The Enduring Myth of Carbon Storage

Wed, 2008-02-27 15:38Terrance Berg
Terrance Berg's picture

The Enduring Myth of Carbon Storage

When it comes to the oil sands, it seems many Albertans believe what they're led to. You can hardly blame ’em, though: The petro firms presently ripping into the boreal forest aren't exactly offering public tours with coffee and balloons for the kids.

Maybe that helps explain why a recent poll found that 66 percent of Albertans reckon that at least some–if not all–of the more than 40-odd million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions generated by oil-sands facilities each year are being captured and stored safely underground.

In fact, the real number is zero. Oops.

Why are so many so misinformed?

Partly its because there is so much chatter out there these days about carbon capture and storage, or CCS–the “techno-fix” that politicians and petroleum execs trot out whenever anyone hazards to suggest that cooking vast chunks of Canadian soil under a blue flame is maybe not such a great idea.

The idea behind CCS is simple:

A network of scrubbers and pipes could one day transport carbon dioxide from coal- and oil-sands plants, and inject it into geological formations deep in the earth's crust where it will theoretically remain locked away forever. It's a great plan, actually, and will likely prove a crucial interim step as we transition to the post-carbon age. But only if it actually gets built. And right now – with the exception of a single test project in Saskatchewan – its a classic example of what software developers call “vaporware.”

Alberta has been talking about CCS since at least 2002.

That year, the province's environment ministry released a report ironically titled “Albertans and Climate Change: Taking Action .” The report assured us that, thanks to CCS, “zero-emission coal plants” would be undergoing commercial testing right about now. None are even on the drawing boards.

The Federal and Albertan governments – along with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and an industry group called the Integrated CO2 Network (they operate as ICO2N )–are together advancing the message that capture-and-storage is an any-day-now proposition.

Last year, the province and the feds together announced a joint task force on the subject, which ultimately recommended that government (that's you and me, Fred) spend $2 billion to get three CCS projects up and running by 2015.

Meanwhile, premier Ed Stelmach's most recent climate-change plan doesn't actually mandate CCS. Instead, his government assures that a:

government-industry council will provide a made-in-Alberta blueprint for the immediate advancement of carbon capture and storage technology.”

All of this “advancement” and “enabling” sounds great, except for one snag. By failing to enact any serious reduction targets, government isn't giving industry the push it needs to actually start building anything.

For its part, Canada's oil extraction sector – which, thanks largely to the oil sands, is expected to post a $23 billion profit this year–is waiting for its first government handout before getting down to work. So 'round and 'round we go, while the planetary thermostat inches up another fraction of a degree.

Meantime, the “stall 'em with promises” strategy appears to be working. All the impressive-sounding acronyms have hoodwinked a good number of otherwise sensible Albertans into thinking that CCS is actually happening.

Attention all Albertans: It ain't.

Comments

What kind of a dreamland are living in? There never ever will be any phase out of fossil fuels or reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. For example, boats, planes, freight trains and trucks, mining, construction, forestry and agriculural machines, most cars and light trucks, diesel-electic generating systems, etc wiil require and will always use hydrocarbon fuels because these fuels have high energy density.

These fuels are prepared from crude oil by fractional distillation and blending, low energy processes that do not involve the breaking of chemical bonds. These fuels are quite portable and can be stored indefintely in sealed containers and tanks under an inert atmosphere.

Fossil fuels are required for the really heavy hitters like lime and cement kilns, all factories that manufacture ceramics, steel mills and metal smelters, foundries and metal casting plants, all food growing, processing and distribution, etc.

In chilly cold Canada only fossil fuels have the required energy density for space and water heating. One of the most dedicated uses of electricity is refrigeration and this require a stable and firm supply of it as does the telecommunication systems.

Do you really won’t to put your computer at the mercy of the wind? I don’t.

Forget about CCS. It is going nowhere: it takes far too much energy to pump carbon dixoide in the ground. Keep in mind it takes a lot of energy to drill thru solid rock formation where the carbon dioxide is to be stored.

