# Could creating ashpalt roads actually be net CO2 reducing? [closed]

I remember reading a popsci book, which at some point mentioned, that the problem with reducing $\ce{CO_2}$ emissions was to actually trap carbon in long-term permanent structures.

It then half-jokingly concluded that one of the counterintuitive green activities was to make books and... build more roads; presumably because the asphalt roads are long-lived and asphalt contains a lot of carbon.

Would the idea have some practical consideration from standpoint of actual carbon content? Never mind for the moment other aspects, such as that creating asphalt gives off greenhouse gas emissions itself, etc, but how much carbon would approximately there be in, let's say, a ton of typical asphalt? And could there be any comparison with other human or natural activities that bind carbon in large volumes into long-term objects?

## closed as too broad by Mithoron, airhuff, aventurin, DrMoishe Pippik, Todd MinehardtApr 6 '18 at 0:54

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• Pretty much. But then again, what is the alternative to building roads? We could just as well sit there and do nothing. The carbon in these compounds is already trapped anyway. – Ivan Neretin Apr 5 '18 at 5:56
• My desk isn't a mess covered with books and paper. It's actually an advanced carbon storage unit. – AlaskaRon Apr 5 '18 at 7:06