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Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

Posted December 30, 2011 7:14 AM

The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) has begun injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) under the ground near Decatur, IL, becoming the first project in the U.S. to sequester a million tons of the greenhouse gas. Is carbon sequestration the answer to our emissions problem? What happens if the organization that originally stored the carbon can no longer monitor it? Are there other long term effects that aren't being considered?

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Power-User

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#1

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/30/2011 9:55 AM

It won't solve a problem that doesn't exist. Its a non-problem created by AL Gore and enviromentalists to make themselves rich.

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Commentator

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 5:28 AM

It is a pitty the system only let's me rate "good" comments...

let me start by the weak argument: do you think it a coincidence that once more we finish the hottest year in history since records exist?

and let me continue with the real one: CO2 does not significantly obstruct the wavelengths of the sunlight from entering the atmosphere. When the sunlight hits earth a large part of it is absorbed by the earth, which then reemits essentially as a black body. CO2 does obstruct the transmission of IR radiation in the range of 14micron, a wavelength which is significant in the thermal radiation of the earth. The increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere therefore increases this insulating effect.

so the simple question you have to answer: if you have a constant energy input but you decrease the energy output, what will happen to the system?

It is just physics. And even more, there is in the meanwhile so much evidence that corroborates what the laws of physics predict, so how is it possible that you still deny this?

Global warming has been transformed from a purely scientific thing into politics by the differrent lobbies. I remember that a while back there was one hardcore group still denying global warming. The group was standing pretty much by itself. That group was financed by the probably most ruthless oil company.

Eliminate the politics, this is an engineering forum and we base our thinking on logic and experience!

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 6:32 AM

"let me start by the weak argument: do you think it a coincidence that once more we finish the hottest year in history since records exist?"

Either give me a bigger barrel or smaller fish to shoot at. 2011 just squeaked in to the top 10, as a tie for 10th, for globally hottest year in recorded history or at least since 1850.

Here are the first two that popped up in my internet search for "Global warming hottest years on record".

http://www.skepticalscience.com/2011-Global-Climate-Status_WMO.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1335798/Global-warming-halted-Thats-happened-warmest-year-record.html

and wikipidia just for the sake of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrumental_temperature_record

Maybe locally you had your hottest year on record but then as all the global warming believers keep telling me when I say it has been cooling off where I live over the last number of years, "your local long term weather variances are not climate change and do not represent the world climate as a whole."

Like I said, bigger barrel or smaller fish, your choice!

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 6:52 AM

I had my information from the Spanish news referencing to global temperature. They do refere to the WMO data but apparently when they put it out to the mass they took the liberty to "normalize" for the la nina effect. That would make it the hottest year.

the WMO report is an excellent link! It shows clearly which way the tendency is going and in the end backs what I stated earlier pretty well.

Humanity has a couple if really big challenges ahead, so definitely a bigger barrel :-)

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 7:38 AM

"Humanity has a couple if really big challenges ahead, so definitely a bigger barrel :-)"

Rationally what challenges would that be?

Add as much as 10 degrees F( 5 C) to the temperature of every single day of the year and tell me what extreme challenge will that pose for you? For me not one darn thing but far more better and warmer days!

Where I live the annual temperature variation from lowest to highest at my own house can be from -35F to +105 F and I do not have one bit of trouble living in it. -35 F is a far worse pain in the ass to deal with than 100+F but its certainly survivable and if given the choice of having one month out of the year where the average daily temp was 100+ F or 0 F and below I would take the +100 month without question!

Regarding the rest of the world only those to clueless or just plain stupid to adapt will have issues. For the rest of us who live in and know how to survive in more harsh natural climate regions few of us will even notice. If anything many of us will likely even benefit!

Bring the heat! I know for a fact heating my home takes vastly more effort energy and expense per year than air conditioning does!

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 8:50 AM

That is your argument, really?

trust me, if it would just mean my daily temperature would be a bit hotter I would look forward to climate change too.

if the antarctic ice melts, you generate tremendous changes in the globes equilibrium. That should result in a massive increase in seismic activity. ( Not that funny is it)

even more certain, the rise of the sea level will force massive human migration (you like the economic inigrants? There will be more of them, maybe you or your kids will be one)

the permafrost holding together our major mountains will dew causing massive break offs (surely spectacular to watch... Unless your home is in the valley)

if the earth gets hotter more water will evaporate and more precipitations will result . So more floods (Not funny either is it)

more temperature means more energy which will also result in more wind and more storms (not so funny either)

temperature change will affect different regions differenty, ocean currents will change regional climates and can do so very quickly. oh yeah, you can just move to another place but stuff like agriculture doesn't move quite as easily from one place of the earth to another (it's not so funny any more when under your palm tree you run out of food, is it?)