Is there really any global warming? Of course not. The warm cycle that started in the mid ‘70’s is mostly due to an intense El Nino condition that started in 1976 and ended in 2006. The climate has now undergone a “phase shift” to a La Nina condition that might last upto 30 years. This La Nina started in late 2006, is intense, and is responsible for the severe winter weather in the northern hemisphere. This is the reason no carbon taxes should be imposed. For you just can’t second guess Mother Nature. For more info about the El Nino Southern Oscillation, GO: http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/.

Also check http://www.john-day.com, scroll down and click on “Station Temperature Data” and find the plot for Death Valley. You should really study the info on this site. The late John Daly’s approach to climate and weather is that of a weatherman or meterologist i.e., a weather actuary.

Global Warming tauted by the IPPC and its affillated scientists is indeed the seconded biggest scam in history. The first biggest scam is “diamonds”, which have no intrinsic value except for hardness which has many practical uses. BTW, how come you folks never complain about diamond and gold mines, the most prolifigate wasters of energy? Most all diamonds and gold go to the jewelery trade.

Harold Pierce Jr B.Sc(Hon)., Ph.D.

PS: I’m a chemist and I do know what I’m taking about.
Old Weird Harold says, “Go do your homework!”

Sorry Harold, the dreamland is the one where we never ever run out of oil. We will run out, and the sooner we learn to do without the better.

Harold, the quote following is chock full of holes one could sail an ocean liner through it:

“Is there really any global warming? Of course not. The warm cycle that started in the mid ‘70’s is mostly due to an intense El Nino condition that started in 1976 and ended in 2006. The climate has now undergone a “phase shift” to a La Nina condition that might last upto 30 years. This La Nina started in late 2006, is intense, and is responsible for the severe winter weather in the northern hemisphere. This is the reason no carbon taxes should be imposed. For you just can’t second guess Mother Nature. For more info about the El Nino Southern Oscillation, GO: http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/.”

If you had actually read up on El Ninos, you would have learned that ENSO has a cycle-ish period of four to seven years. Sure, there have been multi-year El Ninos and La Ninas in the past. However, the theory that an El Nino or La Nina event could last up to 30 years is absolute baloney!

Also, during the period from the mid-70s to 2006 was characterized by incredible variations between El Ninos and La Ninas, where there were strong El Ninos in 1982-83 and 1997-98, there were also strong La Ninas in 1988-89 and 1998-2000 or 2001. See:

http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/currentinfo/QuickLook.html

Your lack of accuracy in your post with respect to the above quote seriously throws your whole argument into question.

It’s not that we can’t do better, it’s that some people, for whatever reasons, don’t want to try. There’s still great potential for efficiency improvements and the development of alternative energy sources, including solar, wave, geothermal, and even newer nuclear technologies if they’re proven and really necessary. The first thing that needs to be phased out is coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel, then transit fuels. Natural gas, at least, is a bit less carbon intensive and can be used as an interim supplement.

Goodday Mr. Pierce:
I’ve used the above appellation from the end of your article rather than the one in the heading which is missing the ‘C’. (Wouldn’t want to be acused of slander.)

I have read your piece with some interest and I have a couple of comments…pro and con.

First the con: I diagree with both Mr. Berg and yourself re Carbon sequestration. In your case I would refer you to articles by Robert Burrus of the U.S. Geological Survey and by Dr. Stuart Gilfilan from the University of Manchester. Dr. Gilfilan’s study relates to the massive amount of CO2 locked in the gas fields of the Colorado basin. Mr Burrus’ paper promotes the use of depleted gas fields as a possible storage medium for CO2. A synopsis of both articles can be found at www. sciencedaily .com along with many others dealing with CCS. This site has a host of short pieces outlining many of the activities dealing with efforts to control CO2 buildup in the atmosphere, both for and against. All are exerpted from papers by experts in their respective fields. In Mr. Berg’s case I simply dismiss his article as a being written as just another rant by someone opposed to the oil companies and anything they may do. It wouldn’t matter if they completely solved the problem or not…if the oil companies or Alberta has anything to do with it, it is wrong!

