3 (Actually Safe) Ways to Fight Climate Change - Lake Harding Association

3 (Actually Safe) Ways to Fight Climate Change

3 (Actually Safe) Ways to Fight Climate Change

By Micah Moen 100 Comments September 12, 2019


[ ♪ Intro ] Scientists agree that climate change is happening and that Earth is getting warmer. And while that means we all need to get serious about limiting our carbon dioxide emissions, for real this time, it also means scientists are looking for plan B. Because we might need it. Many researchers are thinking about changing the climate with climate engineering or geoengineering. We’ve talked about some of these ideas before—like throwing a bunch of stuff in the air to reflect sunlight and cool the planet. But big things like this would have huge downsides, like changing rainfall patterns, and probably other stuff we can’t even predict. That has some researchers searching for yet another way, like by using the Earth to clean up our messes for us. Here are three ways we could do that. Plants are great for the environment because they can suck CO2 out of the air and give us oxygen in return. But the simple fact is that, between farming and other uses of land, we don’t have the space to plant enough trees to solve our climate change problem. Still, we do have oceans, and they’re good at growing plants, too. Seaweed, for instance, grows extremely quickly, some 30 to 60 times faster than land plants. And it’s relatively easy to grow in bulk. So, some folks are proposing seaweed farms as a solution to our carbon woes. You’d grow the seaweed, and then it could be turned into a biofuel and used to power something like a car. One research group estimated that if you devoted 9% of the ocean to growing seaweed, you could provide all the biofuel the world needs. And as long as you captured any emissions from that fuel, you could still remove about as much CO2 as the world spits out every year. They project this would offset all our emissions by 2035, and even get us back to the level of carbon dioxide that scientists say is safe—about 350 parts per million—by 2085. For comparison, we’re at about 410 parts per million now, which is not so great. By removing CO2 dissolved in water, seaweed would even help with ocean acidification, which can make life hard for creatures like coral. Still, if this all seems like a longshot, you’re right. Massive seaweed farms aren’t exactly an investor’s dream, and to make it truly work, you’d need to figure out how to capture carbon emissions efficiently. But it sure beats planting a few forests, which would never be able to scale up like this. So we could always try this on a small scale and see how it works. As wonderful as seaweed is at fixing carbon, some engineers and start-ups are trying to take that a step further. They want to improve on Mother Nature by creating artificial trees and plants. These machines would take carbon dioxide out of the air directly, using so-called direct air capture technology. Different machines work differently, but most use specialized materials that bind CO2 more tightly than other molecules. Then, the systems either store the gas indefinitely, or use it for biofuel. Some, including one running prototype in Iceland, even turn the CO2 into stone. They piggyback on the fact that carbon dioxide will react with certain rocks, like basalt, to form carbonite minerals. That keeps the CO2 out of the air basically forever, which sounds awesome. Other designs call for pumping the captured gas into greenhouses to grow crops. Still, the biggest problem with all of these is cost. We have prototypes that work, but they don’t work very well, and they’re just too darn expensive. Right now, it takes some $200-$600 to get one metric ton out of the air, so it would take billions of dollars to solve our climate problem. We’d need to cut that cost way down to flood the world with these super trees. Another option might be to skip the plants and pseudo-plants entirely, and just freeze carbon dioxide right out of the air. This might be the strangest proposal of all, but the idea is relatively simple. First, go to a place where it’s super cold, like Antarctica, where carbon dioxide almost freezes on its own already. Then, build freezers to bring the temperature down to about 140° Celsius below zero. Depending on the pressure, that’s enough to turn the CO2 into snow so you can store it in a frozen landfill forever. Still, to make this work, the energy for the freezers would have to come from a renewable source, like a nearby wind farm. One group of scientists thinks 16 or so wind farms would do the trick. They’d power 450 snow plants and pull 1 billion metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere every year. That’s only a small fraction of what we emit, but, hey, it’s a start. There’s also a variant on this idea that involves making CO2 basically rain out of the sky. You’d fling a compound called monoethanolamine into the air, which is great at binding CO2. Then, it would grab the carbon dioxide and fall to earth, where it would collect on the ice sheet of East Antarctica. I mean, it’s not like we’re doing much down there anyway. This plan is still super hypothetical, but it goes to show just how strange these ideas get. Compared to true geoengineering efforts, all of these ideas are somewhat small-scale, so they’d have to be ramped up in a huge way to make much of an impact on our carbon levels. But because they’re less risky, they’re more likely to be tried than any major project. And, at this point, that might be the most important thing. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow! If you’d like to learn more about some of those extreme geoengineering solutions to climate change, you can watch our episode all about it. [ ♪ Outro ]

100 Comments found

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KYoss68

OMG you people don't let up, do you? IT'S THE SUN.

