Literal Mountains of CO2 Need to Come Out of the Air

I was sharing the anoxic zone sequestration whitepaper and I got some casual feedback, of “why don’t we just shove agricultural biomass in the Kansas salt mines.” The idea of making salt mines anoxic and keeping agricultural carbon for civilizational time spans is actually probably feasible–but by my rough calculation the volume of the Hutchinson salt mines is about the same as what I propose for a year 1 commercial proof of concept, or roughly 6 orders of magnitude less than what’s required to make a meaningful contribution–fixing the problem might be 7 and we don’t have 10,000,000 salt mines like that. The US has about eight others–and they have other economic uses.

Coal Mining In Germany – Literal mountains have been dug out of the ground, crushed up, and burned–it all needs to come out of the air and it isn’t as compact after coming out of the air as is after sitting under geological pressures for millions of years.
Ende Gelände, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I don’t think academia and the green movement have wrapped their head around how big the fossil fuels industry really is… literal mountains need to come out of the air and go somewhere. Geoengineering is scary, and likely to have at least some local effects that we don’t like, but we’re already doing the worst possible geoengineering experiment which is also global in scale. Pastoralist environmentalism is not going to fix this problem, we have to get serious about what a plan of sufficient magnitude is–and by the way–the 7 orders of magnitude generously assumes that carbon neutrality of agriculture, energy, transportation, and building industries is a done deal in 15 years +/-.