Carbontech - technologies for future, but not enough alone

Maanantai 28.6.2021 klo 12:02 - Mikko Nikinmaa

Carbontech means technologies that use more carbon dioxide than is released to the environment, thereby acting as carbon dioxide sinks. There are already many such applications, one being producing carbon-neutral concrete. This application is very significant as presently building using concrete causes 5-10 % of all carbon dioxide production. In the carbontech concrete production carbon dioxide is bubbled in the material. Virtually all the applications depend on being able to utilize the carbon dioxide produced in energy production thus cleaning the chimney fumes. Although this can be done, at present the carbon dioxide capture is relatively expensive and thereby the products made are not pricewise very competitive in the market. This will naturally change with increasing use of the technologies.

However, although carbontech solutions may become important with regard to sequestering carbon dioxide, other problems with our overuse of the earth remain. Biodiversity loss, increasing land use and degradation, environmental pollution etc. are all questions that require increased attention. The present way of life in developed world requires too much resources and generates too much waste. The population growth, although it is decreasing and may completely stop during this century, leads to need of increased land use and, unfortunately, decreased land productivity. While we are presently 7.8 billion, it is estimated that sustainable population on earth is 2-3 billion provided that people in rich countries allow their standard of living decrease somewhat in favour of poor people in developing countries, who then should stop population growth more rapidly than the present estimations suggest. 

Population must actually be decreased, and to do this we require a change in thinking everywhere. It is invariably shown that when women's schooling and position in society is improved, population growth decreases markedly. Thus, one needs to change patriarchal societies to gender-equal ones. Also, in rich countries one needs to change the notion that they need population growth. In addition to carbontech we need controlled population decrease to enable sustainable life

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: climate change, biodiversity loss, population control