What kind of tech is being worked on that can protect us from the FX of climate change?

Son Goku

Member
Oct 31, 2017
3,578
Carbon capture becoming more efficent than photosynthesis seems extremely unlikely, especially if you consider that carbon capture need energy unlike trees that get their own, as well as batteries getting 10-20 times cheaper . Solar shading seems the most doable option to reduce the worst parts of global warming, combined with reduced consumption (probably from economical collapse due to the warming).

We needed to build more nuclear plants in the 90's, but Russia and oil companies propaganda ruined it. If every country had as much nuclear power as France, global warming wouldn't be even a concept.
I really do wish the fear mongering coming out of Cherynoble and 3 mile island and then more recently the Japanese plant hadnt dissuaded so many. It really is an awesome tool but people always come back at me with these incidents when I suggest it on a public forum
 

Chairman Yang

Member
Oct 25, 2017
818
How much of a difference are we talking? Could you point me in the direction of a reputable study you might be familiar with? I'd appreciate it.

Thanks
Also, there's a direct study for Beyond Meat here (https://www.fastcompany.com/90241836/meatless-burgers-vs-beef-how-beyond-meats-environmental-impact-stacks-up). Looks good, but I wouldn't take it too seriously until the production process is finalized. An excerpt:

"The team discovered that the Beyond Burger generates 90% less greenhouse gas emissions, requires 46% less energy, and has 99% less impact on water scarcity and 93% less impact on land use than a quarter pound of U.S. beef. That means a 41-square-foot plot of land can produce just one beef burger for every 15 Beyond Burgers."
 

Crispy75

Member
Oct 25, 2017
905
Atmospheric aerosols are the best shot right now, but unless we decarbonize as well, we’ll be even more fucked if we ever stop seeding them.
Still, buying time is better than dying.
A similar alternative, but more sustainable (as in, long-lasting, not the other meaning!) would be a swarm of solar shades at L1. The technology is not too far fetched (it's just big sheets of mylar foil and some spindly wires), and SpaceX are about to get launch costs way way lower than they have previously (far lower than the $1000/lb level mentioned in the linked article. It might cost <$100bn to drop solar input by just 2% percent, which would drop temperatures back to pre-industrial levels, and give us plenty of time to fix the problem. Or ignore it.
 

Troast

Member
Oct 31, 2017
364
A similar alternative, but more sustainable (as in, long-lasting, not the other meaning!) would be a swarm of solar shades at L1. The technology is not too far fetched (it's just big sheets of mylar foil and some spindly wires), and SpaceX are about to get launch costs way way lower than they have previously (far lower than the $1000/lb level mentioned in the linked article. It might cost <$100bn to drop solar input by just 2% percent, which would drop temperatures back to pre-industrial levels, and give us plenty of time to fix the problem. Or ignore it.
The magnitude of the engineering required in this task is enormous. This is the problem right here "To achieve the reduction we’d want to counteract global warming, i.e., to reduce the received solar irradiance by 2%, we’d need to cover a surface area of 4.5 million square kilometers at the L1 Lagrange point. That’s the equivalent of an object that takes up half the surface area of the Moon." Not sure how we achieve this.
 

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,440
Maybe a fully carbon neutral energy and manufacturing process (modern nuclear reactors like LFTRs?), robots (supposed to be the defining innovation of the next ~decade?), and mass international/global conservation and reforestation programs? I imagine planting trees is tedious so perhaps leveraging robots we could reap the existing automation of nature for carbon capture, etc. It seems that carbon capture would have to be like thousands to millions of times more effective to be worth building the infrastructure to make any kind of dent in atmospheric carbon. But that's just my naive guess.
 

Mizzourah

Member
Oct 27, 2017
322
A question I was considering the other day after the announcement of the Mars terraforming game:

Once the technology is developed, would it theoretically be easier to terraform Earth after we've fucked it all up than terraforming Mars? Or would Mars' relatively unchanging atmosphere (without human interference) make it a more desirable endeavour?
 

Minishdriveby

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,152
A question I was considering the other day after the announcement of the Mars terraforming game:

Once the technology is developed, would it theoretically be easier to terraform Earth after we've fucked it all up than terraforming Mars? Or would Mars' relatively unchanging atmosphere (without human interference) make it a more desirable endeavour?
No. It’s much harder because there is complex life on earth and terraforming it fucks up the ecology and can have devestating unforeseen impacts. We are terraforming currently. And we’re probably going to end up trying to terraform to quick fix it, but it’s an unethical and potentially catastrophic band-aid solution.