The artificial tree: the "green" replacement for real trees?

The "green" forests of the future?

The “green” forests of the future?

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.

Read more: http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-08-30/artificial-tree-part-solution-climate-change-these-guys-think-so

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”?

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188 thoughts on “The artificial tree: the "green" replacement for real trees?

    • life in the oceans removes CO2 from the atmosphere and combines it with ocean salts to from limestone. plate tectonics carries this limestone into the mantle, where it is reduced by heat and iron to form natural gas. this natural gas bubbles to the surface where it is consumed by life in the presence of oxygen to produce energy and CO2. the cycle then repeats.
      microbes have been doing this for hundreds of millions of years. humans are simply part of this natural cycle.

      • @ dean: It is becoming more and more apparent is n’t it. Suck enough CO2 out of the atmosphere to reduce the food supply and voila in a generation you’d have mass starvation a huge reduction of the world’s population which is exactly what these animals are after.

    • Ensuring health of the environment was never the motivation or organizing principal – it is just a mask for Marxists trying to control everyone and everything.

  1. For those who think natural trees are not good enough to deal with CO2 and think up cockamanie Ideas like artificial trees what can I say…….. GET A LIFE!
    michael

    • Mike, I think my acres of 10 foot corn and 4 foot bean plants are doing a great job of sucking up CO2. Does anybody know how trees compare to croplands?

  2. Why do we honor this kind of nonsense by criticizing it? Wouldn’t it be more effective to point out that the climate changing effect of Carbon Dioxide is so slight that it is lost in the noise of natural variations, and there is no need to concern ourselves with a doubling or tripling of this beneficial gas?

  3. And just think how much more environmental devastation will follow once the strip-mining bucket loaders, fishing trawlers, and Tesla factories are all running off inexhaustible green energy!

    • This can get exponentially worse.
      The Green movement needs many Earths to save one.
      If you think infinite growth of green fantasies in a finite world is possible, you must be an ecoloon or a bankster.

  4. Smell test! Someone verify if they are of the mind to… I used 450 trees/acre, 2000 pounds per ton.
    At the above tree density each tree would have to absorb approximately 70,000 pounds of CO2 per year to meet the 10 million ton threshold.
    I think a stand of these artificial trees would we the death of us all, worst case producing a gravitational singularity that would split the planet. Best case the forest sinks under this massive load and the sea level crisis actually occurs.
    Or my calculations are off. 🙂

    • ckb – I was wondering how many tons of CO2 would even pass by one of these ‘trees’ in a year. At 380 ppm of the air (water vapor is taken out to get 400 ppm). Using your 70,000 lbs would require (184 million lbs of air)* (efficiency of extraction) at every tree.

  5. 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.
    I’d like to know the process by which this chemical tree actually works. Does it:
    a) suck CO2 out of the air and store it? or;
    b) convert it to something else?
    If a) then how is it stored? Big balloons? Pressurized containers? Dry ice? What if the storage system fails? Everyone downwind is asphyxiated? Doesn’t sound like a good idea to me, he must have meant b)
    But, if b) how much energy does it take to run it? You decompose the CO2 into other compounds like the trees do, but you need energy to run the process. The trees get their energy from the sun, but this guy wants to do many times what trees do, so he’s going to need a whopping big energy source. In fact, since these things are less than 100% efficient, he’s going to need more energy to convert the CO2 into something else than we got out of the fossil fuels by burning them in the first place. Seems sort of self defeating….
    I think I have a slight rewording that in my opinion may be more reflective of Jones actual intent:
    **********
    Which for Jones means one thing. “We have to come up with a research formula that can effectively extract grant money out of the tax payers” he says. “There are a lot of tax payer dollars being thrown around by the politicians, but there’s a lot of competition too. We have to get bigger headlines and more media attention if we want to get a good thick slice of the pie. We couldn’t come up with any ideas practical enough to work, but that’s not the goal, it only has to sound good enough to get funded.”