My second objection has to do with your statement that there is no global warming. I think the evidence is pretty conclusive on that point. Things are warming up. Now, how long it will last and what are the root causes is still open to debate as far as I am concerned. Your approach is El Nino/Nina currents. As good a theory as any. Mine is that the principal cause is increased solar radiation either from an increase in the sun’s activity or, as I read many, many years ago, the fact that our solar system is transiting from one arm of the galaxy to another and we have moved into a less dust laden part of space. (Amazingly, even one dust particle per cubic metre makes a significant difference.)

On the pro side: You couldn’t be more right…our dependence on hydrocarbons will persist well beyond my lifetime and that of my grandchildren. These grandiose pie-in-the-sky quick fixes will not slow down the consumption of oil one little bit, nor will they provide a long term solution to the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere. To that end, I refer you to the same source and an article by Professor Severin Borenstein from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkely. His piece deals with the salvation we can all expect from solar panels. Professor Borenstein’s study has shown that the average cost of installing, operating and maintaining a 10 kw system would cost, in the U.S., $86,000 to $91,000 with a saving of $19,000 to $51,000 over the lifetime of the system. At present, the cost of solar power value is 80% greater than the value of conventional electricity sources.

The second great Utopian myth relates to biofuels. Mr. David Pimental, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell University and Professor Tad W. patzek, professor od environmental engineering at Berkely have shown that the use of corn as a source of ethanol requires 29% energy to produce than it saves. The other great mitigator of our CO2 emissions is something called switch grass. This little beauty only consumes 45% more energy to produce than it provides.

The above is not intended to denigrate the efforts aimed at developing less harmful methods of producing useful energy. This same site provides a wealth of information on the work toward that end being done by scientists all over the world. However, this site clearly demonstrates the need to avoid quick fixes and blows holes in the single source theory of global warming as well as many of the ballyhooed solutions. I think all of these efforts are worthy of further investigation, including CCS, and throwing stones at an idea just because it doesn’t conform to someone’s biased viewpoint does nothing to further the goal of increasing pollution in the atmosphere. Correcting our mistakes will be a long, tedious and costly process and we may have swung back to a colder climate by then. We’ve had both hot and cold periods many times in the past.

Sorry this missive is so long, but a refuation of some goofy it-fits-my-preconceived-idea usually requires a lot moe words than is required of the stone thrower.
Regards
Powell Lucas

I really loves these blogs because the are so many clueless folks in cyberworld especially young people, most all of whom are brain dead, that need to get educated about chemistry. Incidently, I worked at SFU as a chem teacher and researcher in insect chemical ecology for about 30 yrs. My speciality is organic chemistry.

Attn: VJ

There are an est. 15 trillion barrels of oil equivalent in
uncovential oil. This includes heavy oil, extra heavy oil tar sands and oil shales. (Google Scotland, Estonia, and oil shale or oil rock). There are also large reserves of unconvential natural gas. Pesently. there is about 1.5 tillion barrels of convential oil that can be recovered by primary, scondary, and tertiary methods. Peak oil refers only to convential oil.

AS I mentioned, you are not going to fly jet planes on any fuel other than jet fuel. Factoid: For a long flight a Boeing 747-400ER takes off with 63,500 gal (240,000 liters) of jet fuel and burns it at rate of about 13,000 liters/hr. The fuel is about 50% of the take-off weight.

Diesel-Electic generating systems are used extensively thu out the world especially in small countries and islands, and many countries in the third world that don’t have ready access to thermal coal or hydro power. Did you ever wonder how remote mining sites such as gold and diamond mines obtain electricity? Large Diesel-electric systems are used and these run 24/7/365. Diesel-eleltric generating systems are extensively used as back power supplies epecially for hospitals, police stations. firehoues, telecommunication systems, etc.

Why don’t you try to find out the fuel capacity of an average freight trains and large cruise ships, some of which are floating cities of 5,000 passengers and crew. Go find the fuel capacity of the new Super C class ferries.

About 12% of crude oil is feedstock for the pertochemical industry (sometimes called the chemical process industries) which manufacters just about evverthing from A to Z, like synthetic fibers. Can you imagine how much land would be required for cotton and flax to meet world-wide demaned? Or how many sheep would be required for wool? Plastics are a boon because these are stong, light weight and a fraction of the energy to manufacture as compared to metals and ceramics.

