I can also give you a project update that we have not announced anywhere else as of yet. After our launch on Earth Day in April, we received an individual contribution/grant that has given us enough funding to take significant steps forward towards getting our pilot project on a beach. It has greatly accelerated our progress and we are now moving more rapidly to make this a reality. We are engaged with the Dutch independent institute for applied research in water and the subsurface, Deltares, to help us design the pilot project experiment.
Project Vesta is a non-profit, globally decentralized entity and we are looking for additional partner universities, groups, and others to team up with. We are looking for input on our experimental design from researchers, engineers, and experts in the fields related to this project (such as geochemistry and the marine sciences). The design of the experiment is crucial and has to be rigorous in terms of calculating the accelerated weathering rate of olivine in the open system of a beach and in terms of demonstrating marine safety so that the results will be accepted as definitive by the scientific community and the public.
Our greatest fear right now is that we will spend a year running a study and then when the results come back, the data will not be accepted for one reason or another and we are asked to go back to get more data. We and the planet frankly do not have the time to wait another year, so we want to make sure we do it right the first time around and have the right stakeholders involved before it is deployed. To make sure it is done properly, we want to run the experimental design by as many relevant parties as possible so that when the data comes back we have an accepted consensus that is irrefutable in terms of the weathering rate and safety data, so we can move forward with deployment.
If you want to join our scientific advisory board or just help give input on our experimental design, please reach out on our Get Involved  page -> https://projectvesta.org/get-involved/
We are also looking for additional donors/family offices/etc and partners who want to sidestep the climate change debate and move forward on taking direct action to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. While we are proponents of cutting emissions and agree it needs to be done, we want to get started removing as much CO2 from the atmosphere as we can until we are back down to Pre-Industrial CO2 levels. We believe that by making extremely effective, permanent, and cheap CO2 removal available, we can dramatically change the conversation and force action. Please reach out if you would like to help.
p.s. If you want to learn a bit more about the process and our organization, check out this interview with me on the Nori podcast  -> https://nori.com/podcasts/carbon-removal-newsroom/project-ve...
We are just launching our social profiles, but feel free to follow us for updates:
Twitter -> https://twitter.com/Project_Vesta
Instagram -> https://instagram.com/projectvesta
FB page -> https://www.facebook.com/ProjectVestaCO2Removal/
(Happens on both Firefox and Chrome.)
To put this in perspective, the global annual oil production is about 1 cubic mile , and concrete production is about half a cubic mile ,  (4.4 BN tons at 2.4 t/m3 = 1.83 cubic km = 0.44 cubic miles)
The best science from the IPCC suggests we have to cut net carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 in order to have a moderate chance of avoiding the most catastrophic effects of the climate disaster.
I'm not saying 10% isn't ambitious, but it's entirely insufficient to the scope of the problem.
The IPCCs primary goal is to reduce carbon output, not figure out a way to enable it to continue. We have renewable and sustainable power technologies ready to reduce carbon output rapidly as soon as the political will to proceed is won.
This potentially huge mining scheme involves releasing what is in simple terms very large amounts of a pollutant into the Ocean. Its anticipated that the effects of this particular pollution will be beneficial, but we have no natural history to show for its ecological effects. Forests are already a great part of our worlds natural history.
I think it is a worthwhile scheme to begin implementing and observing the effects on Ocean ecology and also on the global mining industry which it has potential to stimulate. But the 100% target is an oversell in my view.
How so? What difference is there between emitting zero and emitting x kilograms and sequestering x kilograms?
Olivine rock: 10-25$/ton
Crude oil: $60/barrel, so about $400/ton
Their website reads that "A volume of 7 cubic miles (11 km^3) of olivine, or around 30 Gigatons, is needed each year. This is less than half the volume of construction materials and less than that of fossil fuel equivalents mined yearly".
If olivine rock needs to be mined in comparable amount to fossil fuels to offset global CO2 production, it will cost about 5% of the fossil fuels, i.e., the price of oil will grow by about 5% globally, which is not much.
They think the conversion factor between cubic miles and cubic km is the same as between miles and km? Hm ....
They underestimated the volume of olivine rock about 3 times, which means that its mining would cost about 15% of the overall cost of mining of fossil fuels, assuming current prices of olivine rock and crude oil. This is a very rough estimate that doesn't take into account several factors, most importantly economy of scale.
In terms of construction materials, these 2009 calculations give 2005 numbers of over 60 Gt...
Growth in global materials use, GDP and population during the 20th century - http://www.vegetal-e.com/fichiers/2009-krausmann-al_14696916...
2014 number I found would be 1.3 cubic miles.
So take the numbers with a grain of salt.
I'm sure there are low-hanging opportunities where this makes a good amount of sense. Places where there are olivine-rich mine tailings -- somehow uncontaminated by heavy metals -- adjacent to a tropical shoreline. In those instances, then yeah, I'm sure it makes good sense to just shove them over to the beach and let decomposition do its thing.
However, pitching this as THE solution to carbon sequestration is much more problematic. At gigaton scale, you're going to run out of mine tailings quite quickly. After that, you're talking about mining fresh olivine, from locations that are increasingly distant to tropical shorelines.