    • Minor Detail…. I suppose a wind farm on the left and a solar farm to the right, between the 2 they should be able to supply enough energy to run the artificial trees at peak performance. I’ve put in the wind farm because the trees will not need solar energy directly but, having enough power they could work 24/7….. Now that I think of it… how about coupling the solar panels with the trees……

    • Reader’s Digest condensed version:
      i) Air is fan-forced through a dense “brick” that adsorbs the CO2
      ii) the CO2 discharges from the brick when it gets wet
      iii) they want more money to work out how to capture and store that CO2 when they wet the bricks in the discharge process
      In the meantime they are weaving the brick material into branched structures with large surface areas, vaguely resembling the morphology of plants (so they don’t have to force air through the bricks.) These structures will be made into artificial forests that release CO2 when it rains – whoops!
      This is what the first prototype “tree” looks like:
      http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/961646068%281%29.jpg
      🙂

    • ” but you need energy to run the process. ”
      Look closely at the picture. Notice the electrical cord running from each “tree”

    • Since CO2 is partly carbon, lets just pull the carbon out. We can then store Carbon as diamonds – good value there – and sell them to pay for the energy used. With time we will make so many diamonds that they won’t be worth anything. And then De Beers will be really angry! But we will be done with this CO2 business!

  6. I pity any downwind plant life struggling to breath. I wonder how they’ll know when they can disable these, or if long after the world has been scrubbed of life, they continue to suck life-giving CO2 out of the atmosphere in the fashion of lost fishing nets that never stop trapping fish, aquatic mammals, sea turtles, and crustaceans. The crazy green movement is now recommending ecoterrorist tactics.

  7. Dammit, the hand writing was on the wall when they began to replace real Christmas tree with artificial Christmas trees. And now they are after ALL trees. And have any of you listened to my warnings about astroturf!!!!!!
    Eugene WR Gallun

    • It’s worse than you thought, Mr. Gallun. Did you notice that when they went to artificial Christmas trees, the Greens also banned Santa from putting lumps of coal in the bad children’s stockings? Where do you think China is getting some of its coal now? Santa is in on it!

    • They will make better, “smart” (programmable) birds that can make square nests and know how to avoid wind turbines.

      • Didn’t they have one of them on “The Incredibles”?
        As I recall, all it did was shout out warnings. An EPA bird for sure!

  8. We need more CO2 in the air, not less. Or are they trying to kill nature to save it? More CO2 means more food. A warmer world is much preferred to a colder one.

  9. Natural trees are doing better than “capturing the CO2”, they store it under useful forms like wood or food and in addition they release oxygen.
    What will “capturing CO2” serve if this lead to make oxygen to disappear ?

  10. These artificial tree ideas all stem from the academic’s need to find something new to research and consequentially these appear at monotonous regularity from those academics to realise that 100s of millions of years of evolution has done a better job than they could even hope to achieve in a few years.

  11. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-009-9626-y
    Irrigated afforestation of the Sahara and Australian Outback to end global warming
    Abstract
    Each year, irrigated Saharan- and Australian-desert forests could sequester amounts of atmospheric CO2 at least equal to that from burning fossil fuels. Without any rain, to capture CO2 produced from gasoline requires adding about $1 to the per-gallon pump-price to cover irrigation costs, using reverse osmosis (RO), desalinated, sea water. Such mature technology is economically competitive with the currently favored, untested, power-plant Carbon Capture (and deep underground, or under-ocean) Sequestration (CCS). Afforestation sequesters CO2, mostly as easily stored wood, both from distributed sources (automotive, aviation, etc., that CCS cannot address) and from power plants. Climatological feasibility and sustainability of such irrigated forests, and their potential global impacts are explored using a general circulation model (GCM). Biogeophysical feedback is shown to stimulate considerable rainfall over these forests, reducing desalination and irrigation costs; economic value of marketed, renewable, forest biomass, further reduces costs; and separately, energy conservation also reduces the size of the required forests and therefore their total capital and operating costs. The few negative climate impacts outside of the forests are discussed, with caveats. If confirmed with other GCMs, such irrigated, subtropical afforestation probably provides the best, near-term route to complete control of green-house-gas-induced, global warming.
    This study from 2009 suggests that natural trees are entirely up to the task and, even with using the planned desalinated water to irrigate them, could do so at much less cost than these technological monstrosities.

