Forest of Mechanical Trees. Source ASU

Mechanical Tree Researcher Seeks Taxpayer Climate Funding

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Why bother with natural trees when you can construct a forest of mechanical trees to remove CO2 from the air?

How do we solve a problem like climate change? With innovations like Mechanical Trees

Opinion: With the right investments, Arizona could be the home of a flourishing carbon dioxide removal sector. Mechanical Trees are a good start.

Klaus Lackner
Jan 1, 2021

Researchers like myself in Arizona and across the United States are advancing carbon dioxide removal, a diverse suite of innovative strategies with support growing among industry leaders, across the business sector and in Congress. Much of the recent focus in the media has been on natural techniques, such as planting trees.

These solutions are necessary, but not sufficient.

To truly change the game and solve for climate change, we will also need technological solutions, such as direct air capture (DAC) machines that pull excess carbon dioxide out of the air.

I am proud of the work on such innovation taking place at Arizona State University. At ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, we’re exploring how we can efficiently and economically have the wind deliver carbon dioxide to Mechanical Trees. Envision a forest of these trees removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – several times more efficiently than real trees – which then can be stored deep underground or used in products from cements to fresh, carbon-neutral fuels.

More breakthrough innovation requires more funding. The federal government is best positioned to do that and make the United States a leader in developing and deploying this climate-saving technology.

Klaus Lackner is director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions and a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University. Reach him at Klaus.Lackner@asu.edu.

Read more: https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2021/01/01/mechanical-trees-innovative-way-address-climate-change/4027597001/

Mechanical trees may be one of the less damaging climate ideas. At least they probably won’t mass cremate wildlife like California’s solar collectors or strike endangered eagles out of the air like wind turbines. A forest of mechanical trees might even have some minor value as a robotic art installation.

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Ed Zuiderwijk
January 2, 2021 10:05 am

The center for negative excellence, sorry, carbon removal. In ten years time Klaus wil wonder how he could have been so stupid in thinking that this a good idea.

fairuse
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 2, 2021 10:20 am

I wish I could read the op-ed. too many redirects error.

Sommer
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 2, 2021 10:36 am

How can we stop this madness?

Steve Case
Reply to  Sommer
January 2, 2021 11:14 am

How can we stop this madness?

The conservatives in Congress need to fight it every step of the way. As far as I can see, way too many of them go along to get along. A few years ago I thought that “Climategate”, “The Pause”, “Peter Gleick”, “McKitrick & MacIntyre” “Healthy Polar Bears”, “Decade long Hurricane drought” – – – – I could go on, would turn the tide, but it’s not going to happen. A generation has been brainwashed and it’s not going to stop. People born in 1980, they’re in their 40s now, have to wake up and generally they are not.

Now that Democrats know they can stuff the ballot box with blessings from The Supreme Court of the United States of America, we can look forward to a veto proof super majority in Congress and draconian legislation.

I’m 76, and I might die in a re-education camp the way things are going.

Andy Espersen
Reply to  Steve Case
January 2, 2021 12:54 pm

We are up against human nature : the opinions of brainwashed people are not changed by rational arguments – only by opposing brainwash.The huge majority of human beings, sad to say, are born brainwashable only – a minority are born sceptics. You and I are in that minority.

You are dreaming if you think they will ever “wake up”. They haven’t got the brains for it.

n.n
Reply to  Andy Espersen
January 2, 2021 6:04 pm

People… a person is not a color bloc. Think of an individual as a constellation of physical and mental attributes. In this constellation, some vectors are fixed, perhaps biased, or even prejudiced (“inertia”), while others are dynamic and reactive. The point is that not everyone can be reached on every issue, but everyone can be reached on some issue, and there are complex dependencies that affect their dynamic range. People may be morons (i.e. bad judgment). People are rarely stupid. Appeals to authority when we lack confidence. Appeals to emotion (e.g. empathy, violence) when vulnerable. These appeals influence or suppress our character.

Kenneth Hunter
Reply to  n.n
January 5, 2021 12:21 pm

A lovely bit of wordplay, but why should I bother trying to persuade you, for example, to adopt my point of view on a political point?

Kevin
Reply to  Steve Case
January 2, 2021 4:58 pm

The “conservatives in the congress” are useless for anything other than tax cuts. Is there any other issue they have won? Abortion? Immigration? Energy? While gun rights theoretically exist, if you use a gun properly and legally to defend yourself, you will be in such legal trouble that your gun rights cannot effectively be exercised.

