In Previous article We discussed the solution to the problem of CO2 Atmosphere is a solution, yes, but a partial solution.
It is one of the most promising chemical and industrial research lines in the world. However, all of them we replaced the biosphere.
The biosphere has played the role of atmospheric and meteorological engineer for billions of years. It has a reputation for talent. For example, she created the oxygen we breathe.
We need the biosphere
Having a biosphere can be seen as the need for an ethical and aesthetic order. We are its tenants, and it is beautiful.
In addition, the biosphere is a storehouse of genetic knowledge (biodiversity) that is fundamental to its own permanence and to our medicine and biotechnology.
But there is another strong purpose behind these.
The biosphere is part of a complex planetary carbon system. A system that retains atmospheric carbon (volatile carbon, CO)2) On levels that are compatible with life. At least with life as it has been organized for the last millions of years. Well, long before we first appeared on the scene, about 300,000 years ago.
In this equilibrium, the biosphere plays an important role as a carbon store in the form of organic carbon (carbohydrate molecules that are part of all living or wood-like materials such as wood).
For example, if the oceans emit a small percentage of the large amount of carbon they store, things can get messy. Especially among the high-end items in the food chain, we are at the forefront.
At that point, we may think that our technology will save us. But that is not true.
We alone cannot
Man does not yet have the technological capability on a planetary level.
We do not yet have the technical capability to establish an artificial balance to replace the care of the biosphere, atmosphere and oceans.
We do not yet have adequate control over energy.
It’s very easy to show. Since it never ceases to amaze me, the subsequent simple argument is as fresh as I can explore. Perhaps it would be appropriate to teach it in schools.
First, according to Informa de la IAE (International Energy Agency), 2018 World Energy Production 2018 is 14,421 Mtoe (by the way, 81% from fossil fuels!). (‘Mtoe’ or ‘equivalent to one million tons of oil’ is the amount of energy that can be chemically used in one million tons of oil).
This figure measures our current technological-energy potential.
Second, the Earth’s biological and climatic system is basically powered by three sources of energy (strictly, ‘ordered energy sources’): the sun, geothermal heat, and gravity (earth and moon). Well, ignore the last two and keep only the solar contribution.
The amount of energy the Earth receives from the Sun is 4.16 Mtoe per second. Or, similarly, 131 million Mtoe every year.
Dividing the two dimensions, we find that our current technological capacity for energy production is 9,000 times less than the energy expended by the Sun in the service of the Earth’s climate and ecosystem.
It is clear that only half of that energy actually enters Earth’s biological and atmospheric machinery:
We are still a long way from becoming a global climate and ecosystem technologist. In fact, as a quantitative criterion, we can only have that capacity when our energy production is compared to the contribution of solar energy.
At the same time, a dwarf who thinks he is a monster is not arrogant, but idiotic.
We should not be confused with our proven ability to destroy balance. Destroying order is easy. The hard part is building it. The second is only evidence of technical knowledge and control.
But is there a solution?
Therefore, if the solution exists, it is to cooperate with the biosphere.
Why not rely on plants, algae, and other phototrophic organisms that can create their own food from sunlight?
They are all our natural allies in the challenge of reducing the concentration of CO2 Atmosphere below the red danger zone where it is located.
As we saw in the previous article, these organisms have a natural carbon fixation system, photosynthesis. The same system by which they get food (glucose). Evolution It was patented about 2.6 billion years ago Since then, despite his constant creativity, he has not been able to improve.
Therefore, The complete and definitive solution is to create a system that is economically viable but also environmentally profitable and, if possible, socially profitable.. Change ‘practical’ to ‘sustainable’ here, we will say the same.
We are not talking about protection. The Concretized Conservative model is useful and needed in the UNESCO initiative to create the Biosphere Reserve. But what we are talking about here is the completion of this model with an even greater goal: the institution of co-operation between human society and the environment (restoration, actually).