This would incur tremendous energy costs, and I'm skeptical that its balance would work in favour of olivine. How much does energy is required to mine a 1,000kg of olivine? How much energy is required to move it (say) 100km to the shore? If that net energy were applied to other forms of carbon capture, would it sequester more than 1,250kg of Co2? If so, then in that instance at least, olivine sequestration would be a bad idea.
Even if the energy balance works out favourably, I'm still not sure it's a good idea. Mining doesn't just have energy impacts, it has tremendous land impacts. 7 cubic miles per year of olivine is a very large amount of material. If you don't like the local impacts of mining gold and copper and coal and shale and sand and gravel, then this would have an environmental impact similar to all of those put together. Which is too much impact. It is probably preferable to pursue a less-efficient sequestration strategy than to engage in something with this kind of side-effects.
So I'm afraid that the way this is being presented will trigger a lot of skepticism / opposition. This is a shame, because in certain edge-cases I suspect it's quite a good idea. Even if this only addresses a small percentage of the total problem, every little bit helps. I'd hate to see the baby get tossed out with the bathwater.
You are incorrect that olivine mining at a large scale would incur tremendous energy costs, it will not. I would suggest you check out this model of a 5,000 tonne per day open pit mining for porphyritic rock. (This model also includes 5,000 tonnes per day of "waste" rock which will likely not be wasted in our use case) http://costs.infomine.com/costdatacenter/miningcostmodel.asp...
In this model, which is not in any way optimized for environmental efficiency, it requires a diesel fuel quantity of around 4,751 liters/day to mine the 5,000 tonnes. At 2.68 kg of CO2 per 1 liter of diesel, that generates 12,732.68 kg of CO2 per day. That 12,732.68 kg = 12.73268 tonnes of CO2. The 5,000 tonnes of olivine mined will eventually weather and sequester 6,250 tonnes of CO2 (1 tonne of olivine sequesters 1.25 tonnes of CO2), for a net capture of 6,237 tons at the mine.
We have life cycle assessment that calculates the CO2 penalty and loss on efficiency, including milling and transport to locations less than 300 km (186 mi) at around a 4% loss .
Just for your information and for others, from a financial perspective the mining in that model costs $7.32 per ton, and then the transport and milling/crushing only costs about $3 per ton, so olivine could be transported to a beach at around $10/ton, with the price per ton of CO2 sequestered at less than $10.
You are also incorrect regarding the mining impact. The mining of things like shale requires fracking and the injection of sand and chemicals, our mining is simply open pit. Essentially, you open a pit on the surface and simply dig it up. As mentioned above, it is not all that energy intensive either.
For global CO2 level removal in terms of mining, it would likely require 30-50 mines in the wet tropics, preferably at a level of greater than 100 million tons/year (due to economies of scale). There are large reserves on every continent and plenty near coastlines. If you wanted to open fewer mines, you could theoretically find a few large reserves. For example, there is an open pit mine in Bingham Canyon that has an excavated volume of over 25 km^3, which would be the equivalent of 2-3 years worth of the volume of material needed.
Don't worry about this idea getting "tossed out with the bathwater," if anything we will actually be removing CO2 from the bathwater and de-acidifying it at the same time ;)
 Environmental Life Cycle Assement of CO2 Sequestration Through Enhanced Weathering of Olivine https://projectvesta.org/science/#dflip-df_978/1/
I would push back, however, on the land impacts of mining. Open-pit mining is exactly what I was referring to, and it doesn't have a good reputation with me. I have encountered many open-pit mining projects which were extremely destructive with regards to habitat, watersheds, groundwater, etc. (Arguably much moreso than things like fracking, TBH.) A massive increase in open-pit mining therefore sets off significant alarm bells for me.
Now, it's possible that I'm suffering from selection bias here: I only hear about open-pit mines when they're bad, and when they're benign they sail right under my radar. Maybe, on average, they're fine.
But that's not the kind of thing I'd take on faith. What would convince me is a site-specific Environmental Impact Report which illustrates how a 100MT/year olivine mine could operate without causing severe regional damage.
This project proposes mining at a scale that is cumulatively about 8,000 times greater than Glensanda. But if they could all be done so sensitively, then indeed, perhaps it could work.
I've still got a lot of cognitive intertia about the impact of open-pit mining, and would definitely need more convincing about this. But I'd be open to being convinced.
So probably a better metric is total length of coastline. The UK has 12,429km of coastline, out of a world total of 356,000. So that would imply 279 Glensanda-sized quaries in the UK.
Good news for the UK (and bad news for everyone else): weighting by amount of harm done to the climate wouldn't work. In addition to being located near coastlines, the quarries need to be located in tropical and subtropical regions. So in fact there wouldn't be any quarries in the UK.
Looking at this source: http://chartsbin.com/view/ofv, it appears that there's about 275,000km of suitable coastline. The top 3 countries would be: Indonesia (1,592 Glessandas), Phillipines (1,056 Glessandas), and Australia (749 Glessandas). I'm not sure whether or not that's feasible. But at a smaller scale, as a partial solution to sequestration, it seems within reach.
