Planet Earth Goes To Washington
Playboy Australia|October 2018

Scientists argue that the solution to global warming could be as plain as dirt.But will politicians listen?

Josh Tickell

Melting icebergs, mega-storms and heat waves may still raise Al Gore’s hackles, but for many of us, signs of a faltering climate just add to what Norwegian climate expert Per Espen Stoknes calls “apocalypse fatigue.” In other words: Sorry, polar bears, we’re over it.

With all the bad news about our planet, it may come as a surprise that there’s a possible solution to global warming, and that it involves a most common thing: dirt.

Since the birth of the industrial revolution circa 1750, humankind has added about 1,000 billion tons (a.k.a. gigatons) of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. It’s called the “legacy load” of CO2. Even if we converted our global society to solar panels and Teslas tomorrow, that mass of gas would still be up there, wreaking havoc on our climate.

There’s only one way out of this mess, and that’s to move the legacy load somewhere else. But where? It’s already in the atmosphere, and we can’t put more of it into the oceans; both are maxed out with the stuff. That leaves one place large enough to store all that CO2: the soil.

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