Tom Slabe wrote: “It’s time to start “farming” energy. We capture energy from the sun in a manner in which plants capture energy.”
Right-on Tom, now you got me going! We are running on old fossil stored sunlight. The future is real time. The sun starts a sequence of energy flow events on the planet that is pushed day by day consistently and reliably, which is ultimately responsible for heating of the earth. In that sense, fossil fuel adds the heat of eons ago to the cycle of today for an effectual double impact. In that same sense the farming of energy, especially with biomass gasification and biochar process for soil improvement, saves twice. When we re-grow the depth of soil health, the mass of biology in the forests, grasslands and desert margins being reclaimed instead of deprived, we store away energy that will not heat the earth, while at the same time producing a terrestrial CO2 net vacuum that will cool the earth until at some point we will reach equilibrium again. Solutions are, quite literally, “grassroots”.
Now that we understand all this, we can literally control the equilibrium switch. This may be called a ‘balancing of the energy portfolio’ in the future. When we have reached equilibrium, we have achieved rich deeply fertile soils catalyzed by optimal levels of vibrant health enabling char percentage, vibrant forests with a mass of biology to fit the climate, reduced desert size and deep soiled vibrant grasslands. The seas will be less acid and less saline because the mineral flow balance will have reduced terrestrial outflows to the oceans and seas, promoting marine vibrancy and stable locally symbiotic fishing industry. Succeeding, we will have moved one step closer to Utopia.
Our mineral capture could feasibly seal up so many leaks that we begin to starve the marine systems. That switch is in our hands. When we approach that level we need to “relax” and fit into the ebb and flow. Saving what we need and letting go of what we don’t, essentially, reducing energy needs and overall human footprint even more.
On the intertwined energy and CO2 balance:
When things are in real time these are two of our tools to achieve balance. By the time the climate and atmosphere are balancing out due to optimal CO2, we will have fine tuned our drawdown efficiency to its maximum. That will have to slowly be turned back to avoid an overshoot that could otherwise lead to the rapid onset of an imposed ice age. Our local energy portfolio is the dial that sets the all factors to either drive it in a certain direction or maintain equilibrium.
This is one reason not to sequester CO2 in rock formations or otherwise out of reach or utility. An optimal soil biochar fraction and huge living soil mass, coupled with climate can make life on earth more of a “walk in the park”. It is what makes plant productivity easy and efficient. It is what gives drought, cold, and heat resistance increasing the yearly productive period and the rate of plant total productivity. Ultimately, a point can be reached where we need to trail off on growing extra green and making additions of biochar to soil so that we level out the balance of stored-to-released energy to bring the drawdown slowly back to net zero. Success is shown in meeting regreening targets prior to the achieving of overall energy equilibrium.
Using energy, releases energy and acts as the switch to control the drawdown that we are now engineering. Storing energy naturally creates a vibrant biosphere. Releasing energy naturally reduced the vibrancy of the biosphere. On achieving atmospheric, temperate-climatic, and soil optimums; this ‘net’ needs to be brought to zero.
Whatever deserts are left at the time we achieve equilibrium will generally remain desert. We have the tools to build the level of planetary living biological mass that we choose and leave it as a balanced posterity for next generations. Is not that the ultimate resource? Should we cut it in half by socking the CO2 away in the earth’s core or cooling with other artificial escapades? Should we go too far with biochar beyond the optimum soil health promotion levels just to get it out of the atmosphere? Should we trade the temperature moderating effects of atmosphere for extremes because we don’t have the energy to cultivate green vibrancy on the earth? Or should we use the greatest knowledge ever available to humankind to “re-green the earth” until we near equilibrium, then tailor it out to net zero for the prosperity for all life on earth and achieving equilibrium with real time energy flow of the sun and the earth’s innate heat release?
It is a powerful time to be alive!