  12. I guess artificial trees in Alaska would be fire proof and eliminate that forest fire problem (and elsewhere) just to relate to this post….Can you Imagine Yellowstone forest fire damage to be replaced by these lovely artificial trees? (at least some cell phone towers resemble trees more than the ones in this first image).
    Off topic, but when is the article on Obama in Alaska going to appear? – I have muchos links on a thread for that one…

      • Thanks for the advice – if I were to write it I would take it apart point by point with links to show all of the inaccuracies. Not sure if I can find them all in time for a rebuttal…Sometimes it takes forever to find the links that I remember, but searches come up dry sometimes. (I was trying to find the link recently about the 1mm/yr SLR prediction by Nils-Axel Mörner), but never really found the actual quote – even on WUWT…

    • I’m not sure I’d have the strength to read it. The brief clip of his speech today shown on local HK TV news had me screaming.

      • I did read that he wants to build more Icebreakers to counter the Russians in the Arctic.
        (But if he really believes in AGW, why bother? The North Pole is already gone.)

  13. On numerous occasions, whenever carbon capture is mentioned, I remark that nature has already solved the problem, ie the tree.
    There is no need to make the tree more efficient. Simply plant more trees. There is in practice no shortage of land to do this.
    In fact nature, in response to higher levels of CO2, is naturally already doing this, and this is why the planet is presently greening (at a rate faster than man deforests) and why the carbon sink is growing year on year such that the amount of annual CO2 increase is only about 1/2 of the annual CO2 emitted by man.

    • ” In fact, the earth has fewer acres of trees every year.”
      I don’t believe this to be true.

      • What trees we do have are grower far faster than ever.
        I also suspect that marginal grasslands will be able to support trees in a higher CO2 environment, due to decreased moisture requirement.

  14. Every time a new insane Green geo-engineering proposal comes out, you think that there could never be a more insane one unveiled, but suddenly, yet again, one is surprised by the depth and extent of the insanity of the Greens. The mechanical tree takes its place beside, dumping iron filings in the sea, erecting bird-chomping windmills, and bird-frying solar arrays. There seems to be a grand competition for Green Insanity of the Year. This may be awarded at the GreenFest in Paris in December.

  15. As a chemical engineer I know that this is a stupid idea. Adsorption is the most costly technology to remove low concentration molecules from air. More energy is needed as saved, and in a very short time nano channels are plugged.

      • Even if it is difficult, I think it is more important to note that carbon capture (or CO2 capture that is) in a power plant is always easier than CO2 capture indirectly from air.
        There is absolutely no point to create an both cost and environment ineffective device to collect CO2. Much better would be to plant trees at the hot and arid regions of the Earth, and water them. And develop a way to store CO2 after some has been produced. Putting it mildy, buying a machine to do the collecting is just beyond stupid.
        These CO2 businesses appear to be not ways to solve a real problem, but ways to empty my wallet by selling a perpetuum mobile (or a development process aiming to build one) to our always gullible polical leaders. Just how many green people swallow these ideas because they lack basic engineering and economic skills.

      • “It seems unlikely the idea would be practical if implemented in the real world …..”
        =====================================================================
        Being practical in the fake world doesn’t seem very practical to me.

  16. Artificial Trees? Land is only about 27% of the planet’s surface area. Why even think about `artificial trees?’ The ocean plankton and foraminifera are extremely efficient CO2 gobblers. Where did all the chalk and limestone come from?
    (Hint: it used to be CO2 …)
    Maybe these mental midgets should be set to designing and building an artificial brain, for themselves. It might be more effective than their present one.

  17. This stems from the man who read a child’s science book, “discovered” that sodium hydroxide absorbs CO2 and invented the artificial tree. Crisis solved. Unfortunately he didn’t delve in to where the sodium hydroxide comes from. I mean, nobody would anyone expect any unfortunate by products from the electrolysis of brine. Would they? Lots of wind power at the sea shore where the brine is, this practically designs itself, he must be a millionaire by now. /sarc

    • Efficiency of modern agriculture outpaces demand for food by far, so agricultural land area would have started to decline two decades ago in spite of increasing global population and improving nutrition, but for a single critical issue: biofuels (by the way, although global population keeps increasing due to increasing life expectancy, population explosion was over 20 years ago, at which time global population under 15 stopped increasing and is steady since then somewhat below 2 billion).
      Therefore there would be plenty of room for forests on marginal croplands, if we put an end to this biofuel craziness.
      That’s how greens are perpetuating problems instead of solving them.

