I was asked to answer the following question, on Quora.com:
If global warming is not happening, what's going to remove all the CO2 humans add to the atmosphere each year?
nothing,... by that i mean there haven't been mass adoptions of tools or techniques to sequester that extra CO2 and keep it from causing runaway greenhouse effects. but there are options.
hemp production, en mass, would help, as it grows and absorbs CO2 at a much faster rate than trees, but can be used to produce basically everything trees are used for today... also, the use of hemp products would probably help (I've read that hemp insulation in homes continues to absorb CO2, perhaps other hemp products do this too).
years ago some folks in Europe developed a paint or coating for buildings that absorbed CO2.
there are other tools, no doubt for removing the excess CO2, and there are methods for reducing our output.
for example: there are alternatives for CO2 producing concrete that absorbs atmospheric CO2, or avoids it's creation, rather then creates it. there are bio-plastics vs petroleum based plastics. there are electric cars vs fossil fuel burning cars. and renewable resources for energy production vs burning coal and/or oil.
there are also certainly ways to capture CO2 and other toxic gases that are produced while producing power via the burning of material, or while manufacturing goods at factories. those captured gases, fumes, or compounds could then be reused elsewhere in other industrial practices. this would save not only the environment, and keep more CO2 out of the air, but it would also save more money in the long run. businesses simply don't do this today, because they are not required to. so instead the true costs of these unsustainable practices are paid by others, elsewhere, at other times.
the books will be balanced at one point or another. the real question is why and when did it become okay for businesses and their operators to stop paying those costs up front. and how do we begin to require responsibility within our current global society; from the top down.
if we can do that, CO2 trends will naturally start to reverse and drive our planet and species towards a sustainable existence.
FYI, in most 1st world countries, non-profit co-operatives can produce the same goods and provide the same services as for-profit corporations can, however the non-profit co-operatives don't have to answer to a handful of fat-cats who's only interests are their own, instead they answer to the communities they serve. and through the democratic development and operation, and the transparency, that co-operatives and non-profits are required to possess and maintain, they can provide the necessary tools for masses of people to not only identify any unsustainable practices they have but also work together to adapt their practices as necessary to stay true to their purpose; providing resources, goods, and services as sustainably as possible.
so get together with your community, and buyout that nasty factory down the street, change the way it does business for the better, and reap the non-monetary benefits that this act of philanthropy and sustainability brings to your community. then reach out and help other communities do the same. ; )
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