Has the solution to climate change been invented in a small garden shed on the outskirts of Maryborough?
It sounds far-fetched, but research scientist Dr Ian Parker believes he has found the answer to one of the world’s biggest problems – and he wants to sell it to the highest bidder.
Dr Parker says he has created a system that mimics the functions of a tree – that is, it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
When The Courier visited on Saturday, Dr Parker wouldn’t give details about how his system actually worked, for fear of copycat designs.
But he would say it was “simple” and took carbon dioxide from the air and turned it into “green carbon”, usable for fertiliser or other farming applications.
He produced an ice-cream container about half-full of what he said was green carbon, a sticky, dark substance, which he said took about 13 hours to take from the atmosphere.
With a PhD in palaeontology, Dr Parker switched his focus to physics and now claims to have created the technology to change the world’s grim climate-change outlook.
He says with the liberal use of his system around the world, the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could effectively be reduced to pre-human levels.
“There wouldn’t be much need for a carbon tax, would there? It might wreck the government’s plans,” he said.
“It does exactly what a tree does, but I’ve worked it out so you can speed the process up to any rate you want it to go.”
“If nature can do it, why can’t I?
Dr Parker said he could directly apply his system, tentatively dubbed the “Artificial Tree”, to chimney stacks to reduce big polluters’ carbon emissions to zero.
Yesterday, just hours after speaking to The Courier, Dr Parker boarded a flight to China with his idea and plans to pitch it to big-spending buyers.
“There’s no money in Australia,” he said.
“It’s worth millions. It’s actually priceless. There’s no limit to what you can do with this.”
Just in case Dr Parker’s idea turns out to be the biggest discovery of the century, The Courier will keep tabs on his progress in China and report back with any important updates.