Rhodes Trust – May 12, 2017
Climate experts now affirm that as a human community we need to devise means to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and fix it permanently in terrestrial forms. At the same time they acknowledge that they do not know how we — as a human community — are going to accomplish this, and we are beginning risky and costly experimentation with various hi-technology approaches to address carbon capture and storage (CCS).
In honor of “Earth Day” in 2017 Rhodes Scholars held a 2-day workshop (April 22 and 23rd) at Rhodes House in Oxford to address some of these issues. On Sunday, April 23rd — during the concluding panel of the workshop that was considering possible solutions to the climate crisis — one workshop participant stood up to raise the obvious question about what the CCS discussion continues to ignore — at the peril of the survival of future human society.
He emphasized that the tragedy is we are choosing, effectively, to ignore the only proven system for CCS that has stood the test of time over the entire history of Earth’s ecosystem. Biosequestration has proved itself to be the most reliable, replicable, cost-effective and enduring system of CCS on the face of the Earth.
Yet, instead of embracing, enhancing and expanding this approach to effective CCS the human community is squandering its last remaining stores of captured terrestrial carbon in warfare, extraction and accelerated combustion of stored carbon in a futile attempt to fuel imaginary trajectories of “continuous growth” economics.
At the same time billionaires who have accumulated their unprecedented wealth in ever more desperate strategies to monopolize remaining stores of fossilized carbon are engaged in competitive struggles to leave the Earth system entirely while they fantasize about finding “topsoil” and establishing agriculture in extra-terrestrial experiments of one kind or another. (See, for example: The Fatal Consequences of a Misplaced Metaphor: The “Agricultural Industry” & The Delusion of Infinite Growth in A Finite Ecosystem )
See The Rhodes Trust record of conference proceedings:
- “Just take the case of agriculture…
- ”The Tragedy is that “We treat soil like dirt” — Topsoil, Climate Change and the Collapse of Civilizations
- No Planet B. Only One Earth. Only One Chance: “Shelter in Place” Gives New Urgency to Sustainability
- Soils, Agriculture, Carbon Sequestration and Human Survival
- The Future of Food, Food Systems and the Human Prospect in a Post-COVID World
- Part 1 – Got a Carbon Problem? Fix it ! Part 1 – Some Prophetic & Enduring Testimony
- Part 2 – Got a Carbon Problem? Fix it ! Part 2 – Global Crisis & Localized Responses
- Part 3 – Got a Carbon Problem? Fix it ! Growing Soil to Save the Human Prospect
- Restorative Development: Sustainable Agriculture and the Climate Crisis
- The Man With A Plan… (…and his enduring challenge to Rhodes Scholars and world leaders today)
- Got a Carbon Problem? Fix it ! Part 1 – Some Prophetic & Enduring Testimony