Giant Trees

June 5, 2008

The scientist who coined the term “global warming” in the 1970s has proposed a radical solution to the problem of climate change. Wallace Broecker advocated millions of “carbon scrubbers” – giant artificial trees to pull CO2 from the air. Dr Broecker told the Hay literary festival in Powys: “We”ve got an extremely serious problem. He added: “It”s a race against time and we are just sort of crawling along at a slow pace.” He said some 20 million of the scrubbing devices would be required to capture all the CO2 currently produced in the US. But he told the festival: “Okay, you say that”s enormous, but we make 55 million cars a year, so if we really wanted to we could.

Over 30 or 40 years we could easily make that number.” After addressing the festival, Dr Broecker told the BBC News website that 60 million of the devices would be needed worldwide at an estimated cost of £3bn a year. The towers would be about 50ft high and 8ft in diameter, and use a special type of plastic to absorb the CO2. The gas would then be either liquefied under pressure and pumped underground or turned into a mineral.

The scientist who coined the term “global warming” in the 1970s has proposed a radical solution to the problem of climate change. Wallace Broecker advocated millions of “carbon scrubbers” – giant artificial trees to pull CO2 from the air. Dr Broecker told the Hay literary festival in Powys: “We”ve got an extremely serious problem. He added: “It”s a race against time and we are just sort of crawling along at a slow pace.” He said some 20 million of the scrubbing devices would be required to capture all the CO2 currently produced in the US. But he told the festival: “Okay, you say that”s enormous, but we make 55 million cars a year, so if we really wanted to we could.

Over 30 or 40 years we could easily make that number.” After addressing the festival, Dr Broecker told the BBC News website that 60 million of the devices would be needed worldwide at an estimated cost of £3bn a year. The towers would be about 50ft high and 8ft in diameter, and use a special type of plastic to absorb the CO2. The gas would then be either liquefied under pressure and pumped underground or turned into a mineral.

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