Do the Math). That’s all the school-sky Stewards can manage before tempers get heated.
What kind of detention can we impose on these airborne bullies?
Meet Sally Steward and Bob Bioengineer who were kind enough to let us eavesdrop on their conversation.
Sally: We can make a huge forest in the Amazon where the beef and beef feed ranches are, and banish the CO2 bullies there. Let the trees have their way with them and trap their sorry butts deep underground from whence they came.
Bob: That’s not very original. We got rid of that unproductive forest, remember? You’ll never win a nobel prize for that one. Besides, we would be regressing to a less civilized society. It would be a serious blow to human progress. Just think of the economic impact…and the fast-food burgers.
Sally: Well then, how about planting the sea grass and mangroves back along the coastlines. They LOVE to munch on CO2 and they’ll even store them securely for free in the ocean floor. They always win the carbon pie eating contest hands down (50 times more than land trees) at the county fair.
Bob: What will all the people who bought properties from big waterfront land developers do? All that work they did stripping out that disgusting junk from the water will have been wasted. And walking through all that slimy green stuff? There could be things living in there. Not human things.
Sally: Right you are. So sorry. I forgot that you spend all your day in a lab with no windows. The outdoors must just scare the crap out of you.
Bob: Don’t be ridiculous! I go fishing once a year. It’s a blast. We rent a cabin, drink beer, relax, crank up the tunes. Nature’s great. Except for the bugs, but I have some bug spray for that. Oh and except for the one year we ended up on a lake that was full of weeds. The boat motor kept getting caught in them. What a nuisance. The rental company even had the audacity to claim that the fishing was better.
Sally: It’s called tape grass. And yes there would be more fish.
Sally: Hey! We can send the CO2 bullies there. The stems are like high-security prison bars. They won’t be escaping any time soon.
Bob: Nah. We lodged a complaint and they cleaned it all up. Ridiculous! How can they expect someone to fish in that stuff?
Sally: I see. So if we can’t use the free, perfectly functioning, zero maintenance systems that Gaia provides, then what? Even the fish schools are having problems with the CO2 goons crossing over into their neighbourhoods. We’re running out of options here.
Bob: No. There must be a more complex and intellectually challenging solution that will teach those CO2 rogues a lesson or two.
Bob: Yes. All we need is for green investors to stop investing in alternative energies and put the money into carbon capture and storage technology research. No one loses their job. In fact we can even ramp up the Alberta Tar Sands as planned, frack every piece of shale on the planet, drill the arctic, burn up all the coal, burn up all the peat then store the CO2 underground. The air is clean, the planet stops warming, and we can even use CO2 to frack with instead of water, so it’s actually a win-win.
Sally: Amazing! Did you come up with that idea all by yourself?
Bob: I wish. Some CSR exec working for one of the big oil companies did. That’s why they get paid the big bucks I guess.
Sally: Yes, of course. What a fine example of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Bob: So…I have this idea for a carbon capture technology that acts just like a tree but better. You’d be getting in on the ground floor. Are you in?
Sally: Let me think. Ummm…NO!!!! I’m not waiting for the “unforeseen” side-effects to compound the problem. I plan to retire with the sun as my banker.
Would YOU take Bob up on his offer if he guaranteed you a 5-year return of 10%? How about 50%? 200%?