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  • This video is sponsored by Brilliant.

  • In July 2012, a ship floating off the coast of British Columbia dumped 100 tons of iron

  • slurry into the pacific ocean. With this massive injection of iron into the water, the crew,

  • led by the eccentric entrepreneur Russ George, sought to create an algae bloom that would

  • not only capture carbon but also spur the growth of salmon in nearby coastal fisheries.

  • Fisheries that the Haida Nation hired Russ George to replenish. The result? A surge in

  • salmon population the year after that patch of the ocean was fertilized with iron, and

  • for Russ George, a firestorm of scientific and public backlash that illuminated the ethical,

  • political, and ecological consequences of these seemingly silver bullet solutions to

  • climate change and environmental collapse. The Russ Georges of the world continue to

  • champion these magical techno-fixes as the path towards stopping climate change. So today,

  • I'm going to unpack the consequences of these silver bullet solutions with two questions:

  • Are silver bullet solutions realistic? And if they aren't, why do we continue to pursue

  • them?

  • Silver bullet climate innovations span the sci-fi-sounding spectrum of ideas from launching

  • mirrors into space to the holy grail of clean energy: nuclear fusion.

  • That's my fellow YouTuber Adam Levy, who runs the amazingly informative channel ClimateAdam

  • and also happens to have a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. As Adam just mentioned, there are

  • a lot of seemingly magical fixes to climate change, but today we are going to narrow in

  • on two specific case-studies of these climaticsolutionsthat help illuminate how and

  • why we seek out fast-fixes for climate change.

  • The first is bioenergy with carbon capture and storage also known as BECCS. Simply put,

  • this technology transforms organic materials such as paper pulp, crops, or bycut from logging

  • industries into energy via fermentation, combustion, or gasification. There are a range of technologies

  • under the BECCS umbrella, but all seek to capture CO2 released during the energy creation

  • stage then store that captured CO2 into underground aquifers or dried up oil wells.

  • Thanks to the bioenergy in BECCS, CO2 is absorbed by the plant matter fuel as it grows. And

  • when this fuel is burned, thanks to the carbon capture and storage, this CO2 is - well - captured

  • and stored. The appeal is that BECCS technologies take more CO2 out of the air than they put

  • in. And because we've delayed cutting emissions for so long roughly 90% of IPCC projection

  • scenarios point towards significant use of BECCS to help us remain below 2.0° C. In

  • theory, BECCS sounds like a great plan. After all, you're stopping emissions at the source

  • and the biomass that you use is also capturing carbon. In other words: negative emissions.

  • But, in practice, BECCS is not the silver bullet solution that it seems to be. One large

  • obstacle for the large-scale implementation of BECCS simulated in the Intergovernmental

  • Panel on Climate Change's scenarios is land use. According to a briefing from the Grantham

  • Institute, models that use BECCS to remain below 1.5°C could require the equivalent

  • of 25-80% of our current cropland in order to grow enough biomass to replace current

  • fossil fuel production. Even if we used just 20% of our current cropland, we would have

  • to use the equivalent of all the land in Australia to satiate BECCS's demand for biomass.

  • Such huge land requirements would inevitably drive land use change, potentially resulting

  • in deforestation, biodiversity loss, and loss of carbon sequestration from natural sources

  • like trees.

  • Granted this is very much dependent on context. In the short term countries like the U.S.,

  • which has a comparably mature bioenergy infrastructure, could use existing agricultural and logging

  • waste to fuel this endeavor. But in order to scale up BECCS in the long term in line

  • with the IPCC scenarios, this technology would require a massive amount of land for biomass

  • specific crops.

  • The levels of BECCS in these simulations would require much more than agricultural waste

  • alone. Eventually, farmland will need to be diverted to specifically grow crops for BECCS

  • use, which means additional fertilizer use, additional trucks transporting biomass to

  • energy plants, and a heavy strain on fresh water resources to the tune of 0.72 to 24.4

  • billion metric tonnes per year. To put that in perspective, global agriculture's total

  • water consumption right now is close to 8 billion metric tonnes per year. And growing

  • fuel instead of food could cause at least as many problems as it solves.

  • It's important to keep in mind that, like almost all silver bullet solutions, BECCS

  • has yet to be tried at a massive scale. Although we shouldn't write it off completely for

  • its shortcomings, we need to recognize it's easier to implement it in a climate model

  • than it is in reality. There is still a lot we have to study and figure out before we

  • begin to heavily rely on it. That being said, out of all the silver bullet solutions proposed

  • in the last couple of decades, BECCS is one of the more reasonable and achievable. But

  • there are some that are straight out of a sci-fi movie.

  • With that we turn to Solar Radiation Management or SRM. In short, solar radiation management

  • is used to describe a range of methods that seek to reflect sunlight back out of the atmosphere

  • to reduce global temperatures. SRM solutions include reasonable and achievable ideas like

  • reflective paint on roofs but they also incorporate proposals like the highly imaginative space

  • mirrors that would orbit around the earth.

  • And one solution in the middle of that spectrum is stratospheric aerosol injection. Essentially

  • this silver bullet solution attempts to mimic the natural phenomenon of volcanic eruptions

  • by injecting sulphate aerosols into the upper atmosphere. These tiny molecules would create

  • a reflective blanket around the Earth, artificially cooling the climate.