Kenneth Hunter
Reply to  Steve Case
January 5, 2021 12:17 pm

I’ll save you a bunk Steve. Let’s hope it takes a few more generations.

Steve Case
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 2, 2021 10:47 am

The center for negative excellence, sorry, carbon removal. In ten years time Klaus will wonder how he could have been so stupid in thinking that this a good idea.

Not gonna happen, the climate slush fund puts money in his bank account, not stupid thinking from his point of view.

Vuk
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 2, 2021 10:50 am

What about oxygen ?

walt
Reply to  Vuk
January 2, 2021 11:08 am

The moron would be happy to trap the oxygen in the CO2 in concrete instead of allowing it to be recycled back to the atmosphere by plants.

Lrp
Reply to  Vuk
January 2, 2021 12:17 pm

Who needs oxygen?

n.n
Reply to  Vuk
January 2, 2021 12:52 pm

Once we sequester carbon in sufficient diversity (e.g. Planned Parent/hood, Planned Population) a.k.a. “great leap”, “social progress”, there will be no need for oxygen to sustain our lives, and the environment will be gray… Green for the inclusive minority.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Vuk
January 2, 2021 1:37 pm

Vuk, this guy should contact all the folks who purchased tracts of land on Mars. It’s a great investment for those who plan to move there. 😎

MarkW
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 2, 2021 2:39 pm

In ten years time Klaus wil wonder how he could have been so stupid

That will all depend on how much money Klaus makes using this scheme during those 10 years.

G Mawer
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 2, 2021 2:41 pm

He’s not stupid. He is going after tax payer money. What I think is crazy is that people have to make up stupid stuff to get the money!!!

Mohatdebos
Reply to  G Mawer
January 2, 2021 7:25 pm

He is not stupid. He tried to persuade the large corporation where I worked to invest in his “innovation.’ He also pitched his ideas to the government of the UAE in the early 2000s.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  G Mawer
January 2, 2021 8:32 pm

In Academia, unlike the private sector, the perks are in the work schedule:

Come in “around” 9am, then reading emails at your desk for an hour and chatting in the dept. break room, 10am-11am lab meeting or departmental meeting, 11am-12noon more chatting in the hall and reading emails and the news, 12noon-130pm lunch and jog around the campus, 130pm – 3pm actual work, 3pm-330-pm departmental coffee-tea, 330pm-430pm read more emails and surf the web, 430 pm go home. The Life in academia. Don’t rock the boat and ride the gravy train.

Last edited 6 months ago by joelobryan
Mad Mac
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 3, 2021 4:12 am

You got that right Joel! I was full time at UCLA in the 70’s and I went part time because I couldn’t stand so much of doing nothing.

Lrp
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 2, 2021 6:37 pm

Most likely, he thinks he’s wonderful.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 2, 2021 8:26 pm

He’s probably laughing his butt-off every time he gets his monthly ASU pay stub.

PCman999
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 2, 2021 11:23 pm

In ten years he’ll be far away in some sunny villa with the carbon capture money safely banked away.

Al Miller
January 2, 2021 10:17 am

He makes it sound nice – until you realize he would be devestating huge swaths of land that are already natural life havens for thesee monstrosities. How much energy would be required to make “plant ” and maintain these things? And why would we want to reduce the co2?
No; if there was an ounce of integrity in the “green’ movement they would full on support nuclear, the only workable zero co2 producers possible at this time.
But it never was about climate was it…

n.n
Reply to  Al Miller
January 2, 2021 12:04 pm

The Green blight progresses with wind turbine gauntlets, photovoltaic ground cover, and anthropogenic trees to replace natural trees.

MarkW
Reply to  Al Miller
January 2, 2021 2:41 pm

Monstrositrees

Schitzree
Reply to  MarkW
January 2, 2021 5:14 pm

Oh, very well done. 👏

Michael Jankowski
January 2, 2021 10:20 am

No carbon or environmental cost to creating all of these mechanical trees? Presumably powered by solar, too.

It’s obvious for marketing purposes why they are calling them “trees” even though they are nothing like trees. Nothing is simulating photosynthesis or respiration. They’re just carbon capture devices.

Centralized storage seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

walt
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
January 2, 2021 11:03 am

There is no harvesting method mentioned for the CO2 recovery. Upkeep is never a cost for these projects. Return on investment is no problem with government subsidies.

Mr.
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
January 2, 2021 4:56 pm

Yes, the shape and size of these are redolent of phallic obelisk monuments.
Maybe Klaus is trying to compensate for something?

