We should spend more on saving forests and reforesting deforested areas than on carbon capture technology.
I say this because the main advocates for carbon capture technology are companies that emit a lot of Green House Gases (GHG). Their stated plan is to develop carbon sequestration technology and to start installing it during the next 20 years. This time line is inadequate for the challenges that we face as we need to cut emissions now, not later. Also, for industries that would install carbon capture technology they emit GHGs at many stages of their operation, not just from a smokestack.
Carbon capture technology is expensive, the National Mining Institute estimates that it would cost $1 trillion to install this technology at all coal plants in the US. Currently, installing carbon capture technology raises the cost of getting power from a coal plant by 75%. At these costs it would be more advantageous to our wallets and to our environment if we just developed different ways to generate power.
Another problem with carbon capture is that the captured carbon needs to be put somewhere, the main idea is to pump it underground, but this strategy is unstable as we can not ensure that the carbon will stay underground as gas rises. The other idea is to reuse the carbon, all this costs a lot of money to research and develop that could be spent on alternative technologies.
Technologies like solar power and electric cars have been suppressed for a long time and by researching and developing them we can make these technologies cheaper than coal fired power plants with a carbon capture system.
Forests around the world are underprotected and by protecting and developing them we can increase the health of our environment, the wealth of indigenous populations and decrease the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and in the oceans.
Do not be mistaken though, algae produces the majority of the world’s oxygen, but it is the carbon cycle of trees that we have disturbed the most and should work on improving. Check this article out about oceanic algae: http://ecology.com/features/mostimportantorganism/
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