Electric energy production using non-renewable processes produces an immense amount of carbon, and as a civilization we can’t afford to put more carbon in the atmosphere. Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder set out to figure out how much pollution do power plants actually produce and what can we do about the worst ones. They found that 73% of pollution came from just 5% of power plants, unsurprisingly those plants used coal. So let’s shut them down!
According to the authors of the research, the emission intensity of the ten worst plants exceeded those of other fossil fuel power plants in their home countries in 2018 at a rate 28.2 percent to 75.6 percent higher than their counterparts. This suggests that the plants are very inefficient in burning coal, the research showed.
â€œWhy these relatively inefficient plants are used so heavily is a topic ripe for future investigation,â€ the authors wrote.
A materials company in Berlin wants to build the world using carbon taken our of the air – making it the first carbon-negative materials manufacture. Made of Air has sunglasses on the market and provides cladding material for buildings all made from a tried and tested method of capturing air based carbon, they then apply their unique method to make the carbon durable enough in these other settings. For every tone of plastic-like material they create they store about two tonnes of co2.
Over the next year, the company is ramping up its production capacity by 100 times to sequester 2,000 tonnes of CO2e each year.
Made of Air is a non-toxic bioplastic made from biochar. This charcoal-like material is almost pure carbon and is made by burning biomass such as forestry offcuts and secondary agricultural materials without oxygen.
Biochar has been produced for centuries and is increasingly being used as a fertiliser as well as a way of sequestering carbon in the soil.
Made of Air mixes biochar with a binder made from sugar cane to create a material that can be melted and moulded like a regular thermoplastic.
Iceland already is one of the greenest places on the planet and they are going even further to try keep the whole planet green. The country is hosting a research project that has sucked 43,000 tons of CO2 out of the air and injected it into the ground. They’re capturing CO2 waste and then mixing it with water to decrease the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and the results are promising. This works well in Iceland due to the volcanic rock in the country (this doesn’t work as well with other types of rock).
Of course, the best thing to keep CO2 out of the atmosphere is to not generate it all by using sustainable energy and efficient energy use. Until we have a fully renewable grid and cut down consumer consumption we need to look into carbon capture.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology promoted by the United Nations that can capture up to 90 percent of CO2 emissions that come from fossil-fuel sources and send them to an underground storage siteâ€”usually an old oil and gas field or a saline aquifer formationâ€”so they donâ€™t enter the Earthâ€™s atmosphere.
Researchers and engineers in Iceland, alongside experts from France and the United States, have been working on one project that applies such CCS methods called CarbFix. For years, theyâ€™ve been holed up at Hellisheidi, a massive geothermal plant on a volcano near Reykjavik. The plant is built on a layer of porous basalt rock formed from cooled lava and, crucially, has easy access to the endless water supply underneath the volcano.
The anti-conservation “conservative” Ontario government recently announced they cancelled a program that helped plant 28 million trees. The goal of that program was to plant 50 million trees to reduce flooding (which parts of Ontario are currently suffering from), clean the air, and protect wildlife. Fortunately there are smarter governments outside of Ontario that realize we need trees to breath and live.
A study by ETH Zurich has revealed that if we plant 1.2 trillion trees we can essentially cancel out a decade of anthropogenic carbon emissions. That might sound like a lot of trees but we do have space for them and can easily reach that goal, as long as governments that care about people are voted in. You can act locally and plant a tree in your yard (if you have one).
There is enough room in the worldâ€™s existing parks, forests, and abandoned land to plant 1.2 trillion additional trees, which would have the CO2 storage capacity to cancel out a decade of carbon dioxide emissions, according to aÂ new analysisÂ by ecologist Thomas Crowther and colleagues at ETH Zurich, a Swiss university.
The research,Â presentedÂ at this yearâ€™s American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington, D.C., argues that planting additional trees is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases.
There’s now even more evidence that countries around the world can reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing economic growth. Carbon intensive industries often argue that regulations will destroy the economy and do little to protect the planet. They couldn’t be more wrong. A recent study looked at emissions and economic growth and found that countries can indeed reduce emissions and increase their GDP.
The study looked at emissions from between 2005 and 2015. Globally, CO2 was on the rise â€” about 2.2 per cent annually â€” but in 18 countries, their emissions saw a decline. These 18 account for 28 per cent of global emissions. …
What the researchers found most encouraging about their study is that, for the two countries that were the control group, if you removed their economic growth, policies encouraging energy efficiency were linked to cuts in emissions.