  18. So the proposal is to build at enormous cost machines that require large amounts of external power to extract CO2 at a rate of 10 million tons per square mile. The CO2 still has to be fixed in some unspecified way.
    Meanwhile in the real world plants extract 550 BILLION tons of CO2 every year with no external energy inputs and fix that CO2 in beneficial ways that make human and animal life possible.
    I think a career change for these clowns is in order. Stoop labour on a farm would be favourite.

  19. They desperately need the problem.
    They need the “this changes everything” problem. (Subtext: now we can justify our envy motivated anti-capitalist agenda).
    They need the problem. And that is why they must fight people who observe that there is quite possibly no problem. And also why they must fight people who, assuming that there is a problem, present real solutions, such as expansion of hydropower and nuclear.
    There are only two rules, first you must be permanently hysterical about the oncoming crisis, and secondly you must believe that the crisis can only be averted through the govt. promotion of insanely expensive and mostly useless guff. `
    No alternative position will be tolerated.
    The worst thing that could ever happen, would be if somebody solved this imaginary problem whilst leaving capitalism intact!!

  20. Yet another idiotic suggestion to deal with a non-existent problem. Are the people that come out with these ideas, sniffing, smoking, injecting something they shouldn’t or just plain stupid?

  21. Ari Daniel Thing is, we just don’t have enough trees to fix our CO2 problem. …

    What problem? There is no CO2 problem. You guys have exaggerated the effects CO2 may have on the climate and you do not want to acknowledge any of the benefits of increasing CO2 levels, Among those benefits are an increase of crop yields and an increase of wild life.
    On the contrary, if you remove CO2 from the atmosphere, by “planting artificial trees” or otherwise, you are removing the source of carbon and oxygen plants need to make sugars and oils.

    … In fact, the earth has fewer acres of trees every year.

    Oh, really? Source, please? Last time I checked, that was not the case in the USA.

    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.

    If we plant trees everywhere we could, we will be destroying other types of habitats. If we build artificial trees and solar plants everywhere, we will be destroying ALL natural habitats. And what for? to try so solve something you misinterpreted a sa problem?

  22. The idea of artificial trees trying to compete with real ones isn’t quite as disturbing as the fact that Arizona State University apparently has a Center for Negative Carbon Emissions.

  23. let’s do the math.
    10 millions tons / square mile = 3 863 kg/ m²
    10 kg/m² a day.
    heck. no energy required, seemingly (the don’t tell about energy)
    I just wonder why such a miracle is not already used where CO2 is indeed a trouble : space station, submarines, and the likes.
    even more funny : this can be used in some sort of perpetual motion engine. put it (empty) at the top of a wheel, let it fill with CO2 (and get heavier) so that it moves the wheel down, empty CO2 at the bottom, it gets lighter and returns top. 3x more energy than the same with rainwater, and far more steady (2-3 kg/m² a day on year average, but with considerable variations).
    We do have a thing there …

    • Essentially such methods HAVE been used in submarines and space habitats. The shuttle was equipped with scrubbers that used an absorbent material. The scrubber could be regenerated by heating which released the CO2 which could be vented. Nuclear submarines have a CO2 scrubber that works in much the same way with the CO2 being vented. Note that the proposed solution does NOT address what they would do with the CO2 they extracted any more than it details where the energy required would come from.

      • Submarines also run O2 generaters….aka ….”widow makers”…..
        so how are these nuts going to “make” O2 ?

  24. Plants can remove the entire mass of CO2 from the air column above them
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/got-wood/
    25 tons of wood per acre is far more CO2 than needed to be removed. A stand of bamboo scrubs all CO2 above it in one year.
    the assertion they are not enough is a lie. Air leaving the USA on the east coast has LESS CO2 than that entering in the west despite our cars and industry due to our mass of plant growth. That was an embarrasement to the Villify The USA mob, so promptly burried.

  25. Two things spring to mind:
    1. I don’t believe that most of the CO2 is swept up by trees. I think some sea creatures top the chart. Perhaps efforts would be better concentrated there.
    2. If these trees soak up more CO2 that is going to make them bigger, right? Where are these super-sized trees going to be planted?

