We need a “Matrix” of climate change responses

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington state wants to go 100% renewable by 2050. AOC does the “Green New Deal” (carbon credits is focus there and MMT-Modern Monetary Theory-and guaranteed recession-proof jobs).

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to ban and/or “retrofit” the energy porous glass buildings that dot all modern cities.  Beto O’Rourke got a big “bump” by throwing out the big “T” word (ie: 1.5 “T” to start and 5 T total-trillions, that is).

These are all well and good for starters but we need a comprehensive “Matrix” of ideas, plans and projects that cover all bases including major enhancements and additions to the electric “grid” — increases in solar and wind generation are gridlocked by limits in transmission capacity today and for the foreseeable future, Jay.

Salk Institute is gene-splicing “suberin” carbon sequestering attributes into farm crop/wetland plants and trees, already field-testing these “super-plants.” The Land Institute is producing a new perennial wheat called “kernza” (avoiding yearly disruption to the soil helps keep carbon in).  Carbon Engineering (Canada) is ramping up a DAC (Direct Air Capture) hydroxide system.  Tree planting drones are right now “bomb-seeding Mangrove trees in Myanmar (400,000 trees per day per drone).

We, in America, should be blanketing every roadside ditch with trees utilizing public lands for reforestation so as not to interfere with private property (yet).  Trees produce wood: carbon storage, recall.  Wetlands store carbon without decay (in lack of oxygen) called “teal carbon.”

My own favorite is taking all refuse wood that now rots or gets burned back into CO2-and making activated carbon-which has two benefits here: 1. It becomes “recalcitant” meaning it won’t break down for thousands of years (sequestered) and 2. It then can become effective CO2 “sponge” material in a reversable process with a myriad of other filtration and purification uses (like water purification).

This, by way, is another good way to apply oodles of workers to the task of gathering wood that now goes back into thin air.  Recall, FDR did a so-called “New Deal” in the 1930s, in the wake of The Great Depression, that put millions of idled workers to WPA projects with worthy goals. All this could be used now as part of comprehensive immigration reform to utilize and integrate willing immigrants in diverting rotting carbon from the atmosphere into useable and sequestered CO2 retention systems.

Maybe we should “invade” the Amazon jungles of Brazil-to stop the wholesale slash and burning of that critical world resource, some predict it will be gone by 2050, otherwise. 

The “Matrix” I speak of should embrace all of these ideas and more.  And we need forums to hear about and learn from ideas still unknown.  Just in the news — Indiana governor Holcomb just signed legislation starting an initiative to start “storing” CO2 in underground caverns. Five other states are already working on this.

Also, University of Cambridge (England) is doing just the sort of forum I’m talking about — they are considering “refreezing” the Arctic by spraying salt water high into clouds. The salt will enhance and increase cloud formation and cover reducing sunlight penetration enough to cool the region to freezer temperatures.

I suggest a TV series, where new ideas like these are given a venue for discussion. I suggest that candidates for president be regular guests, or even the host(s) so we can hear their ideas, maybe in conjunction with presentations from project participants or inventors.  In any event, we need to encourage the candidate most likely to aggressively attack this existential threat to get that clown currently in that office gone.

You recall, Trump says the climate is “Grrreat” like Tony the Tiger would chirp. And now, his “yes man” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just taught us a whole new level six of “climate denial” at the recent Arctic Council in Helsinki, claiming the newly thawed Arctic Ocean affords new “opportunities for trade.”

Our own District 4 Congressman Steve King also went so far as to claim increased rains will somehow reduce deserts, but scientists are clear that increased heat/evaporation/precipitation will not be uniform, hence will not improve deserts.  That is just another wildly irresponsible form of climate change denial.

The bottom line here is we need leadership to confront this impending disaster — not silly ostrich heads in the sand from climate change deniers.

PAUL PETERSON

Storm Lake

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