Brian Wang discusses how to take processes that already absorbed trillions of tons of CO2 and solve the global climate issue within 20 years.
This will be done at a cost 100 times less than other proposals.
There are already efforts underway two parts of the plan but they are separate efforts and are each about 20 times too small. They need to be connected, expanded and coordinated as described in the video.
The slide deck for this talk is here.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
38 thoughts on “Getting a Complete Global Climate Fix to Scale by 2030”
come on, Brian, there's noting wrong with the climate.
Leave Earth to save it, simple, no?
Thought this was a pretty decent partial validation of 's hypothesis by the liberal news media: https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/mangroves-have-superpowers-against-climate-change-scientists-are-racing-to-save-them-137990213540 in the news yesterday. I guess folks here debating the actual costs of greenhouses are on point cuz we're talking about getting farmers across the country to plant trees and build greenhouses. I wish Brian's analysis mentioned a little more about healthy ecosystems because a healthy forest isn't just a bunch of trees, ya know. But this solution is starting to resonate with me enough to want to start promoting it. The technological solutions short of fusion (or more fission) will have their own carbon, human, and political footprints so probably more biological solutions are advised to be the major strategic element. Perhaps this should be the green new deal: incentives to farmers to plant trees and build greenhouses.
Suppose 1000 units of something – say batteries – are required to meet society's energy needs 20 years from now versus today's existing 1 unit. (Exact numbers don't matter much for this example.)
For simplicity, assume linear growth of productive capacity of batteries. So on average we'll need to make nearly 50 units of batteries each year, and with linear growth we'd need to be making 100 units a year by the end of 20 years.
But if we do that, we'll have the capacity to make 2000 units over the following 20 years. If 20 years is the lifespan of batteries, we'd replace the first 1000 units of batteries with 1000 new units of batteries and then produce an additional 1000 units beyond global requirements.
Either we expand global battery consumption 2x by the end of 40 years, or we shut down and waste half the capital investment in battery production. (This "problem" is even "worse" if you assume some form of exponential increase in production capacity, btw.)
So it sounds like, in the rush to make renewables replace existing energy production/consumption, we could end up having the ability to greatly raise global standards of living?
Plenty of evidence of people bleeding out. Not a lot of evidence of climate "tipping points", especially ones that kick in at temperatures the planet has seen before with higher CO2 levels.
I think it's important not to cherry pick recent geological history, with its abnormally low temperatures and CO2 levels. We tend to have a certain degree of "presentism" about planetary conditions.
In fact, CO2 levels before mankind started recycling sequestered CO2 back into the atmosphere were abnormally low, approaching the level at which C-3 photosynthesis plants would simply die out. (Somewhere between 50 and 150 ppm.)The last time conditions were similar was the late carboniferous, also when we had an ice age.
A lot of people don't realize that we're currently in an interglacial period during an ice age, and experiencing lower than normal global temperatures.
understandable – but that's kind of like saying, '"…i'll need to see you bleed out before I believe that you need a certain amount of blood to survive…". Not really worth the risk -and likely hard to pinpoint- when a certain amount of CO2 mitigation is not really that costly nor hard to implement. Is letting 450ppm or 500 ppm happen really worth it? Is there any extraordinary benefit that outweighs the widespread disruption and drama? Let the doomsayers and enviro-anarchists have their 2C/ 2.5C by mid-2000s. There's plenty of tech, wealth, GDP, industrialization, growth etc., left at that level of enviro-regulation. Besides we'll always have the US south as a respite for low-regulation and good- tech-driven growth/innovation. Cheers.
Before I can forget those tipping points, I'll need better evidence they exist.
Simple math, (see above response to John), indicates that human activity alone increased atmospheric temps by 1°F.
Humans can and do affect global temps.
That is so not even close to total heat by human activity.
Simply add up grid connected nuclear power, burned coal, burned natural gas and burned oil and you find over 200 quadrillion btu’s of heat for 2019 alone.
Now add chemical heat, (battery etc), heat from humans at 1000 calories/day, biomass from forest fires, do that for every year from 1975 to 2019 and you find MORE than enough heat to raise earths atmosphere 1° F as NASA indicates.
One of the last places you'd expect farming is the Mojave Desert. But with the help of cheap plastic hoop/plastic sheeting greenhouses, even the Mojave Desert can be coaxed into blooming. The only problems these growers face is when the DEA and Sheriff find out what they're growing, then comes the bulldozers.
The most dangerous power addict is the one with a plausible excuse. This one happens to be accurate, but that does not mean the power addict is not still a problem. Gerard K. O'Neill "The High Frontier" will let us see beyond this. See R below for what happens without O'Neill.
