It's becoming much cheaper to suck carbon dioxide from the air

When a tree rots, all of its CO2 returns to the atmosphere – you have to be storing the wood (or char from the tree) in some permanent form or you’re not helping the carbon problem.

In addition, trees absorb much more carbon when young and growing than after they’re full-sized and holding steady. If you want to soak up as much carbon as possible you need to cut the young trees, store them, and replant.


Really? By what process is the carbon released?

So use fast growing short lived trees like poplar.

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‘Rotting’ is the process of being eaten by ants, termites, bacteria, fungus, etc. ‘Eating’ is just another word for ‘burning, very slowly’. There’s no real difference between leaving something to rot and just straight-up burning it, EXCEPT that rotting also produces methane in addition to CO2, and methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

It’s unintuitive, but from a global warming perspective biodegradable trash is worse than trash that gets buried in a landfill, inert, forever. In fact, one of the cheapest and most effective greenhouse-reduction programs is to locate sources of rotting garbage and burn the methane rather than let it be released.


Decay via microorganisms. And it returns to CO2 if you’re lucky; a lot of it returns as methane, which is a more potent (but shorter-lived) greenhouse gas.


That was the conventional wisdom to be sure. But when they actually tested that theory, they found that it’s not the carbon dump they thought it was

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Growing trees is definitely great for a lot of things, but it seems almost impossible to get enough carbon capture to make a serious dent in what we have already released. Leaving them in place to rot also releases some of the carbon back to the air. In any case, it isn’t really something you do with concentrated CO2 captured from a system like this.

I have this same upset feeling every time I buy carbon offsets. Like, really, it only costs me $100 to prevent my contribution to global warming? Then why don’t we just…


It’s not a binary problem where we can only do one thing at a time. Plant trees. Let the trees be trees. Build carbon sequestration systems too.


So windmills and solar farms are eyesores but this isn’t? I’d also suspect these would be a bit of an issue for birds as well. Unless of course the real objections to windmills and solar farms is that they undermine invested interests while these do not.


While true, and real problems, over the past 4-6 years more than half of new generating capacity in the US comes from wind and solar - and most of the rest is natural gas, which is at least slightly better than coal. It’s painfully slow, but this is a fight renewables are winning largely on their economic merits at this point.

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Great luck! Now we can burn fossil fuels with impunity! What could possibly go wrong?


Mandate smaller versions of this on Automobiles as part of their radiator system.

If we are burning oil and coal to provide the energy to do the capturing, of course yeah. But remember that the law of thermodynamics only applies to closed systems. Energy from solar or nukes is effectively outside the system as far as CO2 is concerned.

Well, if they work it will provide more time to phase in the path to lower CO2 emissions with less economic disruption. I can’t argue with that.

I really want to see some citations here. There are a lot of links I could post showing that in most of the developed world, fertility rates are dropping to replacement level or below.

And if through carbon sequestration, we can provide more energy to third world countries, they will become more prosperous and healthier, markers which point pretty consistently to a falling birthrate.


So you’re saying my grandpa who massively overbuilt everything was ahead of the curve on this carbon sequestration thing?


It’s been done.

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No it isn’t.

The problem is not too many people. We have enough for everybody. The problem is inequality, greed and waste.


Just to hold atmospheric carbon stable, given current industrial emissions, you’d need to plant a few billion trees per year. Every year. Forever.

Trees are nice and all, but they ain’t gonna solve this. For that, you need to permanently shut down every coal mine and oil well on the planet. Yesterday.


there’s this idea that in certain parts of africa the carbon dioxide gas emits from rock crevices to give any animal lurking about so this fuels the senses of other animals who smell the meat noise

can someone please explain how air miles carbon is calculated?
So if i fly London to Dubai and create 1 ton of carbon how does a flight on 100 passengers create 100 tones of carbon when I guess the plane and passengers and the fuel will weigh less than that?

It would make sense to add the carbon cost onto things if it can be pulled from the air. But no chance in the Trump era. The reality is that it will be cheaper to do this than not so the economic argument would work with rational governments.