Recently I posted an article about whether it would be better to fix the current problems on Earth or possibly terraform another planet to live on. I talked about a few problems facing each idea, but recently I came across this article that may totally change our mindset.
After reading this article and watching the video this is one of the very few pieces of technology that seems to be a viable solution to the CO2 problem and global warming. Trying to find sustainable energy is going to be one of our greatest challenge in the near and far future for humanity. The fact that we can cheaply, although they did not give specific cost information, remove the vast majority of the CO2 from the atmosphere is a very big deal. The video says that this technology is capable of removing over 80% of the CO2 from the air that is sucked into the machine. That is pretty amazing!
While I think this could very well be a major game changer in terms of fixing the planet, I think there are still a few issues. My first thought was what powers the machine. If it runs on fossil fuels then we not be really helping that much. But the video makes it seem that the machine itself is carbon neutral, meaning that it does not put any more CO2 into the atmosphere. So basically it really is just cleaning the air. The last thing we need is a technology like this that uses a ton of energy, either fossil fuels or electricity, that more or less pollute as much as it cleans. From what I gathered it seems to maybe pollute at a 1 and cleans at a 8 or 9, so it is actually doing more good than harm. So we are at a plus 7 in terms of clean air, if that makes sense.
The other issue is that this in no way curbs our dependency on fossil fuels. Which after knowing this technology exists I am not sure is that big of a deal. I guess that is the big question, will we continue to use fossil fuels as long as we have this technology? I think the answer is a resounding YES! They are cheap, efficient enough, and our infrastructure has been build using them. And now even though they are technically dirty, we are able to clean up after our mess.
My fear is that we will now become reliant on this new technology and for the time being curb our efforts to find another source of clean sustainable energy. I do not think fossil fuels will take us the next level of technological development. For the time being these fans could help clean our atmosphere and cool our planet back down to more normal temperatures, but I think it could also delay the advancement of alternative fuels. So in that regard this could be a blessing as well as a curse.
I think for the immediate future this a technology that needs to be implemented immediately. However, I wonder how long, if ever, this will take off and be utilized globally. Plus I wonder how long it would take to get enough of these fans up to actually make a difference. Could enough fans be constructed in one year to show a significant reduction in CO2 levels, or will it take five, ten, or longer to get enough of these up and running to reduce carbon levels on a global level.
Regardless this is fascinating and really makes me wonder about the other applications for this technology. Perhaps a form of this technology could be used to help terraform another planet or used on a base on Mars. Taking the un-breathable Martian air and running it through a fan like this and out pops nice clean breathable air. The real trick would be to get this to run on solar power, that way no matter what happens a base on another planet will always have clean air. Currently we rely on filters to clean the air and scrub it, getting rid of the CO2 and carbon monoxide. Eventually they get saturated and have to be thrown away, this system is less than ideal. This system seems to be more efficient on that perspective and more or less self-sustaining. I am sure I am getting ahead of the technology, but you can easily see how this could be modified to fit different situations.
Getting back to our reliance on fossil fuels, the sooner we curb our tenacious appetite from them the better. But again the problem is that they are cheap and easily accessible, any replacement will take years to be put into place. As I have said many times the two main problems facing humanity (in my opinion) are global warming and the energy crisis. Getting these fans up and running could be a massive help to solving one of biggest problems we face in the near future.