Criswell Lunar Solar Power, as well as O'Neill Space Solar Power plans from the 70s and 80s, MAKE MONEY and do this. Start now with Earth to Earth Power Beaming, make Putin watch. Save the planet by leaving it.
to be fair, a lot of these cultures are heavily-influenced by historical and traditional forces difficult to overcome: extended families, local and wider community, religion, tribe, workplace values, government regulation or lack, hunger/ disease, etc. Liberal values depend on heavy, continuous, and widespread support from a young age — and a certain affluence. It is easier to be unLiberal than Liberal – that is subject to tradition or ruthless rationalism. Almost a chicken-egg thing – liberal values thrive best when already widespread or at least generally tolerated. Hopefully, technology can remove the scarcity and encourage the feeling of choice and wider belonging — a fundamental liberal foundation.
But… agreed that individual work-ethic, and thus mastery and productivity, are crucial to development and abundance…. which is the nurturing bed for peace
It's not about getting results it's about getting richer and control while showing little to no progress in order to justify more of investment in solutions that produced the same poor results.
And climate change isn't as big of a problem, right now the food supply chain is getting more and more disrupted by the pandemic, war and (maybe intententionaly) poor management. Africa population is booming and will soon experience (more) mass starvation, people in developed countries are not immune from the consequences too, as we have been seeing.
It's the Great Reset, you don't have to believe it you will experience it 🙂
…and the juicy irony of the whole situation is that when minimal, sustainable, civilization-wide technology is commonplace throughout at a low-cost and minimal maintenance in 30 – 50+ years, a lot of these 'under-served' cultures will claim 'cultural appropriation' or even 'techno-colonization' when instructed on the needed democratic, free speech, pro-individualistic, non-tribal/cult, gender/ ethnic/ sexual positive, and pro-diverse 'Liberal' values to have actual prosperity and lasting peace — in conjunction with 'easy tech' 'trickled-down' to them in an Ikea-furniture-type easy-to-assemble means, as provided by rich countries. The height of absurdity when many of these cultures would rather 'fail on their own terms' than succeed on anyone else's. Though, I don't think they claim 'victim' as often as suggested in media when there is money to be made by being oppressed by rich country emissions – they are noble in their own cultural framework.
Bleeding-Heart Liberal nonsense. These poor countries would give anything to have the shallow and profit-driven excesses rich countries enjoy (and the carbon emissions that go with it) – they just don't have work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, and mutally-beneficial free-market mentality — started by english/german protestants and to a lesser degree chinese and non-orthodox islam, centuries ago. The only reason that any technology past the industrial era of the 19th century even exists in africa, southeast asia, anything south of mexico, and many parts of the middle east is due to technology transfer and its brother 'trickle-down'. Any sewage treatment, healthcare, power generation, non-biological powered vehicles, advanced communication, industrialization, etc., etc., is due to asymmetrical movement of the tech, capital, and to a lesser degree maintenance to said cultures. Most of these poor cultures don't even have pollution, CO2 emission, air quality regs – certainly an indication of their unwillingness to pull their own CO2 weight, as little as that is. Being poor is not a lack of money – its a cultural decision, being made daily and in full knowledge of the alternatives.
The rich countries aren't 'providing trickle-down benefits to the poor' – the vast majority of the CO2 that's currently destabilising the climate was put there by the rich countries, and the carbon footprint of the average American is still 8x higher than that of the average Indian, and 35x higher than that of the average Nigerian. Climate change is a massive problem being dumped on the poor, and on the richer countries' own children.
geoengineering can be weaponized and often supports some countries and penalizes other – a world solution is often not a local solution.
Just about being reasonable. Let there be 3% GDP growth average worldwide and then just throw the rest of the money down the Green-feelings Enviro well so we can have hydrogen fuel cells, space-based power, geothermal, atmospheric cooling, wave-based power, and all the other high-cost, high maintenance, low-throughput pie-in-the-sky solutions that will forever us keep in a state of energy scarcity and techno-paucity. And why not mandate 100% plastic-free and 100% closed-loop manufacturing while we are at it. So nuts.
