General Electric Press Release Claims CO2 "a possible" Factor in Climate Change

Wed, 2008-06-04 10:14Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

General Electric Press Release Claims CO2 "a possible" Factor in Climate Change

Coal-energy powerhouse General Electric states in a May 28th, 2008 press release that “C02 is a possible contributing factor to climate change.”

This claim by General Electric, one of the largest power producers in the world, was made despite the scientific evidence, and the world's governments (including the US) now in agreement that greenhouse gas emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels are heating our planet.

The May 28 press release on a new “clean coal” project reads in part:

GE is a leader in the development, and application of IGCC technology, while Schlumberger provides unique expertise, technology and project management for the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). -CO2 is a possible contributing factor to climate change.” [my emphasis]

This statement is made all the more stranger considering the major marketing effort GE has undertaken to paint itself as a leader on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. GE is also one of the more outspoken members of the United States Climate Change Partnership - an umbrella group of US businesses and environmental organizations calling for immediate action to reduce C02 emissions.

Why so much investment by GE in something they only see as a possibility?

Here is the press contact for General Electric, I would suggest that we all send a quick note demanding that they correct this claim:

Cynthia Coleman
+1 816 313 4307
Cynthia.coleman@ge.com
Cross-posted on our affiliate site Coal is Dirty.
 
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Comments

Next up!: “There is some evidence that sunlight is involved in photosynthesis.”

Anybody have a figure on total CO2 emissions since the start of the industrial revolution, or say, about 1850?

the World Resources Institute - http://earthtrends.wri.org/text/climate-atmosphere/variable-779.html - has it at about 1,027 gigatonnes for 1990-2002… There are pointers there to original sources - IEA, EIA,The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC). If you want more info - from ~ 1750 to 2004 - check http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/global.1751_2004.ems , but note that there you have to convert from carbon to CO2, which I think is ~ 3.6x, iirc…

In Percent Please GT an MG is such a unrealistic figure to understand.. What is it in % ? ..I ask since you seem to have those figures handy. 1027 GT is what? How big is that compare to the planet natural CO2 emmission from the Ocean and other natural sources?

You might want to look it up:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/CarbonCycle/carbon_cycle4.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle

But you’ll find no comfort for your arguments in it.

The increase in CO2 is aprox 38% over pre-industrial. (280 ppmv to 387 ppmv and climbing)

Currently about half of the CO2 generated by human activity (8.5 to 9.5 Gt per year) is absorbed by natural carbon sinks, the rest is accumulating in the atmosphere at the rate of 2 to 2.5 ppmv each year and accelerating.

Currently the ocean is a net absorber of CO2 by about 2 Gt. The biosphere is also a net absorber….so far.

But as arctic permafrosts melt they are becoming significant emitters. And as the ocean warms it can hold less dissolved CO2, and thus will absorb less CO2 out of the atmosphere.

http://www.globalcarbonproject.org is also a good source for this type of info, either directly or through their links…

Thank you.

1850 is often assumed as the beginning of the IR, but in fact it had been gearing up for about 50 years by then. Tiny steps and not much in the way of emissions yet, but the die was cast. Just a small aside from an historian …

Fern Mackenzie

Fern,

Many historians, history buffs, genealogists, etc., seem to “get it” with respect to our current challenges. Perhaps it’s because they’re more aware of the shifts that can occur in societies, and not as stuck in a mindview that “what you see is what you get”.

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