Redge
January 2, 2021 10:23 am

Clearly Klaus can’t see the wood for the “trees”

Scissor
January 2, 2021 10:33 am

According to climate researchers, nature sequesters over half of anthropogenic emissions already. It’s unlikely that any artificial process could be significant compared to what nature is already doing.

saveenergy
January 2, 2021 10:39 am

I’d like to announce the development of an unprecedented (well, it has got a few small dents !) new green & sustainable energy production machine,
0% fuel in converts to 100% energy out, Ga ran tea’d Honest
Send $10,000 for plans 97% off for WUWT readers.

Note: I still have some bridges for sale.

Pariah Dog
Reply to  saveenergy
January 2, 2021 1:38 pm

Bargain! I was just looking at my bridge title deed collection and thinking about adding to it.

Mike Dubrasich
January 2, 2021 10:41 am

At first I thought “ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions” was a joke, a spoof, but it’s not! Actual money is going to actual crazies to do insane stuff. It’s not funny.

Klaus Lackwit is a net CO2 emitter and so should be corked and bagged before he warms the planet to Thermageddon.

Except that CO2 is the basic building block of life, without which Klaus Lackwit would not exist at all, and Thermageddon is a hoax, and warmth is vastly preferable. ASU should be locked down before they infect others with mass insanity.

Scissor
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 2, 2021 10:50 am

Too late. But at least some researchers are asking what the optimum CO2 level should be, and for an enhanced biosphere and agriculture production it’s a lot higher than it is today.

https://bmcplantbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12870-018-1243-3#:~:text=For%20example%2C%20Xu%20%5B23%5D,total%20biomass%20and%20leaf%20photosynthesis.

Reply to  Scissor
January 3, 2021 5:42 am

What is the optimum CO2 level overall for forest growth? Research has shown that forests in the east are growing up to 20% faster due to the CO2 fertilization effect but the effect could have an upper limit due to soil fertility.

Jim Clarke
January 2, 2021 10:43 am

How do we solve a problem like climate change? Let’s imagine that there where never any climate alarmists. No James Hansen. No Al Gore. No Greta Thunberg. No IPCC. No crazed media trying to make a buck promoting one crisis after another. No money-loving academia that knows a goose laying golden eggs when the see one. Just imagine a world were no one ever even mentioned global warming or man-made climate change. Would you are anyone else come to the conclusion that there was something terrible wrong with the climate based on the actual weather over the last 40-50 years? If anything, the weather is much better today than it was 40 to 50 years ago. It is certainly better than it was in the 17 and 18 hundreds! In other words, if a large group of people were not being payed handsomely to constantly cry wolf, we would not be fearing wolves because we haven’t seen any in the last 50 years.

We solve the problem of climate change by not talking about, because it is not a problem. There are actual problems that could be quickly address and make people more resilient to actual weather and climate in the process. All actions taken to address the non-existent problem of climate change, will make everyone’s life worse (except those profiting off the false paradigm) and have no discernable benefits to humanity or the biosphere.

Scissor
Reply to  Jim Clarke
January 2, 2021 10:52 am

Canadians would still fly south in the winter.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Jim Clarke
January 2, 2021 12:27 pm

Jim, right on!

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Jim Clarke
January 2, 2021 8:35 pm

Why Richard Lindzen said climate science needs a 90%+ defunding.

Notanacademic
January 2, 2021 10:47 am

Artificial trees that starve real trees brilliant! … not. I wonder how many trees will be chopped down to make room for these things.

Rory Forbes
January 2, 2021 10:51 am

Considering that there is absolutely no empirical evidence supporting the idea that our CO2 emissions are harmful … but are instead causing plant life to flourish, this project is a pointless waste of resources.
“Carbon” capture seems like a fool’s errand, an ideal project for the latest crop of brain dead AGW true believers. When will our universities return to evidence based science?

walt
January 2, 2021 11:00 am

This is similar to putting diapers and fart catchers on domestic and wild mammal.

Gregory Woods
January 2, 2021 11:02 am

Hey there, Buster: Leave my C02 be…

fred250
Reply to  Gregory Woods
January 2, 2021 12:40 pm

I think we should all make a concerted effort to find ways of increasing our CO2 output. 🙂

Gregory Woods
Reply to  fred250
January 2, 2021 12:43 pm

more beer?

leowaj
Reply to  fred250
January 2, 2021 12:56 pm

200 head of cattle per person.

fred250
Reply to  leowaj
January 2, 2021 3:52 pm

Just brought a nice eye steak t for this evening.. 🙂

But do remember….