  • But, does this method actually work?

  • Yeah, it seems like it would, although no one has conducted a real world experiment

  • with stratospheric aerosol injection. But researchers can study natural experiments

  • after big volcanic eruptions. The aerosols from these do indeed cause the Earth's temperature

  • dip for a year or two. But even though these aerosols would be pretty cheap to manufacture

  • and inject, this cooling would come with substantial hidden costs.

  • He's right, according to one paper on stratospheric aerosols, the cooling effect could cause a

  • global shortage of rainfall, especially in summer monsoon regions, droughts, increased

  • air pollution, acid rain, and the possible depletion of the ozone layer. Sulfate aerosols

  • only stay in the atmosphere for 1-3 years, which means that constant injections are needed

  • to maintain the cooling effect. If the method was ever suddenly halted, one study predicts

  • we would experience rapid temperature and precipitation increases at 5–10 times the

  • rates of our current global warming trend.

  • Considering that our current governing bodies can barely agree on emissions targets, it's

  • hard to imagine the world agreeing on a consistent delivery of aerosols into the atmosphere.

  • Especially since the costs and benefits wouldn't be shared equally across the globe.

  • And alongside all of these issues, stratospheric aerosol injections could be used as an excuse

  • to continue burning fossil fuels and increasing emissions. Which might be part of the reason

  • why Silicon Valley thought leaders and billionaires alike find such an appeal in these silver

  • bullet solutions.

  • The path to success is going to require innovation across every one of these sectors.

  • In my experience innovation can do magical things.”

  • Bill Gates is right. Innovation is important. But these innovations must be pursued in conjunction

  • with the myriad of solutions already available. We must seriously tackle emissions reductions

  • before we try anything else. Because as climate blogger and physicist Joe Romm notes, some

  • of these silver bullet solutions are akin to using “a dangerous course of chemotherapy

  • and radiation to treat a condition curable through diet and exercise — or, in this

  • case, emissions reduction.” But reducing emissions could necessitate a transformation

  • away from a society that makes billionaires like Bill Gates rich. This then, might be

  • the reason why we cling to silver bullets. The distant hope of an easy answer allows

  • us to continue our present actions. That is especially the case for companies and capitalists

  • who profit off of our current emissions catastrophe.

  • When we bet onmiraclesolutions like sulfate aerosols, we choose the highly risky

  • but seemingly straightforward to implement option over a low risk but transformative

  • one. Emissions solutions like renewables can offer decentralized, clean energy for billions

  • of people around the globe, while free, electrified transportation infrastructure can pull millions

  • of gas guzzling cars off our roads.

  • Yes, these answers might have to fight an uphill political battle to be implemented,

  • but they exist here and now and bring a whole lot more equity and democracy to the table

  • compared to pouring sulfur gases into the stratosphere. If we do indeed need BECCS to

  • stay under 2 or 1.5 degrees, it can't be the full picture - only one single piece of

  • the bigger puzzle. The answer to mitigating climate change will never be found in one

  • miracle technology, we have to use the multitude of answers currently in front of us, from

  • electrified trains to decentralized solar to the redistribution of food waste if we

  • want to mitigate climate change quickly. We can't wait around for new tools to mature

  • to start dealing with climate change, we need to begin drastic economic and social transitions

  • now to create a zero carbon future. A future that is environmentally ethical and just where

  • we don't have to dim the sun in order to live.

  • In order to collectively create and build this fossil fuel free world we'll need scientists,

  • mathematicians, and engineers--problem solvers who know the consequences of a world with

  • climate change and are invested in preventing it. Luckily, Brilliant is already teaching

  • this next generation of problem solvers through an amazing selection of online courses that

  • use interactive puzzles to hone critical, mathematical, and scientific thinking skills.

  • And the best part is, you can learn these skills from the comfort of your own home.

  • Brilliant is a course-based website and app that lets you explore the realms of math and

  • science through storytelling, interactive explorations, and daily challenges. Which

  • is exactly what you'll get when you dive into their Calculus in a Nutshell course.

  • Using visual and physical intuition to present the major pillars of calculus, Brilliant guides

  • you through the intricacies of calculus: an essential tool for aspiring ecologists and

  • urban planners alike. Ultimately, if you're like me and are curious about how the world

  • works or just want to build your problem-solving skills, then I'd highly recommend getting

  • Brilliant Premium to learn something new every day.

  • So, if you want to start developing your analytical abilities, go to brilliant dot org slash OCC,

  • or click the link in the description, and sign up for free. As a bonus, the first 200

  • people that go to that link will get 20% off their annual premium membership.

  • Hey everyone, Charlie here. If you haven't already, I'd highly recommend heading over

  • to Climate Adam's channel and hit the subscribe button and then watching the video we made

  • together all about Nuclear Fusion. Adam's channel is awesome, and brings some much needed

  • levity to the climate change conversation. Hope you're doing well and I'll see you

  • in two weeks!

This video is sponsored by Brilliant.

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B2 中高級 美國腔

地球工程的问题(The Problem With Geoengineering (ft. @ClimateAdam))

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 06 月 12 日
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