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Human-Caused Climate Change:
What We Must Do Now
R. Jerry Adams, Ph.D., Evaluation and Development Institute (jadams@evalinstitute.com)

If we convert coal-fired power stations to biomass-pyrolysis power stations, we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.

Many of us already know that climate change is happening and that accumulating carbon dioxide in the air is causing the change. We also know that we have had a 40% increase in the carbon dioxide in the air in the past 150 years, most of it happening in the past 50 years. Human use of fossil fuels has contributed most to the accumulation, especially coal-fired power stations.

We also know that the United States and other countries have worked to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by putting standards on vehicles, power stations, and other users of fossil fuels to reduce emissions. We have greatly increased the use of wind and solar energy as alternatives to using fossil fuels. We have improved the energy efficiency of devices that use electricity. These actions slow down the rate of accumulation of carbon dioxide in the air but they do not stop or reverse the amount of accumulation.

Alas, this effort is not enough; it is not remotely enough. The accumulation of carbon dioxide has increased to dangerous levels and it lasts in the air for hundreds of years. We must do more than slow the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the air-we must reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air to avoid catastrophic climate change.

How to Reduce Carbon Dioxide in the Air
Plants absorb carbon dioxide as they grow and then emit the carbon dioxide back into the air again as they decay. Most of the carbon dioxide in the air is from the decay of plants; humans have simply added to that amount to throw our climate off balance.

Decaying vegetation can be used as a fuel-instead of emitting carbon dioxide back into the air. If decaying vegetation (biomass) is heated without oxygen (pyrolysis), the carbon in the plants is converted into a solid instead of being emitted as carbon dioxide back into the air. The carbon can be returned to the soil to enhance the soil.

If we convert coal-fired power stations to biomass-pyrolysis power stations, we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. In addition, pyrolyzing plant waste can be cheaper than burning coal.

Please ask your local municipality, county, and state to support the conversion of coal-fired power stations to biomass-pyrolysis power stations. Ask your environmental advocacy group to make such conversions a top priority for the next year. Please pass this paper on through your social networks. References

© 1996 - 2016 EDI and Dr. R. Jerry Adams