Harnessing Greenhouse Gases

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the primary Greenhouse gas that contributes to Global Warming around the world.  Power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S. accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic Greenhouse Gas emissions, but it is also produced by most forms of combustion such as cars, trucks, planes, ships, oil refineries, etc.  Billions of tons of it are spewed into the air daily around the world by man.

It is fairly soluble in water but as CO2 levels and temperatures increase less and less of it is absorbed in our oceans and lakes, like saturated soil during a heavy rain absorbing less water, making its concentration in air even higher further heating up the earth’s surface due to the Greenhouse effect.

But what if this CO2 and other Greenhouse gases could be captured and turned into something useful to man so that it doesn’t get released into our atmosphere?  In fact there is some research being done around the world to see if this can be done.  For example research is being done to turn CO2 into plastic products, kerosene for jet fuel, and building materials but not much funding or public press is given to such research.  So why isn’t more effort placed upon these and other technologies for reducing Greenhouse gas emissions?

Having a manufacturing process for capturing and using most of the CO2 released by power plants for example would have a significant impact on Greenhouse gas emissions and thus Global Warming.  There is technology being developed to capture, freeze and sequester CO2 underground but this does not assure that it does not somehow get released back into the atmosphere later.

I am not saying that we should stop or slow down our efforts on other alternative sources of energy but I feel far more effort should be placed upon capturing the major sources of CO2 emissions and turning it into useful and marketable products.  We need as many technologies as we can devise to stop CO2 from entering the atmosphere.  I’m not particularly picky on which ones to use.  I am weary of water and land pollution that results from the extraction of oil and natural gas, another more potent Greenhouse gas, but if solutions can be found for these problems, I would be less concerned.  The clock keeps ticking and we are running out of time. We need solutions to quickly stop Greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.  That is why I also support the use of Nuclear power plants.  I consider myself an environmentalist so I know this makes me unpopular with some fellow environmentalist but I am looking at the far bigger picture.  We are talking about a real threat to all life on earth.

We are at a point where reversing Global Warming may take decades.  Even if we were to totally stop emitting CO2 today it would take decades before the upward increase in Global Warming would stop, like trying to stopping a huge ship.  Then it would take more decades to revers it back to the level it is today.  This is because the CO2 emitted from accumulated CO2 stored in our oceans and elsewhere in nature will continue to be released until cooler temperatures are restored.

The longer we delay reducing CO2 emissions the longer it will take to recover.  It could take centuries or longer if we procrastinate too long.  So we need all the technological help we can muster to reverse this alarming rise in CO2 emissions in our atmosphere.  It is simply taking too long to replace all power plants and car with new non-carbon emitting technology.

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