I am sending some important highlights from the book "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis" written by Al Gore, released in the USA in November. This and other observations about climate change were published in the weekly "Newsweek' of November 9th. The highlights will be of interest to all concerned about the environmental issues. These are as follows:
1. Twenty percent of global CO2 emission is attributed to deforestation. This is more than the CO2 emitted yearly by all of the world's cars and trucks combined!
2. We are near a threshold, beyond which photovoltaics will have a cost advantage over fossil fuels!
3. Third generation biofuels will yield fuels like biobutanol that can be easily blended with other regular fuels, or directly burned in internal combustion engines.
4. Soils have tremendous potential to absorb CO2. If farmers adopt mulching; no-till farming and manure, it can absorb about 12 percent of annual global CO2 emission!
5. One of the most exciting new strategies for restoring carbon to depleted soil is by using biochar. This is basically porous charcoal made by burning grass, corn and rice husk and other organic farming wastes that absorb CO2, like a charcoal filter in a cigarette absorbs gases.
Widespread practice of biochar making could absorb 40 percent of annual CO2 emission!
6. Methane, flared at oil and gas wells is a big source of CO2 emission!
Removing one ton of black carbon particles from such flames has the same effect as removing 2000 to 3000 tons of CO2! Removing black carbon particles is effective, because rainwater and mist causes it to fall back into the soil, while CO2 gases stays in atmosphere for decades!