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RockBandRS

I got an ad before this video saying that if fighting climate change is more expensive than what we get out of it, we shouldn't do it…. I didn't realize the survival of earth and our species had a limit on what we should spend. We seem to have no limit on spending when it comes to new ways of killing each other though. Yay humans, I guess.

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Elizabeth Babcock

We could just plant more trees? I know at the beginning he said we don't have enough space, but maybe we're just looking in the wrong places. We could put plants on the rooftops of supermarkets and even houses. It doesn't have to be trees and they could be placed in planters so the rooftops won't be ruined. A lot of plants climb as well, so we could give plants a way to climb along brick walls of buildings. We have space, we just have to look for where it is.

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Joseph DESTAUBIN

The US economy is worth almost 20 trillion per year, with a total value of over 90 trillion. I can't imagine what the wolds overall economy is worth. The point is, I think the world can afford to fix the problem…

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Daniel Mc Sween

I fear we might make an even bigger monster in the course of trying to solve this one. Patience with conservation

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Swamp Hawk

We could create nanites that target and destroy human DNA and then build 50 protective underground silos to house 500,000 people for several centuries. After the silos die off one by one, 10,000 remaining inhabitants can emerge to reclaim a fully restored Earth.

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Bountiful Botany

What a great coincidence that I have a "planting trees for climate change" college research project at the time this was uploaded!

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Bismuth Crystal

Also, plant some fruit trees and grow some of your own food if you have the ability. We've got a hunger problem in the world, a waste problem in the first world because of the way shipping food works, and that shipping contributes an insane amount to rising CO2 levels. Plant some fruit trees and help with all those problems, as well as your grocery costs. There is no downside. Unless you're a shipping company, an oil baron, or a grocery store.

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nGon-

That title made me think this was some kind of Taboola ad/"promoted story"

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User

Why should Ser Gregor turn brigand?

Politicians have been talking about fighting climate change for so long and doing nothing that its become a meme

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The Problem Must Be In Your Pants

For the rock one, why not deliver waste CO2 coming directly from factories into enclosed areas of rock like, in this case, basalt. That way no CO2 would be released.

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Mike Harrington

Another potential benefit of seaweed which addresses carbon sequestration issues is to bury harvested seaweed in soil. This material will be utilized by soil fungi and soil microbiota and converted into plant nutrients. It also replaces the need for commercial chemical fertilizers and pesticides because healthier plants are more stress resistant and produce larger crops. Furthermore, it will aid both soil water retention and help stabilize soil from the effects of flooding. There is currently widespread concern in the agricultural community at the decreasing fertility of soils worldwide, so this would be a very welcome benefit.

However, I am not sure that Monsanto and Bayer will support such theories which undercut their giant chemical stranglehold on agriculture, and associated mega-profits. So unless they seize these opportunities themselves, expect them to undermine any research promoting such revolutionary ideas! (In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act – George Orwell).

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D K

Billions of dollars? Hey, why not take that out of the US military budget?

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Ann Gegerfeldt

What would happen if the snow-landfills all melt one day in the distant future?

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Rigging Doctor

I like the seaweed one best. It sounds like the easiest of them all and the easiest to undo if something catastrophic results from it.

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Craig Gordon

Oh just a simple 9% of the ocean… an area roughly the size of Russia, Canada and the United States combined. Yeah, seems easy enough.

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ImMadeOfStarlight

Did they notice they called seaweed a plant?!

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pianisimobella

Has anyone thought that, in the thought to keep the world safe and healthy, that ‘cost’ should be dropped for any of these products? Why should a human-made currency stop us from saving the planet?

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palacsintaman

for option 2, billions of dollars is nothing in the world economy lol.. a lot more is wasted on other less important to useless things

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ThisIsNotPictureTube

0:21 LOL they've been doing that for decades, but they suck at it. That's why it gets warmer around 7pm.

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Ali Syed

SciShow should do a video on how Michael's hair is so sexy

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Eleeth Tahgra

1:11 Ah yes…shouldnt have stated or phrased it like that. Thats a sure way to make your project and research be shut down by the policy makers of the world powers. Some organization, some where, would spout a research saying that seaweed is dangerous for humans or fishes or something.

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Dann

Ahh humans, "Sorry, can't save the world. its too damn expensive."