it wouldn't be the first time the world goes through a massive climate change, and you are right, earth adapts and pulls through... Just that that may mean 90% of all species disappeared in one climate change... And this time we would like to be in the 10% and still maintain our quality of live with what is left.

so apart from the climate challenge for. How about the social challenge? We still live in a world in which a small minority lives at the expense of the majority. You and me we are likely so high up the chain that we can't complain too much. But do you really think society will still look like that 100 years from now?

and back to the actual subject of this blog: we can argue about how long our carbon based reserves will last. What we can not argue is that if we keep using them they will run out someday and before then we better have an alternative if we want to keep a modern life.

fossil fuel is not equitably distributed in the world and has already caused numerous armed conflicts. Just look back at the last 10 years in Irak. As resources get more scares, states won't like each other more. (War can be fun in a video game. In reality, not so much!)

PS: you may want to check the credibility of David Rose...

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#15
In reply to #11

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 11:32 AM

"if the antarctic ice melts, you generate tremendous changes in the globes equilibrium. That should result in a massive increase in seismic activity. ( Not that funny is it)" Actually I understand basic geology and that statement is dam funny!

I have yet to read anything about massive seismic activities occurring due to the planet warming. So far the planet has been through numerous ice ages which moved miles thick ice sheets over much of the surface while at the same time the world ocean levels at times by over 50 meters from where they are now plus past evidence shows previous mass melting have also raised the oceans many tens of meters higher than they are now. So where is the supporting evidence to suggest that these events caused devastating earthquakes to occur anywhere?

"even more certain, the rise of the sea level will force massive human migration (you like the economic immigrants? There will be more of them, maybe you or your kids will be one)"

As far as human migration goes so what? If you don't like your living conditions you have every right to move to where you can find more favorable ones. As far as them moving here to North Dakota no problem we have jobs for everyone and lots of land but the down side is we already have harsh crappy weather which is why so few live here now. We also don't have 'permafrost mountains' or earthquakes here either. But we do have vicious high winds, 50+ MPH average on some days with gusts into the level one hurricane category being normal occurrences here with bad storms as well not to mention we have flooding too but the majority of us at lest understand that if you live by water you will eventually get wet and we know how to deal with it.

"the permafrost holding together our major mountains will dew causing massive break offs (surely spectacular to watch... Unless your home is in the valley)"

Our worlds mountains are made mostly of solid rock not frozen dirt by the way and geologically they are moving as is which means they shift shake and move bits and pieces all the time and have been for 100's of millions of years or more.

WTF in what crap science source have you been reading this stuff in anyway?

Got any creditable links to back up any of those scenarios you mentioned?

I would continue on with more but the POS post editor on this site crapped out again so I cant highlight or cut and paste or spell check properly.

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#30
In reply to #7

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

01/03/2012 3:44 PM

I gave you a GA just before posting and want to add a few items to your argument. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_wave which itemizes the Cold Waves we've experienced in the years Great Britain-Ireland 2010-2011, Europe 2009-2010, Alaska 2008, USA-Canada-Argentina 2007, Eastern Europe 2005-2006, Southern Europe 2004-2005. I don't see all the Henny-Pennys quoting those facts.

Nor do I see a reference to the predictions of another "little ice age" such as occurred from about the 1550's to the 1850's due the decrease in sun spot activity which we are currently seeing evidence of. Such a repeat will do a lot to eliminate Global Warming and thawing of the permafrost and probably rescue the polar bears from extinction as some are claiming. I think that might not be too popular with the seal population though.

I wonder who will be responsible for cleaning the snow off the solar panels? I wonder what temperatures the windmills in Europe can tolerate without the gear lubes gumming up and slowing them down?

Maybe we just need to drop that new "bunker buster" down a super volcano to unleash a "nuclear winter' to cool things down. That should make Al and the boys happy. Oh wait. The ash would probably screw up all their solar panels with the possible production of fluorides and abrasive dust and the dust could screw up the windmills if that abrasive dust got into the bearings and gears. And I suppose that by then they will have shut down a lot of nuclear plants and coal fired plants and reduced oil production to the point that maybe the world population will decrease with a lot of people freezing to death. Maybe for the prevention of Global Warming that's the price that the world's population will just have to pay.

When I was in grade school back in the 50's the world population was 2 1/2 Billion. We are now approaching 7 Billion. So in 55 or so years we've almost tripled the world population and a large portion is grossly overweight so the addition to CO2 and the warming effect is probably triple just by their existence.