Cattle are CO2 neutral….. Like wood chips etc. 😉

Sommer
Reply to  fred250
January 3, 2021 6:40 pm

Don’t wear masks?

Notanacademic
January 2, 2021 11:05 am

In the illustration it doesn’t look as picturesque as a real forest, not sure I’d like to go for a walk there although I would let my dogs pee on them.

January 2, 2021 11:53 am

I am so tempted to actually use that mail address and tell him what a frigging idiot I think he is.
…and he’ll still laugh all the way to the bank with my tax money…
plus all the money he’ll get from polluters buying his “carbon credits”, remember

Robber
January 2, 2021 12:35 pm

Is it April 1st already?

Reply to  Robber
January 2, 2021 3:59 pm

For certain climate “scientists”, April first is all over the year 😀

OweninGA
Reply to  Robber
January 2, 2021 4:01 pm

When it comes to the CACA scam, it is always April 1 and taxpayers are the April Fools.

n.n
Reply to  Robber
January 2, 2021 6:12 pm

Every day, it seems.

dodgy geezer
January 2, 2021 1:13 pm

More breakthrough innovation requires more funding. The federal government is best positioned to do that and make the United States a leader in developing and deploying this climate-saving technology.

Klaus Lackner is director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions 

… and depends for his continued salary on large amounts of federal (taxpayers) money…

Notanacademic
January 2, 2021 1:18 pm

In my short time on wuwt I’ve learned about two people called Klaus that we should beware of, one wants a share of your tax dollars to fund a mad idea the other is mad enough to want the whole world along with everything you own. The maddest thing of all is the latter seems to have made more progress thus far.

M__ S__
January 2, 2021 1:36 pm

Real trees are free and don’t require rent seeking. Plus they self replicate, and there are a LOT of them in the Boreal forest (Taiga). Many more than we could ever replace with expensive machines, that would require manufacturing and potentially maintenance and periodic replacement.

Just more cronyism

January 2, 2021 1:49 pm

The building of each one of these stupid Klaus Lackner CO2 removing devices would preclude the planting of a genuine living tree. This stupid idea is in line for the top Shonky Award of 2021.

ScienceABC123
January 2, 2021 1:51 pm

Interesting… So now the Green movement is anti-nature and pro-industrial growth.

ResourceGuy
January 2, 2021 2:23 pm

Solyndra 2.0

ResourceGuy
January 2, 2021 2:25 pm

Here comes the Al Gore National Forest.

MarkW
January 2, 2021 2:38 pm

The scammers couldn’t make enough money using real trees, so they had to invent something more investment intensive.

TonyG
January 2, 2021 3:44 pm

How many real trees will be cut down to make room for these?

David A
Reply to  TonyG
January 2, 2021 11:16 pm

Real trees are rapidly increasing in number and size. ( Clearly this entire scam project would never be more than a drop in the bucket to the natural increase in CO2 uptake from real tree growth.)

January 2, 2021 3:55 pm

I prefer greening trees, they are much nicer, and a lot of animals like to live in.
And they produce oxygen, not sooo unnecessary and much more imprtant than removed CO2

January 2, 2021 4:02 pm

Klaus Lackner is the first candidate for the 2021 January Idiot-Award, my proposal 😀
I don’t wonder that he is German

Last edited 6 months ago by Krishna Gans
January 2, 2021 4:28 pm

NASA measures the consequences of eCO2 and manmade climate change:

January 2, 2021 4:49 pm

The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change is a wonderful 501(c)(3) educational charity. They maintain a huge and extremely useful plant growth database, which catalogs scientific studies of the effects of varying CO2 levels on hundreds of plants.

On average, very roughly, about a 20% improvement in agricultural yields, so far, can be attributed to rising CO2 levels. If we didn’t have that improvement, we could nearly make up for the loss by converting all the world’s rain forests to agriculture.

eCO2 also makes plants more drought-tolerant and water-efficient, by improving stomatal conductance relative to transpiration, which is especially helpful in arid regions:
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/grl.50563

When air passes through plant stomata (pores), two things happen: the plant absorbs CO2, and the plant loses water through transpiration. When CO2 levels are higher, the ratio of CO2 absorbed to water lost improves, which improves both plant growth and drought resistance. The plants also commonly respond to elevated CO2 by reducing the density of the stomata in their leaves, which reduces water loss. A 2017 paper has reported that, thanks to rising CO2 levels, “Land plants are absorbing 17% more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere now than 30 years ago…” [yet] “the vegetation is hardly using any extra water to do it, suggesting that global change is causing the world’s plants to grow in a more water-efficient way.”