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Bushy1993

Planting trees into the Sahara Desert and pumping the Mediterranean sea in land to water a section, could u hypothetically fix two problems there?
Obviously that's ridiculously over ambitious but hypothetically could it work?

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jeabo0adhd

Why not dedicate certain bodies of water to act as accelerated natural carbon sinks? Get an isolated lake near farms and divert all the field runoff to it. An algae bloom would occur from the fertilizer and pull tons of CO2 out of the air. Then, introduce fish that eat the algae and farm them. Win win win.

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Liene Berzina

Maybe all of them!

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Grady Vasil

I think you are seriously underestimating the potential plants have at reversing climate change. If everyone began to adopt permaculture and sustainable agriculture and we create urban food forests, we will be offsetting the costs of industrial agriculture, which is one of the main culprits for climate change. By growing your own food you are no longer purchasing from the grocery store, all of the cost for the transportation of goods, and all the steps it takes to get processed food or meat from industrial animal farms are no longer contributing to our co2 emissions. Localized economies based on sustainable community agriculture is the future.

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Mike Petty

Billions of dollars you say… why not just ask Apple – they make 8 of them every 3 months.

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Nels

"billions of dollars to fix climate change" – if that is actually true then how is climate change still a thing. With a global GDP of $75.8 Trillion , one would think we could spare some billions to fix climate change.

…the sad truth is that the solutions are multiple and feasible, the real work seems to be changing minds and motivations..

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blazebluebass

It would take billions of dollars to solve climate change? That's fine! The military alone takes up trillions! Billions of dollars is not that much, it's within the grasp of a few countries!!!

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Anibal Fermaint Gonzalez

I've been talking about these pseudo trees for years with my colleagues. Collecting carbon dioxide is just one of the many little tasks that they could perform along with their greater task.

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cristop5

How about if we painted all our roofs white.

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cristop5

No, the biggest problem is that forests, seaweed etc eventually decompose or get digested, releasing all the carbon they took in. If you're not going to seal them in epoxy resin and dump them on the sea floor, don't bother.

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jenny1260

So… these people are really quite smart and creative, but it would take sustained collective effort to make it work? Well, I always knew why we were doomed.

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June Nguyen

dumb question. can we do a little bit of everything?

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Megan

Wow I can't even imagine how smart these people are to invent such an amazing thing. Freezing CO2? Seaweed farms?! Gives me faith in humanity.

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Cullen Kline

We should pump out propoganda for a campaign to buy vouchers or bonds from the US government, like in WWII, to raise the funds.

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Michael Allen Bailey

I'm simple man. If it says Michael Aranda ill watch

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Gyrr Gibbs

9% of the ocean for growing seaweed… I think i'm going to cry

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Press Paws

Billions of dollars is really a minor cost when you consider that the pentagon blew 1.5 trillion just on the F-35 program

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llama Machine

This quote hit home for me, from Gus Speth. “I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”

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Eddie Pollau

People are so willing to embrace drastic geoengineering plans and yet scoff at the idea of little lifestyle changes like not eating red meat or using reusable bags instead of plastic

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Straight Whitemale

https://youtu.be/vJKTLuvGAU4

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Dillon Mohammed

Felt so sad when I saw the penguin

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jeremyjw

every environmental problem can be solved by reducing human over-population
each person produces one "pollution unit"
reduce the number of people, reduce the pollution

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A General Education

?sp?.. resalination..using ocean water in a simple sauna design, extracting salt whenever, returning into the oceans, allowing lotsa drinking water, etc..the co2 seperator designs allowing it from whetever and then into metal, allowing stronger materials, allowing more apartment living, that allows more room for food..i forget the 3rd..thinking that ut was mixed in there somewhere

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A General Education

I guess less chip dip

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A General Education

Just using swimming pool designs w magnifier glass balls on the ceilings, doors allowing bulldozers into things..super cheap..copper is cheap..one of the steam things being a power supply..powers the seperators..saved the gov billions..if i never see you again..then ill never see you again

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A General Education

Ideas from where ive seen or w e..of vertical windmills

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A General Education

Algea on sespits..fertalized o2 yeay

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Fanuhtic

artifical plants… just like in… the lorax??? hmm ecks dee

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Steve

"Metric tonne", you idiots. There is no such thing as a "metric ton".

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Craig King

What's the point in capturing carbon and then burning it as biofuel?

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Baseline420

money is killing the earth. ban money.

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DigitalYojimbo

9% of ocean, wtf, that is a massive amount.

