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Now that we have a comprehensive understanding of the
Earth's atmosphere, oceans, geology, biology and the
interactions thereof, many are now confident that
is bad. There have been numerous proposals to sequester
atmospheric CO2 and store it long term, but the
and the scale required is daunting.
The clever thing to do is get hold of the carbon when it is
more concentrated. Since the atmosphere is 0.0% CO2,
a poor source. Some improvement could be had by
into power stations etc, but this is still patchy and
Currently, consumer packaging and disposable items such
as carrier bags are made of plastics that contain
such as cobalt and manganese that promote the
degradation of the plastic by sunlight & oxygen.
Alternatively, plastics such as polylactic acid (pla) are
oxidized to CO2 by diverse environmental microbes. I
need to mention just how bad paper products are in the
As a solution, I propose that disposable consumer items
made of plastics designed not to degrade. This might
difficult, but several strategies present themselves.
Carefully omitting the cobalt and manganese will
the lifespan of existing plastics notably. The banning of
will improve things further. Consumer outlets could offer
much thicker bags that lock up 2-4 fold more carbon than
current designs. The use of marketing could even
consumers that they're getting a "good, stout bag that
won't tear even if you're carrying two oranges!". The
thickness may even come to be synonymous with quality,
hold-out retailers could be shamed about their "thin,
& cheap" bags.
Eventually, significant carbon will be safely locked away
a form more recalcitrant and intractable than the source
crude oil could hope to be. Furthermore, instead of
concentrated and tempting billion-barrel lakes that
minimal effort to extract, the plastics will be widely
distributed in landfills, drawers and the occasional ditch.
Totally uneconomical to extract. As a side benefit, the
bags might have some staying power and not crumble
pieces in your backpack.
[bs0u0155, Apr 19 2019]
Carbon Fixed House
[Voice, Apr 26 2019]
||Hmmm. You know, [bs], this is not such a stupid idea.
||World plastic production is currently about 0.3GT/yr, and
CO2 emissions are about 10GT/ry. A simple 30-fold increase
in plastic production would pretty much solve the whole
||However, we could do better. People die at the rate of
about 50 million per year, or about 5MT/yr. Maybe 20% of
this is carbon. If we just froze people (or plastinated them
- even more carbon up-lock), we'd add a bit of CO2
sequestration. Add in grass cuttings, pets and the left-over
bits of livestock and we'd make a real dent.
||Taking this further, there is a lot to be said for plastinating
all plants and animals as a matter of course, leaving enough
alive to repopulate and capture more carbon.