Climate change is a topic that has seen over 90% of the world scientists saying it exists and that humans contribute to it through carbon emissions made by a variety or ways; however, there are others who think the opposite and humans have no responsibility for it. Writer Akshat Rathi recently wrote about how climate change is not only real but that humanity’s fight against it is currently failing; the result would cause irreversible damage to the world for generations to come.
Fortunately, there is one technology that can alter climate change while creating a power source that is clean and produces just 3% of emissions that a coal plant does generating the same amount of power.
What is Climate Change?
Though you can look up the definition for climate change in the dictionary, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) explains it as a change in the climate that is attributed indirectly or directly by human activity; this action alters the global atmosphere’s composition. Activity done by humans includes pollution that comes from industrial activity as well as other sources that creates greenhouse gases. These gases, including carbon dioxide, have the ability to take in the spectrum of infrared light which contribute to our atmosphere warming up; these gases, that are once produced, can be trapped in our atmosphere for tens or hundreds of years.
Geothermal Power a Step in the Right Direction
Since coal plants are known for generating carbon dioxide, countries are looking for a better way to generate power without leaving much or any carbon footprint; geothermal power is a step in the right direction. Iceland is currently tapping into live volcanoes by drilling underneath to convert water into high-temperature steam that can easily be converted into electricity; take the steam and run it through a turbine that can drive an electrical generator that has been done for over a century. Although the process is very clean, it still produces 3% of emissions that a coal plant does creating the same power; their goal is to reduce it down to zero and the Hellisheidi geothermal plant in Iceland has found a way to do that.
Carbon-Capture Technology Can Alter Climate Change
The Hellisheidi plant has been able to become a zero-emissions plant that is able to convert greenhouse gas to stone; however, they partnered up with a Switzerland-based startup named Climeworks to install a machine that can suck carbon dioxide out of the air. Scientists have hoped for decades that carbon-capture technology could be created and deployed on a large scale that could save humanity from catastrophic climate change. Many have dreamed for the ability to have enough capacity to create, store and supply energy throughout the world using only renewable sources; the dream becoming a reality seems imminent.
Achieving Success Usually Comes at a Price
Like any research or creating innovative technology, to achieve success normally comes at a price and that price is usually high. Climeworks has installed two carbon-sucking machines, Hellisheidi is the second, and hopes to install more but only if it can continue to find funds to build more machines. Conventional economists suggest letting technology companies compete in the marketplace that the best one will win; however, an economist named Nicholas Stern feels that climate change is the biggest market failure the world has seen; in the end, government help will be needed for deploying technologies at a scale that would make a difference against climate change.
Climate change is real and regardless if you believe humans have an impact on it or not, many believe we are currently losing the fight against it. While there is one technology that can alter climate change, whether it can be used on a scale that will make a difference is yet to be determined.