Plants Rule! Harnessing the Sun for a Negative-Carbon Bio-economy
September 29 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Photosynthesis has powered life on Earth for over 3.5 billion years. This natural biotechnology gave our planet an oxygen rich atmosphere, and kept global CO2 concentrations low. Today our atmosphere has too much CO2, and the excess is increasing every year. Zero-carbon energy like solar and wind is necessary but not enough; we also need negative-carbon technology at the gigaton scale.
Among the Carbon-negative (and climate positive) solutions, those based on photosynthesis are by far the cheapest and most scalable options now, and likely for many decades to come. Properly implemented, these solutions can also provide many other benefits, including clean water, bio-diverse landscapes, healthy soil and healthier communities. Achieving these benefits can reinvigorate rural economies, while strengthening our urban regions as well, especially right here in Pennsylvania, where we have ample assets and opportunities.
Tom Richard, PhD, Penn State Professor of Biological Engineering and Director of PSU Institutes of Energy and the Environment, shares the importance of biological processes in reaching a Carbon-negative future and what is needed to reverse our already excessive concentration of Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere (as promoted in Project Drawdown). Dr. Richard will review a range of photosynthesis-based climate solutions, including regenerative agriculture, food waste reduction and recycling, sustainable forestry and biomaterials, and bioenergy including renewable natural gas. While this range of solutions is large and diverse, they share a common set of principles that broadly apply to the imperative of building a sustainable carbon negative bio-economy: Plant Rules!
Join us to learn how we can better harness the sun for a sustainable future