How does this compare to the lifecycle net efficiency of other methods of carbon capture/abatement, e.g. wind turbines, nuclear solar panels/farms, EVs, afforestation? Any references for such estimates?
It's a shame because the responses given here on HN seem well thought out, yet the site gave me the impression of making a quick buck on peridot necklaces. I mean, is that really going to fund anything meaningful?
"In simple laboratory tests small nickel ingots were produced from the plant ashes. Sowing these plants on appropriate soils and harvesting them at the end of the growing season makes for an environmentally friendly way of recovering nickel. Because these plants extract nickel from the olivine lattice, for every ton of nickel in the plants 330 tons of olivine must weather, equivalent to a capture of 400 tons of CO 2 . Weathering proceeds faster under vegetation. The introduction of this method could revolutionize the nickel mining industry."
See page 8-9 of the Green Cookery Book here for more in-depth information on the technique: https://projectvesta.org/science/#dflip-df_103/9/
Or see this paper specifically on the topic: Schuiling, R.D. (2013) Farming nickel from non-ore deposits, combined with CO2 sequestration.
You're planning to put the olivine on the beaches, the nickel accumulating plants will be planted above. So presumably they'll be as exposed to the action of the sea as the olivine. The document talks of use in poor soils, but no mention of coastal or beach. You've identified species suitable for that level of salt water exposure? If the plants are beyond the high tide mark, won't most of it get into the ocean first?
Out of interest what did you think were the better books in the category?
Not just coral will be effected by Nickel, but other important invertebrates as well such as amphipods which play an enormous role in the food chain and health of reef environments.
And we’re talking parts per billion (ppb) when heavy metals can start to become toxic.
And correct me if I’m wrong, but Manganese is another element often found in olivine, which is another metal that can be toxic to marine life.
Nickel is a more reasonable concern; nickel sulfate's lethal dose is on the order of 250 mg/kg for humans, so around 10 or 15 grams for an adult. It's not really in the same category as things like mercury, lead, thallium, barium, or even cadmium.
Invertebrates are much more sensitive to heavy metals. Again toxic doses for many marine invertebrates are in the ppb-ppm range.
Copper for instance is commonly used as a treatment for marine parasites on fish. However the dosing needs to be done carefully, since a doses in the range of 5ppm can start to kill the fish themselves.
35 billion oil barrels are transported each year.
So transporting that olivine rock will cost an order of $250B.
This will compensate for the yearly co2 emissions , ~38B tons.
With carbon offsets priced at $15-$40 per ton - so there's potential for profitability .
You can’t “put away” economic and logical thinking. Indeed, failing to measure profit correctly (failing to include negative externalities in the cost side of the ledger) is what causes environmental destruction in the first place.
But in reality, profit makes things happen. So it's good to know about it.
IDK. there are non-profits helping women and children who suffered domestic violence, and some of those activities are state supported.
People don't really donate and cover those expenses out of their free will.
Still, helping those women and children is objectively a very valuable thing.
So maybe, people shouldn't be the only ones determining what's valuable ? And hence, maybe profit shouldn't be the only thing determining what's valuable ?
This paper has a few examples of models where it is 93% efficient for mines within 1,000 km. 
Fortunately, there are olivine reserves found all over the planet in a formation called dunite (contains 90% forsterite olivine).
Further, for many of the first beaches, we will be looking to use tailings piles (waste rock) from previously dug and developed mines, as well as the infrastructure from those mines, such as rail for transport. Since olivine is found in volcanic rock formations close to the surface, in the process of mining other minerals that are found in volcanic formations such as diamonds, many tons of olivine rock have already been dug up and deposited in large piles on the surface. By utilizing this rock we would not produce any additional CO2 from mining, and only from crushing/transport.
We are definitely taking the CO2 penalty into account in our calculations and strategy for deployment.
I bet the first few green beaches would just look cool enough to increase he stream of tourists — as long as walking over an olivine beach feels safe and not unpleasant.
Also, is dumping olivine on rocky but flat enough shores an option? That is, may it not replace existing sandy beaches but form new olivine-only beaches?
If you look at the tabletop shaker experiments on the website, the water is cloudy because it is not being refreshed. In an open-system such as on a beach with water constantly refreshing, that would not be an issue.
The olivine can be placed on any shoreline or coastal area. The "tropical shelf-sea beach" set up we constantly refer to is simply the optimal and preferential solution. The main effects we are utilizing the beach for are that (1) the tumbling motion of the waves causes a constant abrasion that breaks up a silica coating that rapidly forms on exposed olivine and (2) the collision of grains on the shoreline causes smaller slivers to chip off, that themselves rapidly weather.
We want shelf-seas because the grains will be pulled off the beach and will continue to be weathered through underwater shear stress forces on the sea bed. Other locations work as well, but the olivine may take longer to weather if there is less motion, colder water, etc.
How do you plan to compensate countries who own the beaches or waters targeted by the project? Do you have an estimate of how receptive a community will be to having their beach turned green, especially if they rely on it for a portion of their income?