Should I gone on? Do you now understand? Can you imagine a world without all the splendid and vibrant colors that are now available from synthetic dyes and pigments?

What, ugly neon colours? No thanks. Things run out, and we will have to manage with less. Why push an extremely wasteful lifestyle now which will leave your grandchildren in a degraded environment and in poverty?

What have we run out of, so far?

Energy and food prices are affecting countries around the world, including Mexico (food protests), Nepal (energy shortages), South Africa (brown-outs), China (electricity). In these days of globalized monoculture-based agri-business, food production is directly linked to fuel availability.

http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/308530

“… farmers have watched with amazement the past year’s skyrocketing in global prices for wheat (up 287 per cent), corn (up 149 per cent), coffee, peas, lentils, soybeans, rice, canola, dairy products and other cropland commodities.”

The fact that a centrally-planned economy, like China’s, is facing shortages of any commodity really proves nothing – other than the inherent and unsurprising dysfunctionality of centrally-planned economies.

So, really, I don’t see how any of that bolsters your theory.

As far as corn prices rising, it is ironic that this is one of the unintended consequences of environmental fads attaining the status of policy, in this case, the artificial mandate for biofuel production.

Wheat prices have gone up because of a shortage in wheat. Why did you avoid mentioning wheat, Rob?

And are you claiming this is a direct result of anthropogenic global warming?

The price of iron and gold have also increased lately – is that because we’re fresh out of iron and gold? And did global warming cause that?

Only in the mind of a denier does a single cherry-picked data point demolish an evident trend.

“As far as corn prices rising, it is ironic that this is one of the unintended consequences of environmental fads attaining the status of policy, in this case, the artificial mandate for biofuel production.”

Deniers typically point to corn-based ethanol as an environmental initiative. In fact, it was a major policy initiative of the Bush government to bolster US energy security. Stevie H. then followed his master.

Or perhaps a mass-market weekly is more comprehensible:

Wheat, corn, beef: prices are soaring. Is the global food supply in danger? http://www.macleans.ca/canada/national/article.jsp?content=20080227_59852_59852

Attn: Stephen Berg.

RE: ENSO

Definitions: An El Nino/La Nina episode or event refers to
the short term i.e. 1 or more years but less than 7 years.
An El Nino/La Nino condition refers a much longer interval where El Nino or La Nina events the dominate the climate in the Pacific Ocean. Did you check Klaus Wolter’s MEI chart? His chart start at 1950, but the La Nina condition actually started in 1942. Prior to that there was a El Nino condition that started in 1926 and lasted until 1941, and was the primary cause of the “Dirty Thirties”. Google “Ponder the Maunder” go to the “Conclusion and Discussion” section and locate the MEI chart that starts in 1860. Be sure you read Kirsten’s paper. After you get this done, come back and tell me what you have learned. Note that she is only a high school student and paper is actually a rough draft as compared to professional scientic standards. She has no kind words for Al “Fat Al” Gore and Jimmy “Jimmy the Enforcer” Hensen and knows a scam is under way. If she were an adult, she would be in great jeporady because there is too much money at stake.

Google “Al Gore, Ken Lay and Carbon Credits” and you find the real reasons about the gobal warming and climate change being tauted by the IPPC. As they say, “Follow the Money”. The IPPC has this political agenda: To put down the US and to attempt to the domestic polcy. The Green movement in Europe severly handicaped industry and commerce, and these guys are trying to level the playing field.

Go to http://www.weatherquestions.com and find the article “Global Warming and Nature’s Thermostat” by Roy W.
Spencer. He is a meterologist with advanced degrees from Univ. of Wisconsin. Note that meterologists approach climate and weather from a different perspective than the climatologists, who are the theoretical guys and think they really know how the climate works. As a matter fact, they don’t.

Were you actually a research scientist at SFU? For somebody with your supposed credentials you show a complete disrespect for science and scientists. All of your quotes are part of the denier publications that do not stand up to rigorous scientific assessment. There is a convenient place in all libraries for such junk science articles, the garbage can you pass on your way in and again on your way out. If you were being truly a scientist you would see this for yourself.