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YouNoob573

climate change yes warmer no we are going into a mini ice age man made no

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Josh Rey

Wouldn't simply decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide we emit be a more logical solution?

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mongke

Because vegetarianism is dangerous?

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Washington Strong arm

Global cooling, global warming, vortex, climate change, climate poo, climate moo, I wonder what will be the next name for the hoax…?

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Mark Young

I always have sea weed from the Chinese ……….. I think that's what I smoke ………

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Georg Anatoly

We're going to end up killing ourselves by accidentally creating a run away global 'capture' CO2 event, reducing CO2 so low it kills all plant life on earth causing a world wide food chain collapse. Humans – drove to extinction by trying too hard to save the planet.

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Johnny J

Why do they spend Billions of dollars to "scrub" Co2 from power plants smoke stacks then sell the Co2 to put in soda cans and dry ice where it goes back into the atmosphere?

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Nicolai Veliki

Use good old lime mortar to capture CO2 in habitat structures…

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Adam Bartlett

How can you really be this stupid!!! Your stupidity is so extreme as to make me question whether you are at all capable of recognizing reality or doing science.

We have known for many decades that we can both profitably fuel the world without any major end user changes & stabilize the ecosystem with algae biofuel. This is far from new news, is beyond question the best solution we currently have & has been insanely surpressed by big oil/corruption.

The scientific community has been trumpeting this for decades, such that even I, a person that just bothered to do basic research, ask experts & run the numbers from the publicly available data can see without any issue.

So what's your excuse? Are you incompetent? Or just corrupted? Or how about lazy? You & your researchers aught to be fired.

Adam

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Honza Havlíček

2:56 I am pretty sure it would be several orders of magnitude more expensive than billions of dollars.

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salohciN D

What are you gonna do with all the seaweed it breaks down and rots quickly releasing most carbon back

We should grow massive amounts of bamboo instead

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Limerence

The true saviour of the earth won't be scientists or charity workers. They will be economists who will find a way to fight climate change that could turn a very large profit!

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Shane Hernandez-Garcia

I love how people are worried about the price , money is worthless when you're dead

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Master Massey

Even If people don't believe in climate change, There is still a chance it is real so why are they not worrying about it?

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Awoken Youngin Records

Climate change is not a problem. It's a fight back from nature! This earth has had enough. It cant take the destruction anymore. Find boats to live on people. Trust me it'll be fine. Trust the nature.

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BeepBop Boop

But the arctic is already on a trajectory to die a fiery death. Not sure we can come back from that.

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BeepBop Boop

Hmm, whose got billions of dollars, and who attained that money through messed up the climate and is therefore responsible for this whole mess. I wonder, I wonder.

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brutally_honest

The only way to lower that cost of Negative Emissions Tech is to invest in it. When you look at technology and the rate it moves at, in no time the cost would be cheap

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brutally_honest

In 1991 my first, and very good, computer was an IPC 286. It pounded out information via the 4 MEGABYTES of RAM, and boasted 60 MEGABYTE Hard drive….
PRICE : $800
You couldn't even power this YouTube App with that big clunker.

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brutally_honest

In 1998, the first cellular downloadable item appeared.
20 years ago….all you could download is a Ringtone…a simple series of beeps and some midi(digitally synthed instruments) .
Camera phones didn't appear until 2002.
So the the rate of tech can move extremely fast if the investment is made. My Huawei P20 Pro, was a $1900 phone 1.5yrs ago. Today I can buy one for half of that.

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Robert Poen

We need to grow carbon eating fungi the size of cities or even larger in low orbit around the earth with long vacuums that suck the carbon out of the atmosphere and then launch them into space once they're full. This solves the sequestration problem, no carbon falling back to earth, plus giant mushrooms make up for lost sea ice and reflect sunlight back into space. You're welcome.

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Chris Nick

Help by signing this petition for a carbon tax
http://chng.it/GCNqVBgF4D

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Pufferfish Cake

178 people think climate change doesent exist

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Bradford Krull

"Plant hemp everywhere" George Washington. Best plant ever for fuel, fiber, food, clothes, and renewable. Its why corporations outlawed it.

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m a e

Why aren’t they doing the freezing one? Or the seaweed one??

