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(Daily Mail)   Leela: Trees down. Fry: Trees up   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line
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1407 clicks; posted to STEM » on 26 Jan 2022 at 8:36 AM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-01-26 7:28:30 AM  
You know what builds itself and absorbs CO2?  Actual tress, and they convert it back to oxygen.  Converting the CO2 the mechanical trees "absorbed" to a fuel will require more energy, and then the fuel is carbon based, putting to CO2 back into the atmosphere.

/Sounds like a scam to girft money.
 
2022-01-26 8:48:15 AM  
Melania Trump's Christmas tree farm?
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-26 8:51:41 AM  

EvilEgg: You know what builds itself and absorbs CO2?  Actual tress, and they convert it back to oxygen.  Converting the CO2 the mechanical trees "absorbed" to a fuel will require more energy, and then the fuel is carbon based, putting to CO2 back into the atmosphere.

/Sounds like a scam to girft money.


Actually, it's better than pulling oil out of the ground and burning it, then planting a tree to compensate.  It closes the loop - you want fuel, you get it from atmospheric CO2.  Yes, it takes energy.  So did the oil in the ground, only we didn't have to provide it.  With this system, you see the true cost of fossil fuels.

We need tech like this to undo the last 200 years of damage we've done.
 
2022-01-26 8:56:28 AM  

Unsung_Hero: EvilEgg: You know what builds itself and absorbs CO2?  Actual tress, and they convert it back to oxygen.  Converting the CO2 the mechanical trees "absorbed" to a fuel will require more energy, and then the fuel is carbon based, putting to CO2 back into the atmosphere.

/Sounds like a scam to girft money.

Actually, it's better than pulling oil out of the ground and burning it, then planting a tree to compensate.  It closes the loop - you want fuel, you get it from atmospheric CO2.  Yes, it takes energy.  So did the oil in the ground, only we didn't have to provide it.  With this system, you see the true cost of fossil fuels.

We need tech like this to undo the last 200 years of damage we've done.


It is better than using more fossil fuels, it's worse than taking the CO2 out and leaving it out.
 
2022-01-26 9:01:41 AM  

EvilEgg: It is better than using more fossil fuels, it's worse than taking the CO2 out and leaving it out.


Por qué no los dos?

Sequester some, run a closed cycle loop with the rest.
 
2022-01-26 9:18:13 AM  
Or just plant more regular trees that mostly take care of themselves when left alone. Millions of years of prior work has shown that.
 
2022-01-26 9:43:40 AM  

Nimbull: Or just plant more regular trees that mostly take care of themselves when left alone. Millions of years of prior work has shown that.


Yeah, but how would that make money? Give people jobs caring for stupid natural trees, instead of caring for our amazing mechanical trees? Psssh.
 
2022-01-26 9:44:39 AM  
Leela: Trees down. Fry: Trees up


That's the way we like to schtup.
 
2022-01-26 10:04:39 AM  

EvilEgg: You know what builds itself and absorbs CO2?  Actual tress, and they convert it back to oxygen.  Converting the CO2 the mechanical trees "absorbed" to a fuel will require more energy, and then the fuel is carbon based, putting to CO2 back into the atmosphere.

/Sounds like a scam to girft money.


Moneygrubbing eggheads 0, genrus farker 1000
 
2022-01-26 10:07:39 AM  
Carbon Based Lifeforms - Photosynthesis
Youtube Z_8G0zHMuwg
 
2022-01-26 10:12:54 AM  

discoballer: Nimbull: Or just plant more regular trees that mostly take care of themselves when left alone. Millions of years of prior work has shown that.

Yeah, but how would that make money? Give people jobs caring for stupid natural trees, instead of caring for our amazing mechanical trees? Psssh.


Natural trees are only a temporary solution to excess CO2 in the atmosphere.  They die, they rot, and they release it again on very short timescales relatively speaking.  We got the overwhelming bulk of our excess CO2 from pulling it out of the ground and pumping it into the air.  It has to go back into the ground, and trees aren't going to do that.

Now, maybe if we started sinking dead trees in the Marianas Trench we'd be on to something - growing forests that produce lignum vitae would mean wood that would sink down to where the pressure could compress the trees enough to in theory create diamonds over time.  But sadly there's actually life down there that would probably find a way to eat the trees and dump carbon in the ocean.  So even that might not work.  I don't see any way to get gaseous CO2 down there to compress into a solid that would work.
 
2022-01-26 10:21:34 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-01-26 10:22:35 AM  
The most effective carbon sinks are rocks... not trees.
 
2022-01-26 10:33:41 AM  

Nimbull: Or just plant more regular trees that mostly take care of themselves when left alone. Millions of years of prior work has shown that.


We can't plant enough trees to compensate for what we're doing.  There just isn't enough time for them to do the job they're needed to do.  Trees alone aren't going to be enough.  Neither is this a silver bullet.

We're beyond the point where any one solution can fix the problem.  We need many solutions in place all at once.
 
