Felix Salmon attended a seminar on climate change at Columbia, and wrote on it. Stern, Stiglitz, and Sachs were in attendance, and it seems all Three managed an excellent discussion. It appears to me, though, that the Whole was simply a presentation of position rather than a discussion of viable solutions, with the potential Costs intrinsic in those Solutions. One of the great elements which sink the environmental ship comes from non-avocation of definite Plans, as Business switches to discussion of Cost; a factor paramount in the thinking of Business interests. They want to know what can be done, and how soon, what are the Capitalization Costs, and whether it can be turned into a Profit. Until Environmentalist and Economist can fulfill such Expectations, Business agreement cannot be attained.
Here are Some of the things I want to know:
1) What are the available Capital assets to sow the major Ice Sheet systems of the World with lichen and ice-rooted grasses? How much would such Cover lower the surface temperature of the ice? How would sub-levels temperatures alter with such Sheet-cover? What would be the yearly Costs of such a Seeding program be? How much Carbon could be absorbed by such a project in plant growth? How much Sunlight deflection could be attained by cover of these Ice Sheets?
2) Much effort has been forwarded in attempts to translate Sunlight into electrical energy. Most efforts has proven to be Cost inefficient as major Power producers. A different avenue need be explored. Has there been major efforts made to utilize Solar energy to convert Water into Hydrogen and Oxygen? How much Hydrogen can be produced in Solar energy conversion units? How much would such a Solar energy conversion unit Cost, how much Hydrogen can be produced daily from a unit? How complex would a Hydrogen Pipeline system have to be to safely transfer Hydrogen to Distributors of such Hydrogen as Fuel? What would be the total Cost of such a system, and how much could be produced daily and transferred?
3) Experiments in mass production of burnable fuels from sewage are being conducted in Iowa and Indiana. How much burnable fuel can be produced per ton of sewage, and what is this Unit Cost? How easy and safely can such a burnable fuel be transported? What is the expected Cost of conversion of City and Town sewage systems to compacted Transport systems connected to such Conversion plants?
4) The supreme Need of the Environment consists of the limitation of the release of Carbon Deposits into the surface ecology of the planet. This is a 2-Part problem: the first is the conversion to Energy production from already present Carbon; the second part is reburial of excess Carbon into the earth, or into Plant growth on the surface of the Earth. What Research is being done on conversion of Garbage and Sewage into Humus construction of Soil? What Costs would such Conversion entail, and can they be structured competitively with current Disposal systems? lgl