Is the global warming strategy of improving nature’s ability to remove CO2 from the air technically feasible?
Here is the entire line of reasoning:
It is unlikely that mankind will cut their greenhouse gas emissions so drastically, and so fast, as to avoid either abrupt climate change or runaway global warming.
Mankind is burning oil and natural gas as fast as it is recovered from the ground. Furthermore, burning coal to generate electricity is 1/6th the cost of either oil or natural gas. Worldwide electricity demand is expected to double by 2030. China is adding coal-fired plants at the rate of Britain’s entire power grid each year! India is about to follow suit. American generates about half of her electricity from burning coal.
CCS (carbon capture and sequester) technology for coal-fired plants won’t be widely available for decades. When it is it will be very expensive to build and operate. Furthermore, it is unlikely that old dirty coal-fired plants will be able to be retrofitted with CCS technology.
Dr Hansen of NASA says to avoid dangerous warming we need to put a moritorium on building dirty coal-fired plants (i.e. non-CCS technology), and start decommissioning the ones currently operating (per “King Coal” http://arxiv.org/abs/0706.3720 ). In my opinion, this is a non-starter for any international climate treaty, since developing nations will predictably want to “catch up” to developed nations in per capita CO2 emissions, and coal is a stable cheap domestic energy source.
Besides, cutting emissions is a weak mitigation strategy, because a warming earth means that carbon sinks will become carbon emitters (i.e. like mega forest and peat fires, melting permafrost, and increased SSTs), erasing any feasible cuts mankind would make.
Furthermore, nature already removes about half of mankind’s CO2 emissions, and the purpose of mankind cutting CO2 emissions would be so nature could lower the CO2 level in the air. It is estimated that nature’s ability to remove CO2 from the air will decrease 30% by 2030.
In other words, not only would the developed countries have to cut their emissions even more to compensate for developing nations continuing to dramatically increase their emissions, but also for the increased natural emissions AND the decreased ability of nature to remove the CO2 from the air.
Besides, the very expensive rebuilding of our entire energy infrastructure to institute the global warming mitigation strategy of reducing our emissions is creating political gridlock.
Instead, I suggest improving nature’s ability to remove the CO2 using genetic technology-perhaps seeding a GMO into the ocean.
Biosequestration (biologically impound the carbon) is a low cost, highly scalable, and technically feasible solution to global warming.
That excess CO2 must be removed from the air as soon as possible, or the earth’s carrying capacity will abruptly drop in the next couple of decades. Biosequestration could save billions of lives and trillions of dollars.
Again, my question: Is my global warming biosequestration strategy of seeding a GMO into the environment technically feasible?