2022-01-26 10:39:53 AM  
We should replace all of our forests with these.
 
2022-01-26 10:45:02 AM  
We should bioengineer reverse cows that suck methane out of the atmosphere with their sphincters, then puke out grass.
 
2022-01-26 11:01:25 AM  
I am pretty sure that you'd be better off using that money and space to just install solar panels.
 
2022-01-26 11:06:49 AM  

SirDigbyChickenCaesar: I am pretty sure that you'd be better off using that money and space to just install solar panels.


With enough of them, you don't need to pump new CO2 into the air (except whatever's used during their manufacture), but you're still not sequestering anything.

You'd be better off than burning the fossil fuels those panels replace, but not better off than doing something about reducing atmospheric CO2 levels.
 
2022-01-26 11:27:40 AM  
This is part of a large DOE project to look for potentially useful direct air capture CO2 removal methods. It's worth throwing a billion or two at the various ideas to see if something works, but the giant issue I see with it is that the DOE's target cost for CO2 removal per ton is about 3 orders of magnitude over the point where putting the entire planetary GDP into CO2 removal would contribute a meaningless amount of reduction.

It would be more economically feasible to put an 8000 mile diameter sun shield at L1 to induce global dimming than to implement any technological CO2 Direct Capture method currently proposed or envisioned.
 
Juc [TotalFark]
2022-01-26 11:29:47 AM  

beezeltown: Melania Trump's Christmas tree farm?
[Fark user image 425x243]


I think she goes for a more blood tinged theme.
(seriously, she decorates like a murderer)
 
2022-01-26 11:47:28 AM  
This is stupid.

There are lots of ways to permanently extract CO2 from the air and they all use a farkton of energy to do it. We had an article a couple days ago about making jet fuel from the air using solar power.

There is only one proven and effective way to remove CO2 - acidification of the oceans leading to the creation of CaCO3 which ends up as the next layer of limestone. It is already happening and it takes too damn long for our needs.

Want to stop climate change - stop extracting and utilizing fossil fuels. It really is as simple as that.
 
2022-01-26 12:06:23 PM  

madgonad: Want to stop climate change - stop extracting and utilizing fossil fuels. It really is as simple as that.


That stops CO2 levels from rising further.  If you want to undo the damage we've done, sequestration is required.  And yes, that takes energy.  After all, we pulled it out of the ground and extracted energy from it - that energy needs to be put back in before we can bury it again.

Sequestration projects are pointless unless they're powered by renewable energy sources or if the systems involved do more environmental damage from their creation and operation than they're correcting.  But something that can put CO2 back in the ground is necessary.
 
2022-01-26 12:18:17 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Sequestration projects are pointless unless they're powered by renewable energy sources or if the systems involved do more environmental damage from their creation and operation than they're correcting.  But something that can put CO2 back in the ground is necessary.


Also don't forget from the calculations that building and maintaining the components for sequestration have a cost. Sequestration is a distraction. People think 'gee, science will eventually solve sequestration using magic so lets just keep drilling'. The idea of sequestration is allowing us to not consider curtailing their use.

Ultimately it will never reach zero. We need the carbon in coal to make steel, we make too many useful things / chemicals from petroleum, and natural gas is required to make plastics.

/we are farked
 
2022-01-26 12:25:31 PM  

Juc: beezeltown: Melania Trump's Christmas tree farm?
[Fark user image 425x243]

I think she goes for a more blood tinged theme.
(seriously, she decorates like a murderer)


One could only hope she expresses her true self at home with her husband, one day.
 
2022-01-26 12:45:47 PM  
And what would be the environmental impact of creating a shiatton of these?

Would be better to just bioengineer a super-soaking CO2 plant and have those grow all over the world. Bonus: they could also be used to help feed the hungry.
 
2022-01-26 12:49:16 PM  

cman: Would be better to just bioengineer a super-soaking CO2 plant and have those grow all over the world. Bonus: they could also be used to help feed the hungry.


Wouldn't work.  Unless you have a time machine and can dump that 66 to 252 million years ago when the conditions were right for making oil, it'll never be sequestered for long.  As soon as the plant dies, it starts releasing its carbon one way or another.
 
2022-01-26 1:00:37 PM  

Unsung_Hero: EvilEgg: It is better than using more fossil fuels, it's worse than taking the CO2 out and leaving it out.

Por qué no los dos?

Sequester some, run a closed cycle loop with the rest.


So, the conundrum here is needing space. Physical trees and these could not really exist in the same space, they are competing for the CO2. So on places we can have real forest, real trees are great.

But for places that are desert, above tree line, too urban, antarctic, etc, things like these mechanical trees can do a job a physical tree couldn't. I'd also assume, to an extent we need more than passive capture at ground level to get atmospheric CO2. So whatever is removing that CO2 might be easier to transport to mechanical trees. But if proximity to pull that to a forest is available, go for it. Otherwise, putting in a mechanical one doesn't seem that daft.