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Mel Jensen

The truth is, the deep state's industrial military complex, has been covertly controlling the weather successfully over the last decade. Although, satellite data has proven Al Gore wrong about global warming, the People have experienced extreme and unseasonal weather in recent years. ILLEGAL Climate Engineering by the deep state is being used as weather warfare on the People. Then they blame it on industry or CO2 and try to scare the People into agreeing to spend taxpayer's money or we will all die. The fact is, the toxic spraying of our breathable airspace, is slowly killing the People and destroying the ecosystem of Planet Earth. Having the technology to re-direct the jet stream over the Arctic, has caused massive melting of the permafrost that's releasing methane gas into the atmosphere & destroying our ozone layer. GeoEngineering has caused the draught conditions out West, destroying crop lands & thus our food supply. The same with torrential flooding of NE and IA in the last few weeks, again destroying crops, tillable soil and livestock and thus our food supply. DEPOPULATION IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF THE GLOBALISTS! THIS IS A GENOCIDE ON THE PEOPLE!
@

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WILLIAM SHAW

Ocean acidification is most likely caused by the burning of coal containing a high percentage of sulfur. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a problem for environmentalists, but has no existence in reality. Artificially removing the trace of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is foolishness beyond description. Chlorophyll bearing plants have been removing carbon dioxide from the air and emitting oxygen into the air over geological periods of millions of years.
The Global Warming myth dies hard.

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Krister Lawlor

Look at all the money gone in to Notre Dame.. historical artifacts wont mean a thing if we’re dead, rich idiots.

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Bruh Moment

Who cares if it costs a lot of money. What’s money worth if we’re all dead anyway

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Joshua Kisb

the artificial plants seems like the best idea. same one i've been thinking about. artificial photosynthesis. suck the CO2 and turn it into something.

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HEXAN x

I hope i could live till 85 easily, after i die, i dont care

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DemonicKiller63

Let's plant a few million trees

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beyo5

There are huge zones of ocean that are too far from land and too deep to have a vibrant living ecosystem – basically an empty zone. If floating underwater shelves of seaweed and artificial islands can be built, those empty zones would be able to be inhabited by an ecosystem.

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Just R

Molten Salt Reactors ! And it looks like China wants to exchange fossils fuel to MSR since they are the world leading country on the topic of MSR´s !

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Eryk Space

Yep, so smart we still put a price tag on apocalypse coming. The fastest and simplest way to fix this problem is to get rid of greed and dollar then all will be achievable.

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rodolfo merced

climate change solution https://www.facebook.com/overunity1/?eid=ARDlkSxZnOypg9Fff3Zme-cDp51v01rSH6s1ifMUuAiwhk3w2Duw3OVffo0MvwvcIPbGAZzH5uLl6Zvk

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Red Baron Farm

You missed the only one that actually is scale-able and profitable. Grasslands restoration. And use the grasslands to provide food for us and yet still reduce CO2.
https://www.amazingcarbon.com/PDF/Farmingaclimatechangesolution_Ecos141.pdf

Much safer than those silly ideas you mentioned in the video.

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radzewicz

Climate Change, aka Global Warming is a farce. Over 30,000 scientists say so. The big climate changes that were supposed to happen by 2000, by 2012 and in the next 30 years of bogus predictions all were bogus, none came to reality, none will. Scientists who participated in the UN "Accord" refused to sign it, politicians made those glum predictions, not scientists. Judith Curry, an early "climate alarmist" was driven out of her tenured teaching when she started to question the dogma of climate change, ie global warming. With your own  statements such as "huge downsides…like rainfall and other stuff we cant even predict" is totally unscientific dogma: Other stuff we cant even predict? Really? Yeah, how about things such as "no global warming"!  The sky isn't falling Chicken Little, its all a mass hysteria phenomena among those who are in positions to know the least about it and you are a contributor to it.

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Patrick Milewski

May I add a fourth? Kill off 99% of the human population.

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StroxGotti Ttv

Or stop farming meat as well and reduce it by a huge amount

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d van ieperen

Idea: Is it possible to bring a "shield" in Space beyond the moon in trajectory of the earth, to influence the amount of sunlight that reaches the earth? This shield can be made of a light material that just blocks sunlight nothing more or less than that.

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Grace McGrath

Great video. Very well explained.

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Shane Inkster

I thought artificial trees were Christmas decorations.

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MrPorkncheese

Best solution is for every home to be powered by solar systems with batteries that have a high enough capacity to power the house off the grid.
Another solution is to scrap all vehicles and machines that run on fossil fuels and replace them with alternative engines that run on bio fuel, electricity, water, hydrogen, solar, etc…

But they don't want that to happen, instead they would rather us all pay carbon taxes and raise energy bills.

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Ben Reed

Do a video on hydroponics it is a very interesting way of farming and u can do it in your house it would help the starving and is quite cheap u just need sun light repost if u agree

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