Carbon Capture: The Questions & Issues

6 07 2009
From: Stanford University, 2007

From: Stanford University, 2007

It’s time I talk about this issue. We’ve heard our Western World politicians go on and on about ‘clean coal’ and carbon capture and how it is in our best interest to pursue such technology in order to save the world from global warming. There are a LOT of things they don’t tell you about. Here are some huge issues – issues which I believe have only one answer: put the money into renewables.

  1. Same questions as Nuclear – If large concentrations of carbon dioxide are unsafe at ground level and in our atmosphere, what makes them safe underground? Storing our carbon gases beneath the earth raises the same questions as storing our nuclear waste beneath the earth. We don’t reallyknow what will happen in the future. The earth is incredibly porous. Much of our drinking water comes from aquifers buried deep beneath our land. Can you see the potential problems?
  2. Costs – The cost of researching and implementing this technology is unknown. It is certain to be very high and we hdon’t really know how much it could actually cost to do successfuly. Alberta, Canada has pledged $2 billion just for research into this technology. I’m sure that $2 billion would go a long way to improving the efficiencies of wind, solar, and tidal power.
  3. From: Greenpeace, 2009
    From: Greenpeace, 2009

    Coal is dirty at all stages –

     

     

    Even if we successfuly capture the carbon and store it safely, coal mining is an environmentally unsustainable practice, detroying thousands of acres of ecosystems and mountaintops. This affects our watersheds, which in turn affect all that we do.

  4. Coal is not renewable – This one is obvious. Eventually there will be no coal if we continue on in this manner. Why continue to prolong the shift to renewables?
  5. Human Error – This may be a more often overlooked issue. The transportation of carbon will be through pipelines over many many miles of land. These pipelines will inevitably be located near human and animal populations and we should all know, that pipelines are prone to bursting due to poor construction or poor maintenance, or due to attacks by terrorists, activists, militants, you name it. The explosion of a pipeline filled with concentrated carbon will not have a welcome effect on its surroundings.
  6. An Excuse – Carbon capture is an excuse to continue with business as usual rather than focusing our efforts on more sustainable technologies right now.

There are so many websites and resources that look at both sides of this issue. You can look it up yourself but I assure you that you will face this question. Do we seek a way to continue on with the cheap but dirty burning of coal to protect todays mining industry and keep our heating costs down this year, or do we invest in renewables, which may costs a few cents / kWh more at the moment, but will be necessary in the future anyways?

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2 responses

27 07 2009
Sarah Palin Doesn’t Understand Cap-and-Trade « We Are Informed

[…] see my post on the issues surrounding the myth of ‘clean coal’ We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental […]

6 10 2009
Jackie Durkee

I just wrote an article about this here at wordpress at FaithfinPrayer and I believe this is the most idiotic thing our government has come up with and I can’t believe environmentalists are letting them get away with it. No one know the long term affect of pumping millions of tons of CO2 in our earth.

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