Is this possible or just a utopian fantasy?
For my part, I am convinced that it is possible. Moreover, in the present case, in addition to the conditions required, the conditions of opportunity also fit.
In fact, I have personally been involved in a project with the goal of launching a model like this. I am part of a project development team, Galicia, a forest conservation force that will be a pioneer in a new way of managing forests (clearly adapted to new needs and circumstances) as an enterprise in the service of those who consider it useful to have more than 26 million hectares of forest ecosystems in Spain alone.
Transfer idealism to pragmatism, and what has been said so far can be modified in very different ways.
As the world moves, we can be sure that no human activity capable of reporting economic value can be put into practice in a sustainable manner over time.
Therefore, for an activity to have environmental value, it must produce something of economic value.
It is exactly this:
On the one hand, CO.2 This is an accepted issue. Carbon fixation is something that is financially valued by the emission rights markets (as well as models of other upcoming financial assets of carbon).
Forests, on the other hand, are major stores of CO2. Not only during its growth (as a good approximation, half the dry mass of any tree is carbon). But during its mature life, as long as the forest is properly cared for, its carbon fixation dynamics will remain active.
Therefore, proper management of the forest can generate income, among other things, through carbon fixation.
Since this solution is indebted to human activities for the conservation of the forest, these activities are the legitimate recipients of this income.
As a lever point, all afforestation socio-economic activities can be reconstructed from the perspective of improved economic achievement.
Such activities include professional forest care, forestry work (forestry), agroforestry, and logging for the production of long-lasting materials.
Even the pruning of firewood can be considered useful for the maintenance of the forest ‘carbon fixation factory’, however, if appropriate, it neutralizes a portion of the total carbon determined.
The role of technology
According to the Institute of Agrarian Research, Spanish forests produce about 120 million tons of CO.2 Annually, 37% of the total annual emissions of CO2 They are produced in Spain.
In this sense, the role of the technical infrastructure supporting this project is to reliably attest to the amount of excess carbon that each forest resolves over a period of time due to human intervention.
That is the basis of everything. An important factor is that such certification is obtained at a low cost, so that the food served will not go unnoticed.
At the end of the day, it’s not about fixing carbon to finance the technical assembly that attests. It will confuse the latter means. The interests of the service providers fall into the curve of putting the interests of the service recipients first.
Fixing certifications, once they have been converted into cheaper products (interchangeable financial assets built into the content of the said fixings) reduce the cost of infrastructure and generate relevant revenue for human protection activities. Because, yes these are, they are the last.
It is not easy to achieve, but it is possible. Many technical solutions for this need to be integrated into the backbone of a blockchain registry system.
He said the registry would act as an accounting system for the certified and the unforgivable. A kind of public diary and forest stone in terms of carbon.
Carbon … or other problems. Because forests have more services for all of us. When the time comes, we will be able to include them one by one in the diary of each forest as a way to generate financial rewards for the people who make them possible through forest conservation.
Closing the circle
In 1997 I attended a conference of Manuel Toharia, in which I led the first discussion I saw on the economic evaluation of environmental benefits. I connected it with a conversation with my brother a few years ago about the loss of the socio-economic meaning of forests (and the human communities around them) as the root cause of wildfires. Let us now add to this: one of the causes of aging and population.
But during my professional phase on the Stock Exchange Innovation Subsidiary, all of this remained an unanswered question until I learned about the CO2 emission right markets.2. These point to the possibility of closing the circle with the advent of technology and acceptance Blockchain Finally, sufficient technical subsoil was provided as a vector for other technical solutions and procedures.
This is because a forest that generates economic benefits is a forest that is maintained and protected. A forest that is maintained and protected is a forest that generates environmental benefits.
Money doesn’t always make things flat. Let us celebrate that it is so.
Photo above: pixels.
Prone to fits of apathy. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Internet advocate. Avid travel enthusiast. Entrepreneur. Music expert.