If you try to look past your coffee and tasklist in front of you to see what climate activists are worried about, you may run into several optimistic misconceptions. One of them is that if our food, transportation and housing could be climate neutral suddenly this would not halt the warming process. CO2 has to mix and spread through the atmosphere over time, so if emissions stopped today the insulating effect would still grow for 20 years or so. Then if we try to fight the warming with tree planting (and not bruning the wood!) that needs to go on for a while. Some headlines my suggest there is a fix for the climate, that shading particles spread at high altitudes will help (it will cool things down), it can only cause a delay in damaging effects. We are going to have to face some changes.
Dry barren places, inhospitable to humans (parts of India and the Arabian peninsula) can be used for CO2 large capturing installations
To someone who likes to think of solid solutions we think it is time to start so called millenium projects. These projects will exist for a millenium as the name suggests. Because of that they will have to be automatic. Humans can not run such a stabile activity not geared towards satisfying primary human urges. If we take the premise of a group of individuals going to a hot and barren place to sequester CO2 through some technological means, you are talking a closed community, which is vulnerable to many inbalances. People may starve, get sick, a leader becomes despot. Factions form. All these problems can not be allowed to hinder the process. The only places where we have seen such communities is of course in ancient times and science fiction (on space ships) and the simple truth is that in those situations people with deviant behaviour would be quickly killed off.
The Earth atmosphere may be restored as people live in orbit..
So back to the idea of a CO2 sequestration project that lasts 1000 years. They can take many shapes. They will occupy vast areas, but hopefully areas hard for humans to live anyway. There are several options but one example is to create desalination installations and plantations in desert regions, out of reach of normal citizen. These plantations will have to run and maintain desalination plants (on renewables) autonomously. The plantations for biomass will not serve any market other than the CO2 indicator.
The process will be simple :
1. Grow biomass
2. Remove anything but C and H as much as possible
3. Dump the biomass in a place without oxygen out of reach of people
4. Do this at the fastest pace and largest scale all running on renewables.
These installations will need to be out of bounds for humans. That gives them the best shot. At least they will have a mode that they will go into if no human is present or taking control. That way they can be controlled but will run autonously otherwise.
What do you think are good examples of autonomous activities that can continue for hundreds of years, and what places are a good fit? How would you organize this from a governmental point of view. We would use gobal meetings to designate ‘extraeconomic zones’ which will be hot and inhospitable, and allow industry to suggest projects (which won’t be aimed towards profit, because nothing will be sold!). This should be so called millenium projects, and their design can be part of a millenium prize contest.