Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Freeman Dyson says biotechnology will provide a solution to rapidly rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide:
Biotechnology could be a great equalizer, spreading wealth over the world wherever there is land and air and water and sunlight. This has nothing to do with the misguided efforts that are now being made to reduce carbon emissions by growing corn and converting it into ethanol fuel. The ethanol program fails to reduce emissions and incidentally hurts poor people all over the world by raising the price of food. After we have mastered biotechnology, the rules of the climate game will be radically changed. In a world economy based on biotechnology, some low-cost and environmentally benign backstop to carbon emissions is likely to become a reality.
Where would the 'carbon-eating trees' go, and in how great a quantity? What changes would they be subject to? What impacts would they have on existing ecology?

RealClimate is less polite. Joe Romm notes that Dyson jumped the shark a while ago.

Meanwhile, Wally Broecker hopes carbon scrubbers will save the day. [another Broecker interview here]

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