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Principal Author and Editor 21st Century Tech Blog

Futurist, Writer and Researcher, now retired, former freelance writer for new technology ventures. Former President & CEO of Len Rosen Marketing Inc., a marketing consulting firm focused on...

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The International Energy Agency estimates that carbon capture technology's contribution to CO2 emissions reduction will fulfil 15% of the total needed to keep mean temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 Celsius. Yet the U.S. and other governments are throwing billions in terms of tax credits and subsidies to encourage new carbon capture projects. Wouldn't the money be better spent on improving the energy efficiency of existing infrastructure, and on continuing to build renewable energy capacity? Both can contribute significantly more to lowering emissions than carbon capture.

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Julian Jackson's picture
Julian Jackson on Sep 8, 2022

Yes, I agree. Besides the monetary cost of carbon capture, there is the energy cost; that is it takes additional energy to use whatever process it is to remove the carbon from the waste released to atmosphere, so you need to generate additional power...which generates additional emissions. So it has, in my view, serious drawbacks unless someone can find a method of CC which is at least energy neutral.

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Sep 12, 2022

At the risk of being declared a heretic, the dogma of CO2 stands on a very weak foundation.

The planet’s climate is driven by the sun’s energy and the transfer of energy around the planet.

Let’s take a look at CO2. The gas involves a very minor fraction of the sun’s energy (minor infrared sliver of entire energy spectrum and low energy to boot). The gas constitutes a very minor  fraction of the molecules in the atmosphere (roughly 450 parts per million). CO2 cannot drive the climate and pales in comparison with the extremely complex transfer of the sun’s energy around the globe.

There is no sound reason to capture CO2 which is an extremely expensive undertaking. Further, we have no good understanding of the impact of pumping stupefying amounts of CO2 into the ground.

Carbon capture is a waste of money.   Makes more sense to pursue a balanced deployment of energy resources, with reliability, reasonable cost, and reasonably clean the drivers of energy policy. Energy efficiency and conservation are a part of the strategy. Fossil, renewable, nuclear, hydro are a part of that strategy.

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Rick Engebretson on Sep 26, 2022

Michael, I agree with your lack of confidence in the CO2 solar radiation blanket climate change theory. And I agree with your concern that current dominant carbon capture methods are doubtful. And I agree with others' concerns government money might cause problems. But what is certain is that plant photosynthesis rates are greatly accelerated by the greatly increased "sliver" of atmospheric CO2.

The "Keeling Curve" is remarkable actual science data. The plastic dump offshore California is a remarkable vector to the actual California drought. Biomass gasification and biochar soil enhancement and concentrated solar chemistry are actually well demonstrated. Global food insecurity, wildfire, drought, energy poverty, wars are actually old news.

As an old biophysicist in a rural farm/forest region, I have too much to do to waste my limited time chasing government money. I'm hoping this government money will retrain young people how to work, preserve, learn, and build a future they can live in. We needed a giant paradigm shift from the pigs and con-artists leadership. We need an actual "Green" actual "New Deal."

Julian Silk's picture
Julian Silk on Sep 12, 2022

Let me oppose this yet again. Suppose the carbon capture apparatus has a 30% parasitic load, but captures 90% of the CO2 emissions. The resulting carbon emissions are (0.1)*(1.3) times the initial emissions, or 0.13 of the initial emissions. This does not comply with the California standard which will require 0 emissions in 20-35, but it is a significant improvement, and widespread adoption can do something meaningful to reduce climate change.

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Michael Keller on Sep 14, 2022

The claim that CO2 drives the climate is false, being essentially a religious dogma that allows elitists to line their their own pockets at the expense of the average citizen. 

The earth’s climate is driven by energy from the sun and the complex planetary processes that transfer the energy around the planet. Fact. Accurately predicting the planet’s distant climate is too difficult for any mathematical models. We do not adequately understand the underlying complex processes and that precludes proper mathematical solutions.

CO2 is, at best, a minor bit player. CO2 involves a minor sliver of the sun’s energy spectrum and is not particularly energetic. Further, CO2 is a very minor fraction of the air mass. Facts.

We are suppose to spend trillions of dollars and impoverish millions because the elite conjecture that (1) CO2 drives the climate, and (2) man can control the climate by controlling CO2. Utter nonsense.

Logic suggests a different mechanism is at play. Greed. 

Hysterical claims are made that we are all doomed in the distant future, but there is no way to prove the assertion. How convenient for those making stupefying amounts of money at the expense of the poor and middle class. That includes politicians getting massive amounts of re-election money from the elite who are further getting subsidized by money extracted from citizens by politicians.

In the final analysis, follow the money to find truth.

 

Len Rosen's picture
Len Rosen on Sep 21, 2022

If only you were right and that we are all fools. The science, however, as first hypothesized by Svante Arrehenius more than a century ago, and well demonstrated through countless experiments since then that there is a direct correlation between greenhouse gas emissions rising in the atmosphere and global warming. CO2 and CH4 are the big contributors, the latter having short-term impacts, and the former affecting the planet's climate over the long term. To think that we are all sheep being led to slaughter by avaricious scientists who somehow gain a benefit by lying to us just doesn't wash. And to think that our political establishment is blindly led by these same scientists is pretty hard to swallow.

It has been the Exxon Mobils of the world and other fossil fuel companies that have buried the knowledge of greenhouse gasses and their impact on the atmosphere and ocean even though their own laboratories have experimented and confirmed a correlation between burning fossil fuels and atmospheric warming. They have been the beneficiaries of climate change denial.

Yes, CO2 by volume is only a tiny percentage of the atmosphere, but the consequences of its increases along with increases in other heat-trapping greenhouse gasses significantly outweigh their net volume.  

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Sep 22, 2022

The sun’s energy spectrum is vast and the processes transferring heat around the globe are extremely complex. The ability of CO2 to alter these processes is inconsequential. Thinking man can control the climate (the central theme of the global warming dogma) is absurd.

Try looking at the larger picture instead of concentrating on CO2’s minor sliver of the energy spectrum. Spending trillions and trillions of dollars while impoverishing millions is the pinnacle of arrogance and folly.

Len Rosen's picture
Len Rosen on Sep 22, 2022

Hi Michael,

I believe it is you who is concentrating on the sliver rather than looking at the consequences of human influence on the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels that has increased CO2 form 350 ppm when I was born to more than 420 ppm today. That's a 20% change in 70 years. And CO2 isn't the only greenhouse gas our activities have added to alter atmospheric dynamics. 

 

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