Effect of Climate Change Due to Technology

Effect of Climate Change Due to Technology

Can technology can save our environment or climate change?

Effect of Climate Change Due to Technology
Effect of Climate Change Due to Technology

Experts agree that Canada's climate future is not looking good right now. 

We've been seeing the impacts across the country. I know Canadians I talked to are concerned.

There are choices ahead of us in terms of where to place our effort. And that's because we're warming two times faster than the rest of the world, and three times faster in the north. 

But there is still time, about a decade or so, to make changes, reduce carbon emissions, and avoid the worst effects of climate change. 

I'm going to talk to you about carbon capture. You can actually see my project right here too. 

I was actually just working on it before you were here.  There is Aaron Sarkar. He's a high school student from St. John's, Newfoundland.

 Aaron became fascinated with carbon capture a year ago. So fascinated that he designed a science project to show how carbon dioxide can be captured and recycled in soda bottles. And that's essentially what carbon capture is Finding ways to remove carbon dioxide from the pollutants that are the biggest cause of climate change.

Aaron: Algae, they're just like marine plants. They have photosynthesis, right? That's what they do. 

So they're capturing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

 When algae capture carbon dioxide, you can actually use this microalga that you're using for many different uses.

For example, you can use it for biofuels, aquaculture, pharmaceuticals. As you know, a lot of kids, their first-ever science fair project, I know mine was like this too, you know, we make the volcano. 

The baking soda and vinegar. We put that together and boom, explosion. So I thought, okay, baking soda and vinegar. 

What does that release? Carbon dioxide. So I need to capture carbon dioxide.

 I can't have the carbon dioxide back into the bottle, so I clipped the pipe heading from the bottle to this carbon dioxide holding chamber, and then I turn on the air pump and this air pump is connected to the algae.

 So I have it going from  I had the algae going from bottom to bottle to bottle, and all of a sudden I just pushed on all the syringes, and all the carbon dioxide gets infused with the algae. 

And it turns out I ended up capturing close to just about 100 percent of the carbon dioxide I put into it, which is kind of cool. 

This idea to me felt like this idea could one day actually become a possibility, and if enough research was put into it, if I can do this in my bedroom, you know, if we work hard enough and if we keep putting in the research, keep on grinding.

I'm positive that one day we can really make something out of this. 

Campbell: I'm currently driving to Markham, Ontario to visit a company called Pond Technologies who's working on a way to capture carbon directly from smokestacks.  

My name is Steve Martin. I am the CEO and founder of Pond Technologies. What exactly is carbon capture? Carbon capture and storage is the removal of carbon dioxide, which we're very concerned with, and pollution, and finding some way to store it.

 Generally speaking, we put it in a hole underground. We don't do that. In our case, the algae eat carbon dioxide. It's their food. 

Campbell: Can this technology actually prevent Canada and the world from future climate catastrophes? Is it going to be effective long term? There's nothing more effective at eating carbon dioxide than algae. 

If we were to install our technology on the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in North America, we could overnight change the carbon emissions profile. 

We could overnight affect the environment. Welcome. 

We're at Markham District Energy. Markham District Energy is a power plant.

 Here they burn natural gas. They turn it into heat, electricity, and CO2 emissions.

 Any power plant would send their CO2 emissions up the smokestack. 

What Markham District Energy does differently, they actually send the emissions through those pipes.  Some of it goes up the stack. Some of it goes into our trailer.

 Here we use the CO2 to feed our algae and grow algae in there. 

Basically what we have in here are algae... Yeah, interesting. ..and light. And you can see its actually green, this one. Yeah, it is. 

Campbell: There's some criticism with this technology and many people think that resources would be better spent on wind and solar as opposed to carbon-capturing technologies. 

What do you say to that? Well, I say that you're not going to fly an airplane on a battery, so we're not going to you're going to be burning fuel.

 If we want to have a realistic view of what the world going to look like, we're part of a solution. Is carbon capture technology silver bullet? It is not a silver bullet. 

And in fact, there is no one silver bullet. Fighting climate change and curbing climate change is going to take hard work. 

However, different technologies like carbon capture and storage are great tools that we have at our disposal. They require different political systems that value carbon in its stored form.

If we can achieve that, then this will be one tool in our arsenal of tools that will help us address climate change. So that is carbon capture. 

On its own, it won't stop climate change. But experts agree that new technologies have to be part of the solution. 

The best and fastest way to reduce carbon is by not using fossil fuels. But we can only do that if we replace fossil fuels with energy that has zero emissions, such as renewable energy.

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