  26. Would it not be useful if some tech savvy nation could launch a satellite that would measure CO2 concentrations and the changes in distribution around the globe in order to answer some of the questions and comments raised above .
    A pipe dream alas . until perhaps the Chinese get round to it.

  27. I went to the subject article’s site and was about to comment there but got this message:
    “You have asked Firefox to connect securely to login.pri.org, but we can’t confirm that your connection is secure.”

  28. How long will it take for the mainstream media to admit that climate change is non scientific? What will happen to the fear mongers like Al Gore or Bill Maher when this goes down? My fear us that these self proclaimed do gooders will get giddy and laugh it off and blame it on bad science not themselves then somehow turn it around on the skeptics for being too anti liberal or something. The problem I see with these type of liberal do gooders is they can do a lot of harm and there never seems to be any checksand balances or consequences for false science, history or statistics. Climate change is only one of many phony issues made into hysteria.

  29. Oh what fun. Another in a long line of mind-bogglingly stupid, wasteful, expensive, ugly, environmentally-destructive, and very likely dangerous ideas to “fix” a “problem” which doesn’t exist.
    The insane do appear to have taken over, and are running the asylum. If there are aliens out there in space with bad intentions, now would be a good time for them to make their move.

  30. I wonder who holds the patent for these things? Or who would be granted the maintenance contracts?

  31. SO let me get this straight, 10 million tons a year is 20 billion pounds a year. Spread over a square mile, this would be 717 lbs per square foot. I f successful, we would have to have a foundation under these things that resembles an 8 story building. I find it hard to swallow that there exists, outside of nature, a storage facility capable of multi-year operations. we would be titling the Earth (or something) after a few years. My God, think of the potential collapse of the crust of the Earth after a few centuries of operation!

  32. I think this represents in a nutshell why the whole AGW scare is being kept alive; if there is a ‘problem’, goods and services can be supplied to address said ‘problem’. If there is no problem there is no business in it.

  33. Recall there was a serious proposal at one time to dump billions of tons of some kind of iron material into the oceans to stop global warming. I don’t recall the reasoning behind the proposal but it is terrifying to think these people might actually do something like that. This is the height of gross negligence. Now they want to “improve” on trees to remove an excess of something no one has established irrefutably *needs* to be removed? These are not serious people and certainly not serious scientists.

  34. This is beyond surreal. Anybody remembers the movie Brasil? In the context of this proposal one would think Brasil was a documentary and this just satire.

  35. But what about those of us that WANT more CO2 in the atmosphere. Why is CO2 considered bad? Aren’t the levels pretty low? Couldn’t we do with a boost in carbon dioxide? Wouldn’t the plants love it? Why not just let the earth react and the existing plants flourish? The longer this goes on the more foolish it becomes. Just let the CO2 be – and let the earth breath deep in this life giving gas.

  36. Reminds me of Species 8472 from Star Trek Voyager, which destroyed every other living thing in its path. (S3E26 & S4E1)

  37. Artificial trees are about as impractical and stupid an idea as solar highways.
    Solar highways are highways and roads paved with solar panels. The practical limitations of such an idea you might think are obvious. Even solar advocates understand implementing a technology with narrow payback capability in the worse possible way and environment is stupid. Yet they were able to dupe people and the federal government into “investing” $3.1 million in prototypes.
    The Netherlands invested in building a 70 meter solar paved bicycle path, which based on its measured energy output will pay for itself in a little over 1,500 years. A few more energy investments like that and the Netherlands can expect to be back to wood burning and candles in the not too distant future.
    I guess there will always be the ideologically blinded and gullible to fund any fairy tale.

  38. As a retired forester, I have a question: Do artificial trees make artificial 2×4’s and artificial toilet paper?

  39. Just another confidence scheme by the same kind of grifters who promote windmills and solar panels as the answer to a problem that doesn’t exist. As PT Barnum once said, “there’s a sucker born every minute.” We’re the suckers if we allow this nonsense to continue.

  40. How many real forests do they plan to chop down to make way for these monstrosities ?
    Next there will be mass hamster-wheels that can generate enough electricity to power a city.
    Anyone fancy setting up a Hamster farm ?