“There have been many studies on the interaction of CO2 and water on plant growth. Under elevated CO2, less water is used to produce each unit of dry matter by reducing stomatal conductance.” – Chun, et al, 2010

As CO2 levels rise, so do the agricultural benefits. As you can see in this graph, we have a long, long way to go before those benefits begin to taper off:
comment image

Kevin
January 2, 2021 4:54 pm

Won’t these also require energy that itself will put CO2 into the air (at least until renewable technologies can be manufactured without any fossil fuel inputs)? Once tge carbon is captured, how is it sequestered?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kevin
January 2, 2021 5:49 pm

Please do not confuse the deep thinkers with real-world issues.

Joel O'Bryan
January 2, 2021 8:17 pm

Moving up and down, out of their canisters, they are like giant thrusting dildos to the sky. really.

On a related wacky note on this Climate Religion from ASU, they write the rationale for these CO2-sucking, thrusting dildos as,

Research and innovation, like the work we are doing at ASU in partnership with industry, are needed to transform a nascent concept into a large, revenue-generating industry that not only stabilizes the climate but also provides well-paying jobs.”

It’s like those Ginsu-knives of 70’s TV commercials, the “Buy 1, Get 1 free” deal apparently with the climate scam. Free stuff for everyone.

And so… stabilizing the climate by removing some trivial amount of CO2??? These ASU guys and gals have been completely duped into believing in magic and unicorns.

Last edited 6 months ago by joelobryan
Patrick MJD
January 2, 2021 9:32 pm

So, where will the power come from and all the steel etc? Put CO2 in the air only to take it out in exchange for some green?

PCman999
January 2, 2021 11:39 pm

While you could get me to agree to spend more of my tax dollars on reforestation, or in the case of places like Arizona dedesertification, for the sake of the wildlife and forestry, etc., carbon capture is not a reason or even an excuse for it, much less an excuse for expensive research into Rube Goldberg schemes that supposedly fix imaginary problems, and from its wasteful expenditures cause real problems, like the simple fact of wasting resources on fake solutions that creates real garbage.

Alasdair Fairbairn
January 3, 2021 12:05 am

We definitely need a vaccine to deal with this CAGW VIRAL INFECTION which has now reached pandemic levels. Meanwhile a Media lockdown on catastrophic climate stories would be the best way forward. Otherwise our capability for rational thought will be severely compromised.

Jean-Pierre Bardinet
January 3, 2021 1:05 am

CO2 is the gas of Life on Earth, because it is necessary for photosynthesis. Thanks to its current rate in the atmosphere (0.04%, or 410 ppm -280 ppm in 1900) the planet is turning green and harvests are better. According to the IPCC AR5 report, our anthropogenic emissions are only around 4-6% and there is no scientific proof that CO2, whatever its source, has a measurable action on the global average annual temperature. Therefore, wanting to reduce the level of atmospheric CO2 is unnecessary, harmful and stupid.

January 3, 2021 1:46 am

Is it only me who thinks this is actually a good idea?

The captured hydrocabone could for instance be used to generete syntetic gasoline.

Of course, it will only be reasonable if it turns out to be true that mechanical trees can capture energy and CO2 many times as efficient as natural photosynthesis.

/Jan

saveenergy
Reply to  Jan Kjetil Andersen
January 3, 2021 10:33 am

“Is it only me who thinks this is actually a good idea?”

Apart from Klaus LacknerYes

Reply to  saveenergy
January 3, 2021 11:10 pm

Have you asked 7.8 billon people?
I sincerely hope this place is not developing into an echo chamber. Such places are all too common and always very boring.
/Jan

zemlik
January 3, 2021 2:03 am

Where do the birds build their nests on those things ?

very old white guy
January 3, 2021 4:25 am

The question begs to be asked, what are they made of and how energy intense is building them?

Bruce Cobb
January 3, 2021 4:27 am

Envision a forest of these trees removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere…
Now envision the 100% useless destruction of land and huge sums of money required for such an idiotic installation.
It’s enough to make one weep.

2hotel9
January 3, 2021 6:53 am

If this is such a great idea why can’t he get investors? Gates and Soros and Suckerbergermeister all dump billions into stupidity like this, perhaps someone should explain this to Mr Lackner since he appear to lack the intelligence to figure it out on his own.

