by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Nature’s answer to carbon sequestration and storage
Mechanical carbon capture and especially the storage of carbon in rocks, which has become a byword of government policy, could become a recipe for disaster. It is an unproven technology and could, probably, not work and in the worst case scenario could cause us untold grief.
The greatest concern with regards to the proposed mechanical carbon capture and the storage of CO2 in rocks and such must be as to what would happen if thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide captured would suddenly escape, either because of the simple fact that it just does not work or because of an accidental leak or an earthquake, or such.
The fact and possibility of that happening simply does not bear thinking about. But thinking about it we must because any such incidents could and probably would mean the end of all life on the Planet. Carbon dioxide in overdose is a poison for every living thing, almost. Is it really worth it using unproven technology such as this?
Nature, believe it or not, has provided the perfect means of carbon capture and storage facilities; they are called trees. Natural carbon capture and storage in trees is also proven and has been successfully going on for millions of years. Artificial carbon capture and the storage of carbon in rocks, on the seabed, etc., on the other hand is unproven and a possible disaster waiting to happen, just like nuclear energy and its waste.
All we need is more trees and especially in the form of worked copses, that is to say coppice woodlands, managed in the proper manner, where there is always regeneration though that form of woodland management.
In coppice management, also known as coppicing, the trees are always on peak performance as far as carbon capture and storage is concerned as every so many years, depending on what the wood is wanted for, trees are felled and then the woodland areas are left to naturally regrow.
However, this practice has all but died out in Britain, where it was the predominate form of woodland management in bygone days, and this, probably, ever since the Iron Age, if not already before that time.
In other countries too other woodland and forestry management methods pushed coppicing to all but the margins where it, basically, died, as did many of the old copses. A coppice area of woodland, or copse, when no longer worked by cropping the trees, sooner or later will fall apart and woodland it then will be no more.
Trees, especially permanently rejuvenated trees, are the most perfect carbon capture and storage facility and the carbon remains locked up in the wood even after the tree has been cut until such a time that, maybe, the product made from the wood of those coppiced trees, is burned or left to decay.
Why settle for an unproven method of carbon capture and storage when Mother Nature has given us the perfect means already.
Let's hear it for trees as means of carbon capture and storage...