    • Are you serious ?, I once read that a domestic cat has the same carbon footprint as a small family car, it was in the Guardian so it must be true, it therefore follows that a hamster, or a bird, must have the same carbon footprint as a small motorcycle, or at least an outboard motor.
      As the domestic cat kills a number of birds and small rodents every year for an average lifespan of 17 years, I venture to suggest that breeding cats and feeding birds and hamsters to them may actually work as a net carbon sink, and we wouldn’t need all that complex wheel/gearing system that your idea requires.
      This also has the benefits of a readily available source of fur when the ice age arrives and all our power stations are turned off. I am a hamster skeptic i’m afraid.
      Go green, go Cat

  41. Just think of the poetic possibilities though;
    I think that I shall never see
    An idea as stupid as artificial trees
    And
    Whose carbon installations these are I think I know
    His mansion lies behind immense gates though
    And many more.

  42. The artificial tree: the “green” replacement for real trees?
    The artificial climate: climate models, the “green” replacement for real world?
    The artificial mankind: avatars, the “green” replacement for real humans / shut off the gadget when fed off with them / ?
    The artificial ‘our children won’t know snow anymore’:
    the “green” replacement babyphone app repeating
    ‘daddy, whats them snow’
    for real kids?
    Thanks, Eric. An eyeopener.
    Hans

  43. I’ve seen the future. It’s true, trust me. The future has talked to me. And, this is what I’ve seen:
    A mother, father, and their child are standing on a barren landscape. (Or, it could be two mothers and a child – Johnnie has two mommies. Or, it could be two fathers and a child – two daddies. Or, it could be one mother, and another mother who was a father who had a s•e•x change operation, and a child. Or, it could one mother, and one transgender mother/father, and a child. Or, if the Middle East has its way, it could be one father, a harem, and a child, but it definitely wouldn’t be two mothers and a child, nor two fathers and a child.) Ok, I’ll stop, but I’m just trying to cover all bases here.
    Anyway, this mother et al., and father et al., and child are standing on this barren landscape. The child looks up at the mother, or father, or whatever, and asks solemnly if there’s anything else alive around them. The mother, father, or whatever, responds solemnly that they are the last living things on Earth. The child asks why. He, she, he/she, she/he, it, responds: “That’s because our primitive, boneheaded, superstitious, pea brained, idiotic, non-insightful, moronic ancestors elected an equally primitive, boneheaded, superstitious, pea brained, and so on, leader who never built anything in his life. And this leader who was known as the big ‘O’ (and we’re talking about the letter of the alphabet here and not a zeroe: although it actually could be either) decided that the level of carbon dioxide (which this idiot referred to as carbon) in the atmosphere, even though on geological time scales was perilously lower than it was in the past, still wasn’t low enough. So, in between golf games he sucked all the money and vitality out of the society he ruled (which, as a servant of the people, he wasn’t supposed to do but did anyway) to lower this perilously low level of CO2 to a level that was actually insufficient for green plants to continue to live.”

      • And that was the day, in the presence of faux marble columns, that the rising of the sea stopped.
        And, so did the economy.

    • I made a similarly far sighted analysis about a decade ago, shortly before the evident unravelling of the “victory” in the middle east. Here’s what I cobbled together at the time:
      And the tribe of the Moron went forth and they did freely multiply. And they became very great in number.
      And yet the tribe of the Smart who were possessed of a moderate level of common sense looked on and said; “Verily, No!! I shall refrain from bringing more children into this world. For this is indeed a shitty place for every man and every woman and every child that liveth”.
      And so it came to pass that whilst the number of the Morons did greatly increase, the number of the tribe of the smart did decrease. Such that soon there were not enough smart people to save the people of the tribe of moron from their own foolishness.
      And so it came to pass that a dark cloud of stupidity and confusion descended upon all the lands. And men did forget to laugh or to say silly things or to play frisbee. And each man grew angry with every other man over a number of trivial and falsely imagined slights.
      And then in the west the great power of the Unbelievably Stupid [known as U.S.] threw all it’s might into the systematic smiting of the people who explode themselves, and who are the thieves of passenger jets, who are also known as the wearers of sandals and pyjamas, who are also known as the eaters of cous-cous, who are the worshippers of the automatic rifle of kalashnikov.
      So the great power smited [smote?] many errant goat herders and their wifes using the missiles that are precision guided and the drones that are without pilot.
      However, the exploding pyjama wearers had rightly reckoned that the great power would run out of cash long before they ran out of sandals.
      So, inevitably, the whole thing went on and on and bloody on with no obvious end in sight.
      And, seeing this, the people of the tribe of the smart did no longer ask the question; “what is the world coming to”.
      For, to them, it was by now, perfectly freakin’ obvious.