What are your motives for your despicable behaviour, here and on the many other blogs you infect with your shoddy nonsense?

Ian Forrester

Harold, I do not need to google search anything on ENSO as I have done fairly in-depth research on the history of ENSO during my honours B.Sc., including working on an honours thesis on the topic. I also believe you are confusing ENSO with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), as that has a much longer “cycle” length.

Your poor understanding of this basic concept renders your writings unreliable and your judgment questionable at best.

I also reject your condescending tone in your letter and remind you that you are a chemist and not a climate scientist, while I actually have some element of a climate education and have done some climate research.

Also, the tone and the contents of your post betray your ideological agenda, one of a far-right stubborn Republican bent (such as the rhetoric of Sen. Inhofe, Rep. Barton, Steve Milloy, and others).

I’m with Stephen Berg on this one. Harold, you’ve got some big non-sequiturs in your post. The original article said that the public believes CCS is already coming into use, while in fact it is still very much in a pilot project stage. That’s in fact correct. You don’t address that question at all.
What you say about energy density and liquid fuels is all very nice, but it misses the point entirely. Just because we are heavily dependent on fossil fuels today, and you see no viable alternatives, that doesn’t address the issue of whether fossil fuels contribute to climate change. If CO2 is a greenhouse gas, then our ever-growing combustion of fossil fuels will continue to enhance the greenhouse effect and alter the climate. There are dozens of reasons why that’s a dangerous path to go down.
When you enthuse about how valuable liquid fossil fuels are, you completely skip over this point.
Do you contend that CO2 is not in fact a greenhouse gas? (Waits for auto-reply saying that water vapour is the dominant GHG, and perhaps a link to Richard Lindzen’s peerless ravings.)
Well, sorry, CO2 is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. If you’re a chemist you should be able to “absorb” the insights of all the lab measurements behind the HITRANS database of spectral absorption characteristics of atmospheric gases. For a good text on the reality of the greenhouse effect, try Ray Pierrehumbert’s free online textbook draft at
http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

I like my liquid transport fuels as much as the next guy, but at least I try to assimilate all the news, good and bad, about fossil fuels.
Your polemic also glosses over the existence of biofuels (although these are fraught with nasty unintended consequences for food prices as we’re already discovering).
I can’t accept your claim that only fossil fuels are “dense” enough to provide space heating for the Canadian climate. Surely wood pellets or switchgrass pellets are dense enough, and are already coming into use in places. You also skip over geo-exchange (ground source heat pumps), triple-glazed windows and vastly improved insulation which permits “net-zero energy” buildings - already demonstrated in real construction.
Trains can run on all sorts of fuels, or on electricity.
Your scorn for wind power is misplaced. Hydro reservoirs can pair off with large wind farms to provide balancing for variations in wind output. Wind farms can incorporate energy storage in several ways: compressed air into caverns, pumped storage to send water back up into a hydro reservoir, flow batteries, and perhaps ultracapacitor banks.
You forgot to say something dismissive of solar photovoltaics and concentrating solar thermal generation as well. Oh, and tidal, wave and streamflow hydro. And efficiency.
If you are a good chemist, maybe you’d like to become part of the solution and contribute to the effort to develop storage batteries with better cycle life, charge acceptance rate, and safety characteristics. The best minds I know in the field are working hard on those fronts.

Hello Stephen!

Where did you earn your B.Sc. and in what discipline and who were some of teachers?

Climate science is not quantum mechanics. I am quite capable of learning and understanding it. For example, I have examined the temperature records of the Quatsino BC weather station and lightstation. This a remote site. GO: http://www.fogwhistle.ca/bclights for its location and a lot of really spectacular pics of BC lightstations. Some recent results are as follows.

For the weather station I compared the max and min tempertures for months of March, June, September and December for the years 1900-06 to those for the years 2000-06. There is no stat. significant difference (i.e. P was always greater than 0.05) between the means for these sample periods, e.g., Mar 1900 vs Mar 2000, Jun 1905 vs Jun 2005, and so forth.

