Fire up Your Grill to Fight Climate Change?

Fire up Your Grill Using Biomass.

Imagine knowing that the grill you use for cooking chicken, steaks, fish, and an assortment of meats can actually fight climate change.  It is ironic, but it turns out barbecuing may be the latest innovation to how you, the consumer, can fight climate change without hurting your pocketbook.  In particular, barbecuing may help in the fight against climate change as Durwood Zaelke, who has a background in international environmental law expert, highlights how this innovation works in terms of a “stove (that) creates heat by turning wood or other biomass into charcoal, a process that releases combustible gases.” This sounds like an innovative idea and certainly beats a gas grill that contributes to carbon dioxide emissions. As such, the sky is the limit with technological innovation when it comes to finding solutions to fight manmade climate change.

What makes the process of converting wood into charcoal even more attractive to gas grills is that “Once the cooking is over, most of the carbon from the fuel remains in the stove in the form of charcoal. This can be mixed in with soil, a process that sequesters the carbon for thousands of years and boosts crop productivity.”  Turning woodchips into charcoal and firing up one's grill that way is certainly a novel idea worth pursuing. After all, the question is why hasn't anyone thought of this before?  Any idea that ensures excess carbon dioxide is not emitted into the atmosphere can only be beneficial, even if it is on a relatively small scale with the charcoal grill.  Even more interesting is the positive feedback loop that appears to be present in this type of grill that Durwood Zaelke proposes.  In particular, the fact that once the cooking is done and the remaining fuel can be mixed in with soil and become part of the Earth is quite a novel idea.

After all, it is the idea that the remaining charcoal can by recycled and actually act as a natural fertilizer in terms of increasing crop yields.  Consequently, this type of grill can help farmers find alternatives to synthetic chemical fertilizers that are fossil fuel based and replace them with natural charcoal that is derived from various biomass materials such as woodchips.  It appears that Zaelke's grill idea is something that is an innovative technology that hopefully can be mass produced and sold at a relatively cheap price at a local store such as Lowe's or the Home Depot.  While it is unknown if Zaelke's idea will gain traction in the U.S., it is an innovative technology that should certainly be looked into by all individuals especially if the U.S. is serious about reducing the amount of carbon dioxide it emits.

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