A country outside of the world's economic powers might want financial insurance in the event that the the project causes ecological damage and hurts their economy.
Those cities (though not in the ideal location for this project, I guess) would likely be ecstatic to have subsidized assistance (though who subsidizes it?). They're losing the beaches no matter what they do, the question is how long will it take, what will it cost to push it out a few more years, etc. For cities that don't have the budget to dump millions of dollars worth of sand only to have it mostly wash away in the next storm, a green beach is probably much more appealing than no beach.
Most of those beaches are in developing countries. If nourishing the beaches with olivine has some unforeseen, negative ecological consequence, those countries might not be financially equipped to deal with the cleanup. How are those beaches going to be insured?
In the case of California, I'm not familiar with their beach nourishing process, but I assume they are using sand that is more similar in content to what was naturally present. If the beaches have been replenished for years, then we at least have some idea about the short-term effects.
I don't know what the right answer is on this question, but I know that the pain of climate change will be felt by poor nations more than it will be felt by rich ones, no matter what. It may be that staving off climate change, even if it has its own negatives, is less bad than the alternative of doing nothing for those places and communities. But, maybe not. Hopefully it would get a lot of study and small scale experimentation before going big.
What is the Life Cycle Analysis Costs of CO2 Incurred in the Mining, Milling and Transport?
The Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of the release of CO2 from mining, milling, and transport of olivine creates an approximately 4-6% loss on CO2 removed. We will always work to minimize the transport distance from the source of olivine, and utilize low impact transit such as rail and boats. Further, many tons of olivine are already mined because the deposits are found above other valuable minerals, such as diamonds (found in a rock formation called Kimberlite). Utilizing these piles of waste rock, known in the industry as tailings piles, will allow us to harvest olivine without causing a significant CO2 output. Further, the dust from mining itself can contribute to the offset of the entire mine, as well as the very ground where the olivine is exposed. It starts weathering right away, and many ultramafic mineral mines, abandoned or active, eventually offset their own footprint and even go towards negative emissions. On of our olivine weathering rate sources is actually these tailings piles. See these studies:
Carbon Dioxide Fixation within Mine Wastes of Ultramafic-Hosted Ore Deposits: Examples from the Clinton Creek and Cassiar Chrysotile Deposits, Canada
Integrated Mineral Carbonation of Ultramafic Mine Deposits—A Review
LATERITIC EVOLUTION OF THE JACUPIRANGA ALKALlNE COMPLEX
Koornneef JM, Nieuwlaar E (in prep.) Environmental life cycle assessment of CO 2 sequestration through enhanced weathering of olivine. Working paper, Group Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University
That could be a good pilot site as the government has said they're going to spend $500MM on saving the reef so money is already available if the technology works.
Otherwise this is a great idea!
I’m sure no cost cutting or harm would come about from this. These companies would definitely be ethical with their operations from start to finish, and they’d be held to high environmental scrutiny.
Alternatively, we plant trees, reduce meat consumption, and buy local so that we’re not shipping shit back and forth from across the planet.
That sounds crazy, considering we pump out +10Gigatons of CO2 per year as it is. But, does the science actually make sense in that if we actually did that, we'd end up with less CO2 in the atmosphere, and subsequently the oceans? That would seem to make this a great tool (possibly among many) to clean up our mess once/if/when we stop putting so much CO2 out there in the first place.
Edit: I do wonder if this process would raise the alkalinity of the ocean too much in the other direction. I can't find the info on this on their site, there is so much to read!
I assume that the rate at which the carbon is sequestered by this method is also driven by the level of ocean acidity, as more CO2 is pulled out of the ocean the acidity will drop and so will the reaction rate will also drop ... this means that there's a natural negative feedback here - whether it's enough to "do the right thing" is probably still a question for science
To be more constructive, this is exactly the kind of hubris that gets me very wary of technoscience.
Let's assume Project Vesta is run by well intentionned folks and has the potential to offer a net positive in a distant future. Even in those conditions, such a project serves the toxic political agenda of not facing the elephant in the room: our growth based economic model is not sustainable and we need to transition away from it.
We only have one planet here, so instead of betting on a massive terraforming technology to suck the CO2 out of the air, I'd rather use a more conservative approach such as massive reforestation - something that is low-tech, can be done by anyone, anywhere, and improve the resilience of the ecosystem rather than kicking its balance again.
I've been hoping to read some counter arguments to that idea to round out my exposure to the topic.
I think the first extensive study on the subject is [the limits to growth](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth).
A compelling thing I've seen (sorry can't find the exact source, I think it was from [the shift project](https://theshiftproject.org)) is the very strong correlation - almost linear relation - between GDP, energy consumption and co2 emission. So far we haven't been able to decorrelate those three.
Also, if executed right then this project could market itself. Travel "influencers" love to show off unique beaches and destinations, and uniquely coloured beaches are always a huge hit. By marketing these beaches appropriately it will generate a lot of attention and (hopefully) a lot of funding for the project.
Good luck! I'll definitely support the project once there are more items in the store.
