DRAW IT DOWN! (recycling is not enough anymore)
“If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from [current atmospheric levels of] 402.97 parts per million to at most 350 parts per million.”
– Dr. James Hansen, former head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Pretty sobering, right?
Not only that, but that number is increasing at an alarmingly rapid rate! We have to not only stop the increase, but ROLL BACK THE CO2 COUNT to have any significant impact. All of the reducing, reusing and recycling won’t be near enough effort. Drive a Prius or even ride a bike and it won’t be enough.
So are we doomed? Not necessarily.
It is possible to reduce atmospheric CO2.
Many smart people are working with large governments and institutions and powerful technology that are trying to do this, but they could use your help.
How can you help?
- Do all the obvious things – reduce, reuse, recycle. That is your baseline. But remember that even in doing all that you can in this regard you are still carbon positive – adding CO2 to the atmosphere just by performing normal life tasks and activities. Now, I don’t mean to be telling you how to run your life. I know for me it is still very hard to change a lifetime of wasteful habits, but…
- If you like to burn things, making charcoal might be another option. Sounds crazy I know, but if you are curious, read on:
Charcoal is the easiest way to assist the natural process (plant photosynthesis) of reducing CO2 in the atmosphere:
- Charcoal (natural lump charcoal, not manufactured briquettes) comes from wood and wood comes from trees (plants).
- Trees suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and sequester about 50% in its structural parts (roots, truck branches, etc.).
- By turning the wood into charcoal (before it has a chance to rot and return to the atmosphere as CO2) we can capture and stabilize (it will not degrade for over 500 years) 50% of that sequestered carbon.
- If we then sequester that charcoal, by putting it back into the earth, we have “uncycled” that carbon (now called biochar) – permanently removing it from the atmosphere and stopping that damn counter for a split second.
It is estimated that up to 12% per year of all human-created CO2 emissions can be offset by making biochar on a large scale.
People are working on industrial-scale biochar production, but a grassroots effort by thousands of individuals can have the same impact.
So now you that know how it works, think about making some biochar.You will get rid of your (and probably some neighbor’s) yard waste, and you can take credit for it too – literally. For every 10 gallons of biochar, you can remove 60 lbs. of CO2 from your personal or family carbon footprint. And while you’re at it, cook some food if you can. You will be displacing the fossil fuel that would have been used for cooking and making good use of the heat created during the burn.
How do you make biochar? That, we can help you with.
It helps to have the right equipment, and you must do it cleanly, safely and responsibly. More on that here.
What if you don’t have a backyard or are just not interested in making charcoal?
Perhaps you can help someone (one of our customers) who does. Enable and inspire a CharCone owner to make more charcoal by buying the carbon credits from his production. Call us for more information.