It not about CO2, Global warming. or climate change. It's about control. The climate and weather are controlled by the SUN and the earths magnetic field. This is scientifically known, but CO2 used as propaganda for the unknowing to fleece the populace. Bu 2030 you will own nothing……
y'know. Probably become an entrepreneurial, for-profit solution -easily embraced by varying cultures and backgrounds. Individualism and drive are not limited to rich cultures. A wet market type of scene – maybe like a Tatoonie main strip could be the venue for a lot of tech and inovation spread…
ice sheets are notoriously fragile and subject to size changes with weather – where would one secure it to? seafloor? earth crust?
it seems like we should be able to secure large portions of land/ ice if not their melting….
fair. geoengineering needed at this point.
money will continue to flow from rich to poor with limited success, but they will complain continuously anyway. endless meetings and IPCC reports will say the same true but irrelevant things. The poor's indifference and lack of motivation will make them miserable and the rich will continue to improve and overcome with tech; providing trickle-down benefits to the poor as can be afforded and implemented – but it will never be enough… will be a disparate and desperate couple decades coming up…
Why single me out? We all do it here.
$0.5/m2 of greenhouse is just wrong. Not sure where you got that figure–it wouldn't even cover cost of plastic sheeting. Dutch, high productivity glass greenhouses are around $50-$100/m2. It's not so much the structure but what goes in it that drives productivity. And that costs $.
You could probably get very basic plastic hoop house greenhouses down to $25/m2. But those would not be very amenable to automation, and the automation would cost more.
Energy use by humans -17.7 Terawatts. Extra heat from increased greenhouse gases – 1,887 TW
Thank you for giving your valuable business advice to Musk!
don't forget those tipping points – +3C is one thing, but 5, 7, 10C…. with the amount or permafrost methane, etc., stored above 60-degreesN. That is a whole different ballgame.
i'm leaning toward a 10s of billions-dollars' widespread calamities from collapsing ice-shelfs, and sliding ice platforms of many 100s of square miles from greenland/ antarctica as being a sudden hit – poor and rich country coastlines alike… hard for tech to overcome…
maybe. but for me its the sudden collapse of whole family-class-order animal taxonomies at the ocean and equator areas. I agree there is a lot of ecosystem robustness, but acidic oceans, dropped fresh water levels, and 40C humid summers are a whole different issue within a few generations. Maybe a covid-vaccine type of intervention (100s of labs with 10,000s of staff) into animal adaption tech – but is that likely outside of rich countries???
Yep. And with military build-ups and de-globalization and increased nationalism where will the money and co-operation even come from? The amount of coordination, low-profit investment, and motivating the 80% developing populations to simultaneously conserve power, develop a modern lifestyle, and keep up with very complex battery and centralized power tech industries — nuts.
Agreed. It is this low carbon drive and self-sufficiency push that is actually transforming economies faster than any other economic or for-profit driver. The issue is that the poor countries are unable or unwilling to put in the elbow grease to develop and implement existing and upcoming tech. Only the upcoming less liveable environment can motivate the middle 40-degrees latitude to modernize. There is no real threat – just discomfort -easily overcome with tech and planning – can the middle-easts, africas, etc., save themselves??
Never happen -> Δ3K avg is inevitable.
Huge energy requirement increases (mostly EVs (and AC) -ironic- and spikes -and- poor upgrade and improvement in distribution and new technology uptake will make it impossible to transition to low carbon, 24/7 reliable baseload energy, widely implemented by 2050/70s — and that is in the non-EU rich countries. Poor countries will fail to integrate and maintain low-CO2 tech. Rich non-EU countries will not be able to overcome private sources, users, and distribution — NIMBYism. Rich EU countries will flounder and hedge and underperform per usual – resulting in stagnant or negative GDP with only minor CO2 reductions.
But who cares? All perceived GHG drawbacks will be overcome or adapted to. High water will be a new coastal power source for the rich and the poor will need to move as they always have during typical weather events. Affected widlife will move or evolve or be adjusted by human genetic or ecosystem intervention. Crops and wild areas will be modified or adapted or replaced. Improved building codes and tech will overcome increased weather events and ranges or the poor will have to move as they have for every other drama that has hit them over the millenia. This is the anthropomorphic era for a reason -we affect it – we build and adapt to it… we've got generations before any significant change is upon us. We'll probably have at least half-dozen regional Ukraine-Russia-type skirmishes (China-taiwan / India-Pak/ Africa)before then
The Musk unfulfilled need to impose his agenda is taking the best of him. Spending such a big chunk of his wealth on basically a non profit company is suicidal for Musk. He should have spent his money continue developing the low end $25K car. That is the next step in transportation electrification. As his foresight is getting shorter others will fill his place in the cutting edge of technology development.
Yes! We can cause a C-3 planetary extinction event yet!
Add up the heat dumped into the atmosphere by human activity, then try to balance your theory against that.
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