Since we do not have a beach yet where we can place olivine, we were originally not planning to offer the additional jewelry yet. That said, we are seeing demand for additional pieces at this point, so as long as people are clear that we don't have our $25 spent -> 1 ton of olivine on the beach process going yet, and that the donation is going to fund operations and to get our pilot project onto the beach, we will be happy to put them up. For now, I have removed the Cart from the menu, which I am guessing allowed you to work your way to the empty shop :)
And also you are right on target about the beaches and influencers. While we will be working on a top-down policy level with government and other groups to deploy the beaches, the plan is to simultaneously work from the bottom up to create a global movement of people who want to take action on climate change through influencers and ambassadors visiting the beach and also wearing the jewelry to spread the message.
I can see people dumping it individually at the beach for instagram pictures.
I know it wouldn't be effective, but the idea is to raise money while giving people a feeling of participation.
That's the reason those silly 'ocean plastic' recycled 'jewelry' sell so well.
You'd also introduce it as 'normal' before having to deal with bureaucrats.
It would be cool if I could kick in a few extra dollars so you could send one to every female American congressman and senator.
This olivine solution doesn't really look any less viable than CO2 scrubbers, if I'm being honest.
Geoengineering is on the table now not because it is an easy shortcut, but because the world has failed to do enough in other ways. It's better for patients with prediabetes to change diet than develop full blown type 2 diabetes, but if diet doesn't change fast enough it's better to prescribe insulin than just let them die. Industrial civilization has discounted decades of warnings about changing its energy "diet" and will soon need more drastic measures.
I'm a little optimistic because renewable energy has become cheaper faster than I expected. I'm pessimistic because the world still isn't reducing fossil use fast enough (or at all, really -- so far the best news is "the percentage growth rate is slowing.") Even when the economics start to favor non-combustion energy sources, legacy fossil industries have often delayed the transition by obtaining government support to resist the economic pressures. So I believe that the world can transition to low-emissions energy but I also believe that it's not happening fast enough.
Even worse, the climate perturbation from anthropogenic emissions can trigger a dangerous positive feedback loop that will release even larger quantities of GHGs from natural stores as forests burn more frequently and permafrost thaws. I think that if people get the problem under control (as opposed to just suffering the effects, with no softening of the blow), it's going to involve 3 major prongs:
- Transition to non-fossil energy sources
- Geoengineering via solar radiation management, as a temporary bandaid to prevent runaway warming feedback
- Geoengineering via enhanced silicate weathering, as a thermodynamically stable fix for the excess CO2 added to the environment
Solar radiation management can be phased out as atmospheric CO2 levels drop. But with silicate weathering alone, I fear that thawing permafrost will outpace even the most ambitious CO2 drawdown efforts.
The second two prongs are still highly controversial and advocating for them tends to get one lumped in with climate denialists. I think that most people concerned about climate are going to come around eventually, though. The IPCC already has. We clearly aren't going to avert feedback loops by 2030 via emissions-reductions alone.
Here's one of the more optimistic studies I have seen about forestry-based approaches to curbing CO2:
The authors estimate that afforestation and other positive land use changes could provide up to 37% of the CO2 reductions needed through the year 2030 in order to stay under 2 degrees of warming. The other 63% has to come from elsewhere.
Now we have reduced forest cover and burned underground carbon. Reforestation only solves the former.
It's just bad enough now that forestry is no longer a valid option on its own.
Drawdown is mostly focused on things we can change in our current activity to lower emissions and less about methods for Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). Their top solution for becoming carbon neutral is "Refrigerant Management"...
I like the concept of the project and know some people working in the org, but in my opinion, they do not give enhanced/accelerated weathering enough credit as a potential solution, even though it can scale all the way up to global CO2 level emission removal. Many of the other solutions they suggest are limited in potential, yet featured prominently... I am working to communicate this to them.
They mention olivine in its description page:
They don't try to quantify the potential, though.
For example in Mexico Riviera Maya, Cancún, Holbox, etc, the main selling point are the white beaches and turquoise sea.
That said, we believe that green sand beaches will become their own tourist attractions as the naturally occurring ones, such as Papakolea in Hawaii, are (which is the beach pictured on our site). They are beautiful and we are considering ways we could create ecotourism hubs for climate change education etc.
Because most rivers are now damned and sediment flows impeded, many beaches in developed areas are eroding away with no sources of replenishment. Beach replenishment/nourishment is a huge industry and there are not only sand shortages, but even sand mafias who steal sand. So as resorts have to replace their sand, in the future, they might consider creating olivine sand beaches.
We have had early interest from a few parties who own resorts with rocky beaches and would consider replacing their beach with green sand, but at this time, that is not our focus.
We are focused right now on getting a pilot project deployed that can definitively and irrefutably prove the minimum accelerated olivine weathering rate on a real-world, high-energy tropical beach.
The questions of ecotourism and specific beaches is what we will be dealing with as we move to Phase II-III. See an outline of our deployment plan here -> https://projectvesta.org/plan/
True, but does that apply to tropical coastlines too?
