Clarke S. 2022 More Solutions
Current investment to address climate change is focused mainly on the mitigation of further greenhouse gas emissions by a wide variety of means and a handful of technologies, most of which are designed to extract carbon dioxide from the air and to either to sequester it geologically or to turn it into biomass or useful products. This handful includes Direct Air Capture (DAC) using machinery, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), and various forms of Afforestation. Even with some likely improvement in cost over time, most reputable analyses indicate that all three will suffer from showstoppers in the form of one or more of: scalability, cost, insufficient resource, timeliness, or risk of reversal under increasing global warming. In addition, none directly addresses the problems of other greenhouse gases, of solar or thermal radiation management, of ocean acidification and stratification, of species and habitat loss, of ice loss, of increasingly extreme weather events, of sea level rise, of passing tipping points, and of the long-term effects of prior emissions, land clearing, pollution, and ecological impoverishment. OFFER What is offered below are sixteen conceptual methods, the combination of which addresses both carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and the above other problems in different ways. Most require validation, modelling, gated testing and approval prior to deployment. Whilst research is being undertaken at various organizations to develop, quantify, model, test and validate some of them, all such concepts that appear to have prospect need to be evaluated and compared. As well, all should be assessed for their potential cost-effectiveness, their effects, scalability, risk-to-risk profile, optimal interaction, measurably, reversibility, and community acceptability. Readers are requested to see how they might contribute to these efforts. Each concept will be given a short description. Its key functions will be outlined, as well as the innovation dependencies on which it depends. Attached to it may also be a summarizing graphic and/or document where that is short enough to be digested quickly. Longer, supporting documentation is available on request for most of the solutions. Whilst the order in which the concepts are presented is usually that of decreasing expected climate restoration effectiveness, exceptions are made when subsequent concepts are likely to depend on earlier ones.