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hex_ev t1_jac5vst wrote

Just my humble, non physicist opinion, but we would need more energy than the energy previously hold in all that burnt fossil fuel, released over the decades to power civilization.

There are big power sources around. Light isotopes for nuclear fusion. Heavy elements for nuclear fission. The earth heat from the underground. And of course the biggest of them all, the Sun (my favorite idea being space based solar power collection).

We could also choose a very stable way to fix all this excess carbon in the world, like diamonds or silicon carbide. we could just dump "solid-state-global-warming" into the ocean floor and forget about it

But I believe we will struggle through global warming instead of reversing it. Because there is too much inertia, no political and economical will. No real global coordination to build so much infrastructure and so much technology. We will continue to deal with the problem by not dealing with it


ItsAConspiracy t1_jacuwuk wrote

> we would need more energy than the energy previously hold in all that burnt fossil fuel

That would be necessary if we had to split all the CO2 into carbon and oxygen. But we don't have to do that; we can inject the CO2 into deep basalt formations, where it will turn into rock.

So we just have the energy cost of concentrating the CO2 from the air and pumping it underground, which is a lot less.


hex_ev t1_jacwmh7 wrote

Interesting, a more simple and practical solution


Difficult-Top9010 t1_jacc49g wrote

Actually zero.... if all humans die today, the climate will reverse itself within 10,000 years.

But with humanity 'thriving' we will need to reverse climate change with technology, within a capitalist system, as an ongoing process (as long as there are humans). AI, quantum computing and nuclear fusion breakthroughs are soon to be upon us, optimistically we will reach the point where we are able scale them commercially to where the marginal cost of intelligence and energy is close to zero. Economically this means that there will be infinite resources able to be diverted towards engineering a better environment and uplifting humanity.

Sorry i digress and ramble, there is no number here to answer your question based on current technology and economics.


ScoutAndLout t1_jae0992 wrote

Best of all worlds: move humanity off-world. Space, Luna, mars, etc.

Turn the Earth into a nature preserve folks occasionally visit...


Mash_man710 t1_jac5rjd wrote

Technically possible but practically (and politically) impossible so what's the point of the speculation?


armzngunz OP t1_jac8hj0 wrote

I'd say it is more likely than every country phasing out fossil fuels, at this rate.


Vagabondsoul_ t1_jac5kgo wrote


... we all go horse and buggy. Whale fat oil and candles.

We can do this. Make Earth Great Again


TrappedInASkinnerBox t1_jacwfvr wrote

Without fossil fuels and modern chemical fertilizers, the carrying capacity of the earth is probably a couple billion people lower than the current population.

So it's not going to be "we all."


Vagabondsoul_ t1_jadw17g wrote

Earth will live and be strong

Humans thin out ... then become a heathy species again.

We can do this!