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SOME UNCONVENTIONAL IDEAS FOR COMBATING THE THREAT OF CLIMATE CHANGE

This page summarises briefly some of the more unusual ideas that have been proposed for combating the threat of climate change. The word 'unconventional' is not meant to be sneering or derogatory. It is meant to indicate that these ideas do seem to have potential but most of them still need to be thoroughly developed and evaluated for effectiveness, cost and the possibility of unwanted side effects.

Extracting CO2 from the atmosphere

Some people are proposing that it is technically feasible to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and store it permanently so that CO2 concentrations can be progressively reduced to pre-industrial levels (or other agreed level), even allowing for current and future emissions of CO2. All this at an acceptable cost!

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Shielding the earth from the sun

One idea is to increase cloud cover and increase the ability of clouds to reflect sunlight by increasing the amount of salty seaspray (A plan to counter global warming).

Other ideas include launching a giant sunshield into space or releasing millions of small helium-filled balloons that would reflect sunlight and thus lower the temperature of the earth (Giant space shield to save the planet).

Kites for ships

In the heyday of sail, commercial shipping was feasible but suffered the inconvenience of tacking to sail up wind and slow progress or becalming when the wind dropped. An idea for fuel-saving without these inconveniences is to equip each engine-driven ship with a large kite that can help to pull the ship along when the wind direction is favourable. (SkySails)

My own (totally untested) idea in the same vein is to equip each ship with a wind turbine designed to transmit energy (electrically or mechanically) to the main drive shaft and thus reduce the load on the main engine with a corresponding reduction in fuel demands.