I live in Mexico, even lived in Cancún for a couple of years, the majority of the tropical coastline in the Riviera Maya there is used for touristic purposes.
I don't know the pacific coastline as much but I've been there a couple of times and AFAIK most big beaches are accessible from roads and are accessed by tourists.
I've been to Costa Rica and there is tourism in a large portion of its beaches. See this map for example on the Pacific Northern coast: https://news.co.cr/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/a-detailed-loo...
Estimates in this paper put it at 250bn per year.
It strikes me as imminently doable, and as an additional benefit would eliminate the issue of ocean acidification as well, which in my view is a much larger problem than simply temperature change. Like a human extinction scale problem.
Olivine mining is open-pit near the surface and is neither labor nor energy intensive. Based on current olivine (dunite) mining in Norway, where they mined 3.4 million tonnes of dunite with only 141 employees, it can be extrapolated that the 36 GT of olivine needed could be mined by less than 1.5 million people working at the same capacity globally.
To put that in perspective for you, the Chinese coal market employeed 5.29 million people in 2013, and based on a 2017 report, they are trying to remove 2.3 million people from the industry. So there are plenty of people who could do this, it is about creating the demand for the mineral.
There are many developing countries around the world lacking other valuable exports, yet that have olivine reserves, and we look at helping them create "green" jobs as a potential benefit.
 Mineral Resources Norway: The Norwegian Mining and Quarrying Industry in 2004 [pdf] https://www.ngu.no/FileArchive/227/2005_042.pdf
E.g. Florida, New Orleans?
But really, what's the cost? That's the main factor. It may be a reasonable way to shove money at poorer countries to do manual work to solve the rich countries' problems.
> Poor countries don't have expensive infrastructure investments in the current climate...
What do you mean by this? There are major cities in poor countries that are physically threatened by rising sea levels . Agriculture throughout the tropics is threatened, because rising temperatures will dramatically reduce crop yields . These are already affecting the poorest countries.
> ...can adapt to climate change by moving a few miles. Moving New York City and Los Angeles is much harder, and the loss much more expensive.
I think you're underestimating the effort required to migrate. We're largely not talking about a family here and there moving up the road. Climate change will cause -- and has already caused  -- mass migration of whole regions.
How do the logistics of policy adoption work for the first "pilot" country?
1. You would need environmental clearance and the government's own stud(ies) on it. How do you get a government to do this assessment?
2. If you have to get Costa rica(or any listed potentials on the page) to show interest do you go to the Environment Ministry and do a power point and ask "So?".
2.1. Do you get them to do this as part of implementing some climate pledge. And in this case what are you mostly competing with for the fixed size pot of $$?
There is said to be a problem with shortage of construction sand leading to beaches being stripped for sand. So this would solve a secondary problem at the same time.
We are looking for synergies like that, such as covering eroding beaches, breakwaters, etc with olivine.
If you are interested in sand in construction and otherwise, I highly suggest you check out the book The World in a Grain.
The importance of sand in our everyday life blew my mind. I mean the device you are using right now to access this website, has a processor made out of silicon sand, the screen is made of quartz sand. The building you are in is likely made of aggregate sand, and the road to get to your house etc. But also, don't forget that sand was used to make the lenses for reading that made possible for our older academics, extra decades of research and enabled us to carry out astronomy and to create microscopes...
Sand has shaped the world in such a massive way, and we are hoping it can save us from our CO2 problems as well.
The processor is made from silicon, plus trace amounts of aluminum, glass, and other materials. Silicon is smelted from silica, which is silicon dioxide; same difference as hydrogen gas and water, iron and rust, or aluminum and ruby. The common crystalline form of silica is quartz, which is the most common sand (precisely because olivine sand weathers). Most glass, including the glass used in lenses today, is a non-crystalline blend of typically about 80% silica with other materials, largely to lower its Tg. Other sands (notably garnet and aluminum oxide) are important in optics as abrasives. I hope this clears up some of the confusions you are expressing.
"He rummages through his knapsack, then pulls out a plastic sandwich bag full of white powder. “I hope we don’t get arrested,” he says. “Someone might get the wrong idea.”
But it’s the mineral in Glover’s bag—snowy white grains, soft as powdered sugar—that is by far the most important these days. It’s quartz, but not just any quartz. Spruce Pine, it turns out, is the source of the purest natural quartz—a species of pristine sand—ever found on Earth. This ultra‑elite deposit of silicon dioxide particles plays a key role in manufacturing the silicon used to make computer chips. In fact, there’s an excellent chance the chip that makes your laptop or cell phone work was made using sand from this obscure Appalachian backwater. “It’s a billion‑dollar industry here,” Glover says with a hooting laugh. “Can’t tell by driving through here. You’d never know it.”
Most of the world’s sand grains are composed of quartz, which is a form of silicon dioxide, also known as silica. High‑purity silicon dioxide particles are the essential raw materials from which we make computer chips, fiber‑optic cables, and other high‑tech hardware—the physical components on which the virtual world runs. The quantity of quartz used for these products is minuscule compared to the mountains of it used for concrete or land reclamation. But its impact is immeasurable."
