Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Is the artificial tree the solution to climate change? There have been a number of stories advocating artificial trees recently. Proponents of artificial trees believe that normal trees haven’t got the capacity to deliver the CO2 reductions they want. They insist we should try to improve on nature, by replacing natural respiration, with industrial scale absorption and disposal of CO2.
For example, consider the following story;
Is an artificial tree part of the solution to climate change? These guys think so.
… What if we had a way to suck that excess the CO2 right back out of the sky?
Well, actually, we do, says Chris Jones, a chemical engineer at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
“These are our best ways of capturing CO2 from the air,” Jones says as he walks under a canopy of trees on the school’s campus. “Trees evolved over millions of years to do this very efficiently.”
Physicist Klaus Lackner stands beside a miniature greenhouse in his lab at ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, in which he’s testing out the properties of his “artificial tree. Lackner says he expects a square mile of artificial trees could suck as much as ten million tons of CO2 a year out of the atmosphere. Credit: Ari Daniel Thing is, we just don’t have enough trees to fix our CO2 problem. In fact, the earth has fewer acres of trees every year. But Jones says that even if we planted trees everywhere we could, they still wouldn’t be able to pull enough CO2 out of the air to offset our emissions.
Which for Jones means one thing. “We have to come up with a chemical tree that can effectively extract CO2 out of the air,” he says.
Essentially mimic nature, only do her one better.
Is it just me, or is there something deeply unsettling about the modern green movement, and its infatuation with technological monstrosities? They build bird frying solar collectors, and bird and bat chopping windmills, to save the birds and bats. They ignore devastating industrial pollution in China, to ensure the supply of Rare Earth elements required to build their wind turbines and electric cars. And now they want to build artificial trees, because they think natural trees aren’t up to the job.
How much of the natural world do greens intend to bulldoze, dig, pave over, pollute, incinerate or slice up, in order to save “nature”?