(I published this before, but it's worth putting up again)
Enough hysteria. We can stop Global Warming right now, without giving up all manufacturing, driving cars, raising cattle or exhaling. There is a simple, inexpensive device – available right now – that will pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and provide many side benefits as well.
This device is self-sustaining and will work for years – or decades, or even centuries – with almost no maintenance. It’s completely solar powered, and needs nothing but occasional applications of water and certain inexpensive common minerals. It has almost no waste products, and even those are readily biodegradable; they can be used as mulch, compost materials, or feedstock for making fuel-grade ethanol.
After drawing CO2 out of the air this device then breaks down the CO2 into carbon, which it uses for its own maintenance, and pure oxygen, which it releases into the atmosphere. A single model can take at least a ton of CO2 out of the air every year. Its air-cleaning properties aren’t limited to just CO2, either; it can also take out carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and sulfides.
Its useful side effects include preventing soil erosion, providing weather-protection for small plants and animals, and even producing food for livestock and human beings. Far from being an ugly machine, it’s quite ornamental and can add considerably to the value of real estate. You don’t need any government permits to install it. You can place it outdoors or indoors in a container, so long as you give it access to direct sunlight.
And it’s cheap. This amazing device is available in every city and town in America, at prices as low as $7 for a start-up model or $150 for a full-size household model.
So why haven’t you seen this marvelous device announced all over the media? Perhaps just because it’s so cheap, not to mention that it can propagate itself under the right conditions, so no giant corporation could make mega-bucks by selling it. Perhaps because it’s not an exciting new discovery but a very old one – 100 million years old, in fact.
It’s called a tree.
One of the reasons for our planetary crisis is that, in the last 400 years, fully half the world’s forests have been cut down – and not replaced. We need to restore those forests, and not just with single species of pines. We need to plant fruit-trees, nut-trees, hardwoods, redwoods and ironwoods, oaks and chestnuts, ornamental trees and medicinal trees. We need to plant them in every front yard and back yard, along our freeways and boulevards, in our parks and at the borders of our parking lots, around the edges of junkyards and factories, between fields of crops and in the courtyards of office buildings, and everywhere else we can think of.
Planting trees is one thing we can do right now to stop Global Warming, clean our air, and balance the ecosystem. So who’ll be first to buy a seedling and take up a shovel?