The “good news” is that an artifical tree costs less than an automobile?
The situation is indeed grave – but not unsolvable. While the majority of scientists agree that we humans have made the problem, new innovations show that we can also solve it. Climate change is a global problem, but the world looks to the US for leadership and solutions… I saw proof of this when I visited Dr. Klaus Lackner, the chairman of the Earth and Environmental Engineering department at Columbia University in December. He showed me a palm-sized mockup for an “artificial tree” that mimics the photosynthesis of real trees by chemically sucking CO2 out of the air. A single such tree-sized device left standing in the wind, Dr. Lackner told me, would remove one ton a day of carbon from the atmosphere, the equivalent of the greenhouse gases produced by 36 automobiles.
This “carbon capture” technology is not a risky geo-engineering scheme, according to Lackner. It is simply cleaning up after ourselves and repairing the damage that we have already done. He envisions a day when forests of such artificial trees – they cost less than automobiles to manufacture and can be placed anywhere on the face of the earth since C02 is equally dispersed – will make a big dent on the climate problem.