If so, how cost effective would that be vs those offsets that are based on planting trees?
What could possibly go wrong?
Edit: not sure why the downvotes. Perhaps I should have explained my skepticism more clearly? Any geo-engineering initiative almost always fails to predict the unintended consequences for the environment - e.g. perhaps one day we'll discover that too much olivine rock on beaches destroys ecosystems, or something else.
As the water level rises we're gonna need to lose some of the cynicism around geo-engineering.
Unless you're convinced that society will somehow value the stability of our climate over economics? I feel like there's more evidence (given our snail-like progress over the past few decades) to demonstrate that's a not gonna work out compared to attempting _some_ form of geo-engineering.
My fear is that once people figure out how to Geo-engineer things with fine tuned results that it will eventually be used as a weapon.
Imagine if you could turn up the temperature of an area to create a drought?
Or flood/freeze out an area?
This could be done covertly as it would be hard to identify the exact cause if done under the 'radar'.
No bomb shells or traces left behind to place blame.
I'll pass on homo-sapiens ego presuming they are smarter than the planet and can fix any problem using technology and our brains.
Maybe for the first time in History we may be smart enough to mitigate the potential ill effects of the climate cycle, however this planet was here long before humans and will probably be here long after.
There was a joke once, about human's being the planets Herpes, which seems to be a good metaphor for our existence on this rock.
To restate I am all for being able to help the planet, mitigate our impact using new greener technologies and changing our habits, however this needed to be done a long time ago and trying to fix our current problems with the band-aide of Geo-engineering I personally believe is a futile effort.
Nothing. It already happens in nature, but at a far smaller scale. It is not a self-renewing or runaway process. The point is to distribute the correct amount of olivine to stabilize CO2 at ~200 PPM which is close to its pre-industrial level.
4000 ppm CO2 was found in nature far before pre-industry came along. Does the fact that anything "happened in nature" make it "ideal?" What is the globally "ideal" level of CO2 anyway? Certainly 200ppm is an order of magnitude low when considering the ideal for plants.
200ppm is around the level humanity, and much of the flora we share the planet with, evolved. It's the level we started to develop from, to farm.
Nature and the planet has no ideal, it copes with whatever there is. Humanity on the other hand would appear best served by the level we evolved with - 200ppm or thereabouts. 400ppm causes problems for us, 4,000ppm would almost certainly be the end of us or as near as makes no odds.
If by "end of us" you mean human extinction, I'm curious why you think that. Reducing the co2 in a building to whatever level one wants is cheap enough (by bubbling air through water mixed with soda lime or lime) that it seems to me feasible for a few million humans to survive indefinitely even without major advances in technology. (I am assuming that the cost of a co2 measuring device, currently over $1000, could be driven way down before they would be needed in large numbers as part of the machinery to reduce co2 levels inside buildings.)
Wouldn't most food crops would grow much better at 4000 ppm than they do now?
People would be able to go out into the 4000-ppm-co2 outdoors for hours at a time with no obvious serious problems. (I exposed myself to higher levels than that for years by sleeping in a very small room with very low "draftiness". Not recommended of course.)
Co2 at 4000 ppm would kill billions of us and make the survivors miserable and is certainly something I wish for humankind to avoid, but that is different from human extinction.
End of our civilisation. End of us as an industrial society. Perhaps as relevant and historic as the Romans or Ancient Egyptians. I'd prefer to stop long, long before that.
Who knows all the knock on effects of 4,000ppm, I certainly don't except to say it's way beyond the worse case models I've seen. End of much productive work outside. Reduced performance for all. Probably much of the equatorial and tropical simply uninhabitable. We'd be looking at what, 7, 10, 12 degrees? I have no idea. Heaven knows how many reinforcing tipping points will kick in. I don't think we can confidently say it won't result in actual extinction. Even if it probably won't.
We'd lose both ice caps, so something like 60 odd metres of sea level. How many major cities and entire countries does that lose? I've seen maps that at just 4C much of the USA's farm land would be near desert, and the Sahara greening. Unprecedented temperature, habitat and rainfall changes with no idea which species will make it, and which not, maybe many we depend on to eat. How much forced and unwelcome migration? Which prediction is the accurate one? With that energy in the system are we looking at cat 10 super-hurricanes?
Does it matter if it's 0%, 1 or 2%, or even 10% are grubbing out a post-apocalypse zero growth life or whether it's Mad Max, 18th C or bronze age? Unrecognisable. Unpredictable. Survivors would tell fables that their ancestors did it. Knowingly. Maybe some other species gets its chance and does a less idiotic job.
I don't think the difference matters. At all.
As to humans, 400ppm causes zero problems, matter of fact, OSHA says 1000ppm for continuous exposure. NIOSH says 10,000 ppm for a 10 hour work shift.
You mean it causes zero known problems.
Medicine and biology are not yet advanced enough to say in most case whether putting the human body in a condition humans haven't experienced in 800,000 years is harmful. It took decades to learn that asbestos is harmful. If the harm caused by asbestos were cognitive decline rather than shortened lifespan, it probably would've taken longer, and cognitive decline is the effect that appears at the lowest concentration of all of the known adverse effects of co2. (One study found cognitive decline after 2.5 hours of exposure to 1000 ppm.)