For the lightstation, I have found that montly max temp for Sept for the years 2000-06 is 1 K lower than that for the years 1980-89 while the min temp has declined only 0.2 K. The reason for the disparity between the max and min temps is that max temp is a measure of the sea breeze temp while the min temp is a measure of the land breeze temp. Unfortuantely Enviroment Canda has only posted records for the first few months of 2007 so I don’t what trend is. For the weather station the years 1907 and 2007 are a tie for the sampling periods.

I have no political agenda. I am just pragmatic organic chemist, I’m always a skeptic, I don’t believe in anything and trust absolutely no one, except my spouse and son.

Mr Pierce, does the word “global” mean anything to you? That’s what the middle letter in AGW stands for: “Anthropogenic GLOBAL Warming”. Taking the data from a single station and concluding that thousands of climate scientists have been wrong in their conclusions after decades of research in the field is a bit presumptuous.

Fern Mackenzie

My B.Sc. (hons) was in geography focusing on climatology. My honours thesis was on the 1877-78 El Nino event and its effects on the Canadian Prairies and the Northern Plains. My professors were among the top climate scientists and geochemists on the Prairies and have fairly extensive publication records, but I will not disclose their names for their sake so you don’t go and “cyberstalk” them.

Besides, this is between you and me and does not involve them. I am capable of defending myself and able to differentiate between a teleconnection with a 4-7 year “cycle” (ENSO) and one with a 20-30 year “cycle” (PDO). My thesis dealt with ENSO quite extensively, as well, so I’m no layman when it comes to this concept.

Regarding your work on the BC stations, good on you for doing that. However, that is only an incredibly small percentage of the totality of stations on this planet. As Femack said, it is called anthropogenic GLOBAL warming (and not anthropogenic LOCAL warming) for a reason.

Attn: Ian

Google H. D. Pierce, Jr. This search will bring up the titles of most but not all of the recent research papers on the projects I have worked on at SFU.

What is my motive? I don’t want to pay any carbon taxes. I am retired and live on a fixed income and these taxes could put me in the poor house.

Grad students of the very dangerous SFU Prof. Marc Jacuard, Gordon C. and Carol T. are telling me that they are going to tax me for taking a bath, washing my clothes and dishes, and using hot soapy water for cleaning the floors. They are going to tax me for heating my house which depends on the weather over which I have no control. They are going to tax me for taking my son to soccer pracice and games and to swim practice and meets in the summer.

Revenue neutral carbon tax? This is just nuts! In the domestic economy, the individual consummer will end up paying all these taxes. One the most important sectors of the BC economy is resource extraction, peocessing and export. These companies should not be required to pay any carbon tax on these product. For example, copper, lead, and zinc of all which have many important and practical uses as well as lumber, pulp and paper. Should the hot growers be zapped with a carbon tax for the tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers exported to US?

So you are unwilling to pay for the environmental mess that you are partly responsible for and want to put a much greater burden on future generations. Do you have children or grandchildren? How do they feel about your lack of responsibility in passing on much greater costs in the future than a simple carbon tax would cost today?

You and your band of greedy self centred pseudo-scientists disgust me.

Ian Forrester

Pierce Jr. said: “the very dangerous SFU Prof. Marc Jacuard.”

Did you actually mean Dr. Mark Jaccard? Slander is slander whether you misspell the name or not.

If anyone cares to read up on Dr. Jaccard they will find he is a very well respected scientist and researcher in the area of global climate change and its social and economic implications.

Shame on you.

Ian Forrester

Well, Mr. Pierce I see you’ve got the Suzuki-ite zealots all cranked up. Not only will we throw all the non-conformist politicians in jail, but we’ll charge people with slander if they spell a name wrong. What next, charges of sedition for non-green thoughts?
It’s no wonder people like me, who feel that we should find ways to reduce our carbon, and overall polutant, footprint get turned off by this whole green at any cost mentality. Like my reaction to the cigarette Nazis, the harder I get pushed, the harder I push back.
I will respond to your original submittal shortly, but I have to check a couple of sources first. In the meantime, keep on being a non-conformist: I enjoy seeing how hysterical the green fanatics can get.
Regards
Powell B. Lucas
P.S. I hope all my spelling is correct…I wouldn’t want to be charged by the orthography police.

