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I wonder, did you ever hear about the Virgin Earth Challenge?
The Virgin Earth Challenge is a competition. It is offering a $25 million prize for whoever can demonstrate a commercially viable design, which results in the permanent removal of greenhouse gases out of the Earth's atmosphere, so as to contribute materially to avoid global warming. The prize was conceived and financed by Sir Richard Branson, a successful British entrepreneur, and was announced in London on 9 February 2007 by Branson and former US Vice President and 2007 Nobel Prize winner Al Gore. Vice President Al Gore was the creator of the film "An Inconvenient Truth on climate change", which film was released in 2006. In 2011 the 11 finalists of the Virign Earth Challenge were announced.
I as an ordinary concerned citizen, am getting impatient that still no decision has been reached by the Virgin Earth Challenge. Thus in choosing a winner or more winners out of these 11 finalists, meaning that many plans to start implementation of the ideas as mentioned on their webside are lying on wait, and that the beginning of action to remove CO2 from the atmosphere is delayed.More and more people, in especially Asia, cause more and more co2 emissions, and thus the greenhouse effect is becoming stronger and stronger, which is indeed frightening. And especially frightening, because it may cause more and more melting permafrost and thus a climatological catastrophe.
I think there will be more life in the universe, also intelligent life. And intelligent life, as we are, will, at a certain stage of their development, have to use something like olivine (which material has also been found on Mars), biochar and/or other things as all mentioned in the 11 ideas of the finalists of the Virgin Earth Challenge, and/or a kind of plankton suggested by Brad Arnold on the internet, in order to remove the surplus of carbon dioxide out of their atmosphere. After that certain stage of their development as mentioned before, the civilization in question will have made technical progress, and will only have renewable power out of energies which will not produce carbon dioxide anymore (= thus our dream: a further stage of civilization with e.g. solar power and wind power). That certain stage of development, which you may call a "transitional period" in combatting the surplus of co2 out of the atmosphere, will only last some decades at most (the 11 ideas, as thus referred to on the website of the Virgin Earth Challenge, will have effect very quickly).
You may call this the "first rule" of an advanced civilization at a certain stage (in the universe). I myself call it: "the first rule of a technically advanced civilization".
And thus for this reason, some organizations on Earth have arisen, in order to take out the rising surplus of co2: direct air capture, biochar, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, enhanced weathering on land, and land management, as thus described on the website of Virigin Earth Challenge. Another idea is thus that of Brad Arnold on the internet: cultivating a kind of plankton, which takes out co2 out of the sea.
In my opinion, the idea of enhanced weathering, of Professor Schuiling, is one of the the best ideas. His simple method of using ground olivine, is well motivated and documented at the site: www.smartstones.nl . The overwhelming quantity of olivine on Earth can be used much more as a natural CO2destructor. And olivine is everywhere in the universe; for instance, it has also been found on the planet Mars. So, why is it not practiced (yet) on a large scale?
For Oliver Tickell (as for instance expressed in his article published on the site: www.smartstones.nl), it is also a a mystery: "why has this tremendous opportunity, to safely and cheaply remove carbon dioxide, received virtually no attention?"
The other methods, mentioned on the website of the Virgin Earth Challenge, can also be brought into practice simultaneously. One of them, must in any case be mentioned, and a bit explained in this opinion piece.
The International Biochar Initiative, under the direction of Johannes Lehmann (of Cornell University), promotes the wonderful invention of pyrolysis: burning without using oxygen, which invention must be known by every technical advanced civilization (oxygen etcetera is everywhere in the universe). Pyrolysis prevents rotting biomass from releasing harmful co2 into the atmosphere, and furthermore, by this process, the residu is called biochar which can be used (is used by some organizations) as a soil amendment (as a means to increase soil fertility and agricultural yields).
The other methods of the 11 finalists of the Virgin Earth Challenge mostly concern direct capture of co2 out of the atmosphere. Although all of them well-intentioned, they rely in my opinion on a big energy supply and on a large chemical industry, which makes these ideas expensive (in my opinion). Moreover, in my opinion, they are more intricate.
Think about the idea of many Earth like planets in the universe, as argued nowadays. And think about many of these panets getting life and advanced civilizations. Would such an advanced civilization elsewhere, who would obey "the first rule of a technically advanced civilization" as mentioned before, like to contact the civilization on Earth because the civilizaton on Earth seems to be too stupid to refuse to obey "this first rule of a technically advanced civilization"? I think such an advanced civilization would not contact the civilization on Earth: the civilization on Earth would be considered too primitive! The civilization on Earth is not doing his best in averting a climate catastrophe, by not using the universally accepted methods as referred to here before.
So, a more advanced civilization elsewhere, would in any case, not like to make contact with the civilization on Earth. Everything will remain quiet for the radio astronomers!
So, let all of us ask our governments, to use in any case ground olivine, and pyrolysis, as mentioned before, in order to combat the rising level of co2 in our atmosphere here on Earth, and in order to prevent a climatological catastrophe which could mean the end of mankind.
Moreover, the 11 finalists of the Virgin Earth Challenge were thus already announced in 2011. In the meantime, the people of the Virgin Earth Challenge have examined the ideas of the 11 finalists. Taking into account modern mankind during this time still being the cause of more and more co2 emissions (especailly in Asia), it is high time that the people of the Virgin Earth Challenge give the prize or the prizes to the best idea(s) of the Virgin Earth Challenge. If it would be too difficult for them to choose one of the ideas, because they would like all the ideas (which is well possible: they like the ideas of all 11 finalists), then they must be honest, and divide the 25 million between the 11 competitors (so each competitor will get something more than two million).
So, not only is necessary a change to renewable power out of energies which will not produce carbon dioxide anymore, but also are (is) necessary means that result in negative carbon dioxide emissions. Means that result in negative carbon dioxide emissions, like thus the 15 ideas of the Virgin Earth Challenge as meant above, and the idea of Brad Arnold with regard to plankton as mentioned before, can be described as means for a necessary "anti-co2 revolution". And in addition to the green revolution as promoted in many countries by sometimes changing to renewable power out of energies which will not produce carbon dioxide anymore, an anti-co2 revolution will be necessary in order to prevent the end of (modern) mankind,
I would like to thank you for your attention.
With kind regards, and with hopefully promoting in any case the ideas of ground olivine and biochar,
E-mail address : firstname.lastname@example.org
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