Pflashgordon
January 3, 2021 8:41 am

For their part, Ford is now marketing their new electric “Mustang”, an ugly beast that does not even faintly resemble their iconic Mustang. They had to make it a so-called crossover because they couldn’t fit the battery and gear in a conventional body and chassis. So I could go out today and buy a FUN basic Mustang for less than its MSRP of $27K or pay full sticker price of $43K for the base “Mustang” Mach-E. So assuming electricity to recharge the car is free (which of course it is not), at current gas prices I would have to drive it 200,000 miles just to recoup the price differential, having a lot less fun in the process. But wait, there’s more … If you act today, middle class Americans will happily pay you an $8K Federal Tax Credit to help you with your virtue signaling.

How soon Ford forgets. When they had a winner back in the ‘60s, they soon morphed it into the post-Arab embargo Mustang II, whereupon the brand immediately died. Today, they have already been heading that direction with their annual morphing of the retro-Mustang (as they did before), and now they are releasing the retro-“Mustang” Mach-E. Of course, this time, they hedge their bets by continuing production of morphed Mustangs, which only remotely resemble the iconic design.

Okay, so you say nobody buys the base model, I’ll grant you that. How about a Mustang GT? Now we’re talking. Compare the conventional V8 Mustang GT at $37K (MSRP) to the “Mustang” Mach-E GT at $62K, for a $25K price differential. After a mere 300,000 miles, I will have recouped the difference, if it even lasts so long. At the rate I drive, my wife and I would have long been in our graves before the car goes so far. Again, this wrongly assumes that electricity is FREE and generated by clean, green nuclear or hydro power (wind, solar and biomass being neither clean nor green).

Ford’s propaganda commercials (showing obligatory wind turbines and green roofs) are also making the idiotic claim that their operations will be run on 100% “renewables” at some future date certain. If Ford engineers are really that stupid, then it makes me question their ability to build quality automobiles.

Not to be outdone, Amazon is likewise vomiting out prideful, self-aggrandizing ads, including big Green claims. Personally, I go out of my way to avoid buying ANYTHING through Amazon, but I am just one person. (How much cardboard and packing material is wasted individually boxing and shipping cheap Chinese knock-off inferior products?)

Philip
January 3, 2021 9:17 am

Given the solar farms, the wind farms, and now forests of fake trees… there isn’t going to be much open land left for human development. Nobody seems to be calculating the usage of finite resources to create this CO2 free utopia. The real inconvenient truth. Renewables are more polluting and costly to recover than fossil fuels. The amount of lithium needed to replace the gas powered car in total would deplete known lithium reserves in about 20 years, or less. Then what?

TonyG
Reply to  Philip
January 4, 2021 7:20 am

First-order thinking. They only focus on the immediate results with no concern about the consequences of the actions.

Reply to  Philip
January 4, 2021 9:20 am

Lithium is a chemical element, and can therefore be reprocessed and re-used infinitely.

There has not become less lithium on the planet than it was in the stone age. The lithium used in the space rockets which have left the planet is the only exception.

On the other hand, fossil fuels can only be used once.

Philip
Reply to  Jan kjetil Andersen
January 5, 2021 4:45 am

Can be recycled. Are not.
Only between 2-5% of li-ion batteries are being recycled. Most go to landfill.
Very little effort has been put into recyclability.
Most of the batteries that do get recycled undergo a high-temperature melting-and-extraction, or smelting process similar to ones used in the mining industry. Those operations, which are carried out in large commercial facilities—for example, in Asia, Europe, and Canada—are energy intensive. The plants are also costly to build and operate and require sophisticated equipment to treat harmful emissions generated by the smelting process. *And despite the high costs, these plants don’t recover all valuable battery materials.

michael hart
January 3, 2021 10:03 am

 “Mechanical Trees are a good start.”

I hate to think what he might consider a bad start.

January 3, 2021 1:53 pm

I’m ROFL, plain ROFL.

I assume mechanical trees don’t produce oxygen.

Mebbe the same effort could be put into finding low-water trees and more sources of water?

(Actually, haven’t snowbird retiree been accused of planting so much vegetation in AZ that people now have allergies?

AFAIK all plants produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.)

Reply to  Keith Sketchley
January 3, 2021 2:18 pm

I am concerned that tree-huggers focus on ‘canopy’ and height instead of volume of foliage that enough air can reach so there is good CO2<>O2 exchange.

But trees with much foliage volume do not grow leaves near the trunk, they die off (probably for lack of sunlight which is essential). Dramatic example is the cypress/juniper hedge trees popularly called ‘cedar’ – empty near the trunk as needles die.

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