My question though... The places I just listed, are also the places we want to put solar, presumably. Can we put solar in the same places as mechanical trees? Cause that could be a double win.
 
2022-01-26 1:06:52 PM  

Quantumbunny: Can we put solar in the same places as mechanical trees? Cause that could be a double win.


No, because they both want the same light
 
2022-01-26 1:40:26 PM  

guestguy: We should bioengineer reverse cows that suck methane out of the atmosphere with their sphincters, then puke out grass.


Can we make them give chocolate milk right out of the spout while we're at it?
 
2022-01-26 2:15:00 PM  

EvilEgg: You know what builds itself and absorbs CO2?  Actual tress, and they convert it back to oxygen.  Converting the CO2 the mechanical trees "absorbed" to a fuel will require more energy, and then the fuel is carbon based, putting to CO2 back into the atmosphere.



reactiongifs.usView Full Size
 
2022-01-26 2:18:27 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Sequestration projects are pointless unless they're powered by renewable energy sources


They're pointless even if they are powered by renewable energy sources as long as other loads are still running on dirty power.  If you're considering building new renewable capacity and a new sequestration system, you've got three options:

1. Build the new renewables, and build the sequestration plant.
2. Build only the new renewables.
3. Build the new renewables, and build more renewables using the budget you had for the sequestration plant.

As long as there are still loads running on dirty power, #3 is better than #2 is better than #1 in terms of net effect on atmospheric carbon.  The only time this wouldn't be true is if your sequestration plant can remove more emissions per kWh than the dirty plants are producing on average-- and I don't think anybody's cleared that hurdle.  (And it's probably genuinely impossible, or we'd be able to make oil with less energy input than the energy output from burning it... physics tends to frown on perpetual-motion ideas.)
 
2022-01-26 2:37:30 PM  
 Modern technology got us into this mess. It wont get us out.
 
2022-01-26 2:39:27 PM  

raygundan: Unsung_Hero: Sequestration projects are pointless unless they're powered by renewable energy sources

They're pointless even if they are powered by renewable energy sources as long as other loads are still running on dirty power.  If you're considering building new renewable capacity and a new sequestration system, you've got three options:

1. Build the new renewables, and build the sequestration plant.
2. Build only the new renewables.
3. Build the new renewables, and build more renewables using the budget you had for the sequestration plant.

As long as there are still loads running on dirty power, #3 is better than #2 is better than #1 in terms of net effect on atmospheric carbon.  The only time this wouldn't be true is if your sequestration plant can remove more emissions per kWh than the dirty plants are producing on average-- and I don't think anybody's cleared that hurdle.  (And it's probably genuinely impossible, or we'd be able to make oil with less energy input than the energy output from burning it... physics tends to frown on perpetual-motion ideas.)


To summarize your excellent point - because it takes more energy to return CO2 to the ground than to release it, it's more effective to replace fossil fuel use with renewable energy than to use renewable energy to sequester CO2.

Damn.  That is 100% undeniable mathematically true.

Though we should still play around with sequestration technology so it's ready if we can manage to get to the point where we have the energy budget from renewables to satisfy our needs plus the sequestration devices.
 
2022-01-26 3:03:46 PM  
Man, we suck as a species. Anything we can make a profit off that takes longer than one human lifetime to replenish is just destined to go extinct. I don't know how much a commercial logger gets for one tree. I do know an 80' x 2' diameter pine tree will produce 750 board feet of lumber. You can do the rest of the math. I do know, whatever they're making, the cost of a new tree is pennies, or free if they're planting seeds from what they took down. Just take 1/100th of 1% of what you make from the trees and give seeds and tents to a bunch of college students and let them go nuts. Then just forget about it for the next 60 years. No, YOU won't make the money from them. But you already MADE your money from them. Leave something for someone else long after you're gone. You're not even giving anything up. You're just doing for someone else what nature did for you for free in the first place.
 
2022-01-26 3:14:43 PM  

RobotSpider: Just take 1/100th of 1% of what you make from the trees and give seeds and tents to a bunch of college students and let them go nuts. Then just forget about it for the next 60 years.


There are lots of managed forests where I live.  It's weird because with parallax, all the trees line up in straight rows as you drive past and you can see through the entire patch of woods.  Presumably they're much easier to harvest when the time comes.
 
2022-01-26 5:04:25 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Though we should still play around with sequestration technology so it's ready if we can manage to get to the point where we have the energy budget from renewables to satisfy our needs plus the sequestration devices.


For sure.  We're going to need it eventually, so it's probably worth getting the kinks out now-- even if it's not worth running in most cases until we've replaced the rest of our generation capacity with renewables.

There's one niche where it does make some sense, after further thought-- at some point, we will have enough variable-output renewable capacity that there will be times when there's excess.  If somebody can build a sequestration plant that can throttle up and down quickly, they might make sense as a way to soak up excess power from solar and wind on days when there's nothing else to do with it.
 
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