  44. We had to destroy the trees to save the trees. I seem to remember a similar situation with a village. Either one is kind of ludicrous.

  45. my dinglish, sigh:
    The artificial tree: the “green” replacement for real trees?
    The artificial climate: climate models, the “green” replacement for real world?
    The artificial mankind: avatars, the “green” replacement for real humans / shut off the gadget when fed UP with them / ?
    The artificial ‘our children won’t know snow anymore’:
    the “green” replacement babyphone app repeating ‘daddy, whats A snow’
    for real kids?
    Thanks, Eric. An eyeopener.
    Hans
    ____
    ME is really fed UP with them realtime green avatars in their baseless virtual ‘environments’.

  46. All kidding aside, a treebot would actually be a cool idea for a high tech new age toy to have inside. Its edumacational. Sort of like those old electronic pets. I wish I would of thunk of that.

  47. Come on it’s just the Engineers wanting to get on the gravy train as well. Next electro-mechanical grass and then onto the animals. You can hear the sales pitch more reliable (they don’t die), more predictable (they are programmed) and they come in a range of your favorite colours.

  48. It it is adopted as another policy reach and diversionary tactic of the ethanol lobby and ethanol states with early political caucus pull, then it will proceed much like cellulosic ethanol advanced in order to buy more time for the larger food for fuel scam. I’m sure we have a few more billion taxpayer dollars for “experimentation.”

  49. Do these mechanical trees produce a product? How do we collect it effectively – is it a liquid? Trees grow and collect the carbon as their body structure. Ultimately we can cut it down to build a house or pick its fruit, etc. When they say there is no room for trees to plant them. FCS plant them where you were going to plant the tin trees.

  50. ‘How much of the natural world do greens intend to bulldoze, dig, pave over, pollute, incinerate or slice up, in order to save “nature”?’
    All of it. Except their own private green lawns, for which they, like some narcissistic Hollywood celebrities, feel no need to follow water restrictions.

  51. I like the CO2 in my little corner of the world … I actually need it.
    Please don’t take my CO2 away.
    If this thing gets any traction I might to have to resort to finding a bunch of naïve little teenagers to take them to court.

  52. In 2115, the people of planet earth may choose to remove some of the CO2 from the atmosphere.
    Who knows what they will be concerned about in 2115.
    Just as the concerns of 2015 could not have been sensibly predicted by the people of 1915.
    Back in 1915 the people of Europe were mostly concerned with an utterly fruitless and highly costly pan-European state subsidized project.
    Now Europe is at war – with the sea level.
    At the current rate of development, then in 100 years from now, technologies will exist that allow mankind to – if it desires – remove a significant proportion of the CO2 from the atmosphere.
    They may well choose to do this.
    They may well choose not to do this.
    Let us let the people of 2115 engineer their own world.
    I’m quite grateful that the people of 1915 didn’t set about planning for 2015.
    This obsession with an imagined 100 year away future catastrophe has become the prime delusion of our age.
    Can we not now focus on real problems which exist now.
    We don’t have a shortage of currently existing pressing needs.

  53. We don’t have a CO2 problem. We have a problem with people who are paranoid delusional about CO2 – and I’m not sure what the solution is for that.

    • Gospel would work to cure them of their insecurity if only they’d give it a try but I guess they’ve now become so accustomed to basking in their desperate neurosis that they’re afraid that their life would have no meaning at all without something to worry about.

  54. Let’s say we could build enough of these to reduce CO2 to 0. OK, “nonsense, we need CO2 for some things!” OK, so what level would be the “optimum level?” has the Climate Science community even produced such a number? It was alarming at 280 (1880), and it’s now catastrophic at 400 (2015).
    I don’t get this at all.

  55. Please check my arithmetic.
    1 square mile of land giving 10 million tons of carbon out of the air in a year. By my estimate, that is about 4 tons per square meter. I don’t know the fraction of the weight of wood represented by the carbon in it, but leave that out as conservatism. A ton of wood, when burned, can generate about 1 MW hour of electricity. So by my estimate, we are talking about something in the range of a sustained 0.45 kW per square meter. That seems rather far fetched. It would seem to require pretty much 100 percent conversion of sunlight energy.

