Imagine a giant vacuum cleaner for the atmosphere. Al Gore Friday helped announce a project to spur innovation in combating gases that contribute to global warming.I have always wondered about such a giant vacuum cleaner. Suck the excess amounts of green house gases out of the atmosphere. I now have 25 million reasons to wonder and dream about it some more!
The British billionaire Richard Branson and Al Gore, the former vice president, aimed for just that on Friday when they announced a $25 million prize to meet possibly the biggest challenge faced by humankind: to reduce the planet’s warming gases that have collected in the atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution(via NY Times)
Present day sequestration ideas all run the risk of leakage that could have disastrous results. What we need is permanence.The NY Times article mentions a study by Klaus Lackner, a professor at Columbia University.
Lackner presents a more permanent method of CO2 disposal through neutralization in carbonate form. This could be accomplished by injecting CO2 into alkaline mineral rich layers of the Earth. When exposed to alkaline minerals, CO2 gas reacts with the alkaline mineral to form carbonates or bicarbonatesLackner goes onto explain how this principle can be applied to power plants. I don't think anybody took him seriously before. That might change pretty soon, thanks to the prize tag!
Anyway, my little idea (possibly stupid) is this ....What if we all had a vacuum cleaner (as in the photograph) that uses Lackner's idea. It would have a filter made up of alkaline minerals. It would be sitting out in the sun (as in the photograph) when it is not being used indoors. It would use solar energy(somehow) to channel air through the filter and off goes the CO2!
CO2 cleaners are only a fix. Ultimately, we all have to start living on renewable energy. There is no other option.
PS: In case you are wondering, the orange in the photograph represents a warming planet :) The snow represents the desired state of cooling. The vacuum cleaner is of course the CO2 cleaner. Weird crazy abstract :)