Storing carbon dioxide in carpets seems a somewhat fanciful idea, but a company in Atlanta, Georgia, has shown that it’s not only possible, it’s possible in large volumes.
Science has shown that it is possible to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in large volumes. The problem has been what to do with it once you have it. We, the human race, are obviously contributing to climate change by pumping inordinate quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. You only have to look at automobile exhausts, factory roofs exhausts and power stations to see that. Despite politically-motivated denials, idiotic conspiracy theories, and people who are mentally retarded in their appreciation of scientific evidence, it is pretty obvious to anyone that this pollution of our atmosphere has to stop, if the world’s environment can continue to support life in the future.
The issue is not only clouded by fanatics who deny climate change exists, it is also clouded by fanatics who claim the human race is totally responsible for climate change. The resulting conflict between these two extremes obscures the reality, and makes it easier for the majority of people to dismiss the major warning signs. It is difficult enough to convince sufficient numbers of the worldwide population that this is a crisis that could affect life itself, even with serious scientific evidence to support the warnings. Fanatics on both sides just make it more difficult. YES, we are making it worse by accelerating the process, but, NO, we are not the basic cause. Cyclical climate change is basically to blame. The Earth is getting warmer in one of its multi-thousand-year cycles. We are just speeding it up. Do we need to slow it down as much as we can? Absolutely! Can we reverse it, NO. Misinformation and fanaticism is the best recipe for either doing nothing, or doing the wrong thing, when we could be reacting in a planned, positive, way, and having some effect.
After that diatribe, I am pleased to report that there are many approaches to the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that show real promise. However, we need all of them, and more, to be successful. We also need to sideline the fanatics, so politicians can focus on what actually works, listen to the science, and make the policy decisions that will count.
The carpet company in Atlanta, Georgia has spent the last four years developing a carpet, and a carpet-production process, that can pull carbon dioxide from the air. Their calculations show that their 10ft by 20ft conference room carpet production actually absorbes approximately 12 pounds out of the atmosphere. That sounds like “peanuts”, I agree, but, if you project that number, in fact, double that number since they are not only pulling carbon dioxide from the air by making carpets, they are also not producing carbon dioxide in their process anymore, into worldwide production of carpets, the amount of extracted carbon dioxide becomes significant. Storing carbon dioxide in carpets exists, and that’s just one industry.
The potential for “carbontech”, the current catchword for utilization of carbon dioxide in everyday products, is enormous: materials for the construction industry, road surfaces, sneaker manufacture, even “carbontech” vodka apparently. That last example may sounds facetious, but it has a significance way beyond it’s actually contribution to carbon dioxide absorption. It makes the requirement of the carbon footprint reduction, personal. I said at the beginning of this blog that “us sensible people” become easily distracted by the fanatics. If we make “carbontech” personal, it will change attitudes, understandings and commitments. The result will be a level of concrete action that will indeed slow our effect on climate change, make us more aware of the environment and, eventually, perhaps extend our tenure as a viable species on Earth.