  56. Do any of these artificial trees produce O2?
    True, CO2 is needed for plants but we don’t need plants just because they are “green”. We need plants because they are a PART of what life on this planet needs.
    “Recycling” at it’s best. Why screw with it?

  57. I am curious to see if it even works. What I mean is co2 levels are climbing at rather consistent rates while human released co2 has multiplied. Meaning we might find out the eco system had been using all the human released co2 anyway and some other factor is driving co2 rates, Im not sure what else explain the near uniform rise of co2 levels while output of the stuff is has risen drastically faster.

  58. A fully grown tree doesn’t reduce atmospheric CO2 at all. (A tiny miniscule amount yes) because what they take in during the day is used at night or in the winter to survive and is released as CO2. Trees breathe and we’re supposed to believe scientists who don’t understand this?
    You can’t measure the daylight consumption of CO2 and say “this is what a tree does” you have to measure the life.

  59. Things that make you go “hmmm.” In case you all have not yet noticed, the elitist atheist, God-scoffing intellectuals are hell-bent on mimicking God in almost every way imaginable.
    Isaiah 14:14 says we ignore God and declare “I will ascend above the clouds and make myself like the most High.”
    God created the earth and everything on it, and the planetary ecosystem is amn amazing balance of an untold number of related, codependent processes far beyond what we might ever hope to describe, let alone replicate.
    God made the trees, and we get to breathe their oxygen.
    Man now decides that is not good enough, and man needs to make “trees.”
    God had Adam name all of the animals; we decided that was not good enough, so we developed the genus/species naming system.
    God made us all have diverse languages so we would disperse and inhabit the entire planet.
    We decided we should all have one language to combine us, so we developed Esperanto.
    God wants us to multiply and populate the earth.
    So we have decided we should not be populating the earth, and should be “controlling” our fertility to below-replacement levels, and should force these goals on the communities who have not yet gone so anti-God.
    God gave us this planet to live upon, and have stewardship over, so we have decided we are interlopers, have no right of dominion, and animals have rights equal to ours or superior to ours. We are also looking for another planet to inhabit.
    God created reproduction and the plan that like would beget like (Gen 1:24), so we have deided like does not beget like, but rather that the diversity of species seen arise from dissimilar ancestors.
    God has noted bread, and wine, and animal flesh as desirable dietary components, so we are against carbs, alcohol, and we have gone vegetarian.
    God made us man and woman, but we have decided that tehse are just social constructs, and “gender” is fluid, and a man should have the right to have a baby – when Monty Python had this idea in Life of Brian, it was a joke, but we have now progressed beyond that to make this a reality.
    We scientist elitist intellectuals have even forecasted how the world will end. of course, our calls of plagues, dead sea life, fires, skin disease, and overwhelming heat are merely copies of God’s revelation of the “End,” except for one detail – in revelation there is no flood but for us there is catastrophic sea level rise. Interestingly, on this one difference, we know that God made a promise he would never end life by one specific means: by a catastrophic flood.
    It seems like we either follow God or we are doomed to foolishly parallel His works and plans. Carry on.

  60. Eric wrote:
    “Is it just me, or is there something deeply unsettling about the modern green movement, and its infatuation with technological monstrosities?”
    No, it’s not just you, Eric. IMHO there is a collective madness endemic in Western Society that either only a cataclysmic event will give cause to shake it off, or it will be a long, slow climb back to sanity, as Charles MacKay wrote in 1841:
    “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”
    ― Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
    The former may well happen the way things are going in Europe right now.

  61. When nature does something, it’s self-limiting. If trees take out too much CO2, they die. Artificial trees will keep on cooking until every photosynthetic organism is dead, followed by us. For a time, the technology will be useful as CO2 scrubbers, that is until the O2 level falls.
    Good thing we have AI/robots coming. Otherwise, there would be no legacy of life on Earth at all. We just have to make sure they can replicate themselves before we go.
    Not entirely unrelated…. I recommend you watch this movie: These final hours.
    Warning: way too many spoilers in this trailer. Just watch the first 15 to 30 seconds.

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