Plants use co2 to make their bodies just as we use proteins, fats and carbohydrates to make our bodies, so I am not particularly reassured by knowing the plants thrive at very high co2 levels.
Graph of co2 levels over the last 800,000 years: http://kaltesonne.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/co2-1024x576...
I'd say that's far from zero problems.
I am not saying that this is the solution though.
You can't introduce a massive new variable to an environment, and not expect there to be some kind of negative effect. You're changing the environment this ecosystem has adapted to, in a radical way.
I think humans are still coming to terms with the possibility that we can't live like we do, with the number of individuals we have. And absolutely no one wants to hear that we either have to take their electricity, or let them die of cancer, metaphorically speaking.
You can't have seven billion lions, and expect there to be any gazelle. Exponentially so when the lions have laser guided ballistic missiles.
What if, in analogy to the transition out of feudalism, the next evolution of government and economies is one that allows for spending on future outcomes in a way that is impossible now? I have no idea what those institutions would look like -- I only know that hoping to solve global problems with the caveat that it needs to be profitable for someone has a whiff of obvious nonsense to me. And I also know, that at least in the US, the prospect that the government will implement large-scale change is patent nonsense.
I'm confused that this is a quesiton that you're asking, as opposed to something that is blatantly obvious. The United Nations declared as such recently:
"Trusting that the free market capitalist dynamics will get us
there, that of course is not going to happen," report co-author
Paavo Järvensivu, an academic who specializes in economics and
culture at Bios, says in a phone call with HuffPost. Economies
that rely on the power of markets, notes the report, don’t even
recognize the problem as they’re too focused on short-term
profits to take account of longer-term issues like climate change
and environmental destruction.
By analogy to feudalism that we need a transformative change to something, an unknown something, that is different but a little better at seeing a big picture rather than endless blinkered dogma.
And it should be something like the EURO Cars emission standards, where the whole plan goes in multiple stages, giving time for businesses to adopt.
And all of a sudden all the business have an incentive to lower the Total Carbon emission, that includes everything they consume ( which would have Carbon Tax on it ). They could also buy Carbon Credit to offset any Carbon they produce. These Carbon Credit will obviously come from project like this or Renewable Energy.
Having the World to agree on Carton Tax is the hardest part.
If you want more technical examples, taxation systems that tried to get hard at personal transportation while mostly omitting business use led to both the SUV and to modern diesel. We may dislike both outcomes and making a bigger car more comfortable isn't exactly difficult, but the technology in modern diesel engines is absolutely amazing, even if adjusted for cheating. And clearly evidence to taxation influence, as it was exclusively developed in countries that went for fuel type instead of vehicle mass for being soft on commercial transport.
PS: and just think of the things some Finns are supposedly willing to do to extract a little bang from a given quantity of alcohol, taxation is the exclusive driver of that.
Every company should have to present an environmental action plan and plan to become Carbon Neutral as part of its investment strategy. Right now, because it's the right thing to do, in future, because environmental exposure is a huge risk for companies
YC has led the world in tech investments and growth/value creation by typical measures. It should lead the world by environmental measures also.
"Thwaites is like a cork in a wine bottle—when it melts, it could trigger the collapse of a large portion of West Antarctica, equal to roughly 11 feet of global sea rise."
"Winds are now pushing a layer of warm ocean water up underneath part of the glacier that extends out into the sea and melting it, faster and faster. If that part breaks off, the entire glacier would destabilize."
If an asteroid hit we won't be just dealing with 10-12 feet.
Do you have any scientific proof that this will happen or that it's likely to happen?
Scientifically demonstrated is not the same as speculated.
We do have economies B for controlled experiments and that data is pretty clear.
The richest countries are those who use the most energy to help them deal with nature.
Effects might happen depending on the temperature but we don't know which or how severe or when or if it will. We don't know how much humans affect it meaning that we don't know if it even make sense to do anything.
Evolution is not scientifically demonstrated. It's a way to interpret the data and observations from biology. It's the model that explains the best, but it's not in itself science just like climate science isn't science in any concise way but rather an interpretation of data.
It's that data which is being discussed and speculated about. We are very far from demonstrating even a fraction of what we speculate.
The most precise form of science we have is those that follow the scientific method ex. in physics where both theoretical claims and actual observations need to agree with each other plus predict the causality. And even here it's extremely hard to claim something is scientifically proven.
I am not sure what you mean with modern physics, can you be more concrete? What modern physics are just speculation and what does that have to do with the physics that isn't just speculation and theory?
Just because you believe a forthcoming climate catastrophe is real does not make it science in any meaningful way where we can talk about consensus and scientific predictions. You don't get a free pass to claim things just because you think the word as we know it might end.
Climate science is more akin to sociology or macroeconomics, i.e. a lot of speculation and interpretation and very little scientifically demonstrated foundation.
Climate science follows the scientific method too and stands on pretty solid foundations.