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« Using Light to Power Nanomachines | Main | Universal Declaration, or not? »

December 10, 2008


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Tom Craver

Bad news about the beetles - but I don't think you should assume this has to be a positive feedback situation.

Yes, there'll be a burst of CO2 as the existing trees die and decay. But unless those forests turn to desert, SOMETHING is going to grow in their place, absorbing CO2.

New growth stores carbon faster than old growth, if you have full ground coverage. So if we were to log out the dying trees, bury them in the desert, and dense-plant new trees, we'd actually have a faster rate of CO2 capture.

Every few years we'd have to go in and thin them out - but that's another addition to carbon sequestration.

Tihamer Toth-Fejel

My officemate recommended that we all print out all the blogs we read, and make sure we don't recycle them, but make sure that the hardcopy ends up in land fills to sequester the carbon.

Other than the extra input of energy required (and water) to make the paper (and oil derivatives to deliver it to our printers), I cannot come up with a reason why he's wrong.

Keith Henson points out that once diamondoid mechanosynthesis gets started (pretty soon, if this year's experiments by Philip Moriarty are successful) then people are going to suck all the CO2 out of the air in order to build their diamondoid cars, airplanes, 100 mile high skyscrapers, space piers, etc. (Diamond is an engineer's best friend).

Frankly, I think Henson is correct. Global warming is the least of our problems.

Chris Phoenix

Tee, I hope you and Henson are right, and I think you probably are -- but I'm just not willing to bet the planet on it.

Let's start acting as if MM won't come along in time to fix global warming; if it does, then the problem will be even easier to solve.

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