I doubt that anyone who knows me well would describe me as a “conformist”. There is a difference, though, between non-conformists and people who willfully mislead themselves, as by deducing from the data of a single weather station that AGW is not happening. I salute non-conformists who act from an informed position, but not those who stop asking questions when they get the answer they want.

Fern Mackenzie

My Dear Femack:
Who’s denying that the earth is warming up? Certainly not me. The evidence for warming is all around us. My comment to Mr. Piere (I spelled the gentleman’s name wrong in my first message. Hope I don’t get sued!)was simply that I applaud him for not jumping on the lets-shut-down-everything or else tax everything approach. The world is getting warmer as it has done many times in the past. It also got much colder. Human activity is, I am convinced, exacerbating the situation but ill concieved knee-jerk responses to the problem will not make it better. Nor will attacking legitimate attempts at a solution help to improve the siuation. Mr. Berg’s initial comments are an attack the idea of carbon sequestration. I suspect this attack has more to do with Mr. Berg’s location or his feelings about private corporations trying to ameliorate the problem. Sitting in front of me I have two graphs. One charts solar activities vs. global temperatures and one tracks global temperatures vs. CO2 content in the atmosphere from the time of the industrial revolution. The former provides a much better correlation by far. I also have two articles relating to to the well-touted solutions to global warming and both point out that the purported panaceas are no more a fix than is carbon sequestration. At this stage of the game all are in the early stages of development. So, as far as I am concerned, dismissing any, or all them, out of hand is not only ill considered but demonstrates a bias in favour of some preconceived notion that only one approach is the correct one. I believe they are all equally valid and therefore I refuse to jump on the latest flavour of the month bandwagon and that makes me, and anyone else who refuses to be stampeded into some half thought out solution, non conformists.
Regards
Powell Lucas

My remarks re: denying warming had to do with Mr Pierce citing the data from a single weather station and his deduction that there is no warming on that basis. The comment re: non-conformists made reference to your characterization of him. I did not mean to suggest that YOU deny that there is warming.

As for what effect humans are having by churning millions of years’ worth of CO2 into the atmosphere over the course of a couple of centuries, my suspicion is that we have blown it bigtime, and no matter what we do now, we are in for a difficult time. No opportunity should be overlooked that might prevent us making it worse than it already is. If CCS could buy us some time to get alternative energy technologies up & running, we should look seriously at that. But we should also be fully aware of the risks, limitations and shortcomings of such a plan.

I have looked at the solar graphs as well, and have come to a different conclusion. The solar impact is always there. What’s happening now is above and beyond that impact. You can’t deny that human activity has made a significant difference in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, and you can’t stop CO2 from doing what CO2 does according to the laws of chemistry and physics.

CHeers
Fern Mackenzie

Powell Lucas said: “Mr. Berg’s initial comments are an attack the idea (sic) of carbon sequestration. I suspect this attack has more to do with Mr. Berg’s location or his feelings about private corporations trying to ameliorate the problem”.

If you had actually read and understood the posts in this thread you would see that it is HPJ who is attacking CCS and not Stephen Berg. Here is a quote from HPJ in the very first comment in this thread: “Forget about CCS. It is going nowhere”. Stephen did not mention CCS in his responses to HPJ

Good grief if you people cannot even get simple things like that right what makes you think that you know or understand anything about AGW.

Your level of comprehension on simple English sentences is sadly lacking. No wonder you are confused by the more complicated articles on climate science.

Ian Forrester

If a title such as “The Enduring MYTH (My capitalization)of Carbon Storage” and a line like “…its (sic) a classic example of what software developers call vaporware” don’t constitute an attack on a legitimate approach to solving the problem then you’re right…I don’t comprehend simple English sentences. And disparaging comments about different approaches to dealing with that problem are only pronouncements offered up as a means to advance the search for a solution. Riiiight!
Powell Lucas

PL, I believe that the “myth” in the title refers to the fact that such a high percentage of Albertans believe that CCS is actually in use and is making a big difference already, not a judgement on the merits or lack thereof re: the proposed system itself.

Fern Mackenzie