We may not need the bunker buster, Mother Nature just may take matters into her own hands and let the Iceland volcano, a Hawaiian volcano, the New Zealand volcano and maybe let the Yellowstone super-volcano all let go at the same time and damn , no more global warming and population reduction without a shot being fired. That is until people start trying to find food and fuel.

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#13
In reply to #5

Will Rating a Member's Post Off Topic Solve the Hot AirProblem?

12/31/2011 10:39 AM

It is a pity the system only let's me rate "good" comments...

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#18
In reply to #5

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 4:51 PM

Tompa-

It seems that you, along with the rest of the world, chose to ignore any data that predates the expansion of modern industry.

If you look at the following graphs, you will see that the projected temperature rise is NOT unprecedented in the history of the earth's climate, that the earth's atmosphere has contained significantly MORE carbon dioxide than projected increases in previous eons, and that if human activity has had ANY impact on the climate in the past 10,000 years, it most likely has been a moderating impact. We still have a ways to go to reach the "average" of the last 10,000 years.

Both of these were downloaded from an EPA (US Government web site), and are available elsewhere on the Internet.

The "crisis" only shows up if you limit your studies to recent history.

Another illustration, showing "recent" history:

Yes, the climate is changing. The climate has ALWAYS been in a state of flux.

Did you know that you could build 2 or more nuclear power plants for the same amount they payed for the Illinois sequestration experiment? Well, maybe not 2 nuclear plants in the US, but two in France, for sure...

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#2

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/30/2011 1:29 PM

Well after looking at the charts in this link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas , I see that we may have to crawl up Canada's ass on this issue! They rank higher than we do on both national and per capita levels!

As far as sequestering a million tons of CO2 goes nature apparently does that all by itself in about [(365.25/100,000,000,000) 1,000,000 = .0036525%] of a year, Roughly 32 hours, in normal global biomass life cycle actions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomass_(ecology)

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 4:35 AM

Just that nature doesn't keep up when we emit 30billion tons a year!

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#3

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 1:50 AM

Creating an unmonitored high-pressure subterranean gas reservoir extends an open invitation to future problems. It recalls another "whoops!" in 1980, when an oil-drilling misstep in Louisiana drained the entire contents of Lake Peigneur into the Diamond Crystal Salt Company mine.

Ten minutes of video tell that sorry tale...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHol4ICeDoo

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#6

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 6:02 AM

Our general problem is that we all have the NIMBY somewhere within us. Unfortunately, all energy sources we have present inconveniences or risks.

Carbon sequestration comes with the risk of a leak sometime in the future. It would be interesting if someone could share an actual risk analysis with us. Can a leak be large enough to create a death trap and if so what area would be affected? From my lack of knowledge about this particular subject it seems to me that natural gas has been in the ground for millions of years without much of an incident. Is storing CO2 in those same gas pockets more dangerous?

be that as it may, I think it will be at least two generations before we can supplant fossil fuel in large scale by more sustainable technologies. That gives us only few alternatives:

- accepting the risks of nuclear energy on a much larger scale than currently

- accepting the risks of global warming

- accepting insecurity in our power supply / reducing per capita consumption

I therefore think that if technical and economical viability (levalized to all risks) can be shown and that if the leakage risk can be mitigated it has to be the road to go for fossil power plants.

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#32
In reply to #6

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

06/13/2012 11:22 AM

There may be another way if this can be done on a practical scale.

http://web.mit.edu/press/2012/hybrid-copper-gold-nanoparticles-convert.html

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#9

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 7:10 AM

Not sure if it will solve anything.

A bit of wheel reinvention in the US. They started doing/dabbling with this in Oz a few years back and have recently publicised some "successes".

Hear about it here

Regardless of whether it is effective or even necessary it should make for some great engineering work opportunities in the near paranoid future.

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#14
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Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 10:52 AM

Interesting, but basically they just state that it works and that they don't have filtrations. I hope that after such a short time they don't have filtrations, after all this should be a permanent storage.

what It doesn't adresse though is the risk analysis not for a slow filtration but for an actual leak. I think this is really the point they have to convince me of.

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#12

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 9:48 AM

No. Sequestration will not work at utility scale, and it will be a lurking danger to future generations from fugitive plumes. Does anyone, after the BP blowout and the fumbling that followed, have faith in the people who will be doing this? Also, consider the impact on the fresh water supply from the displacement of all the highly saline brine that will have to be extracted from the formation to make way for the supercritical CO2. Where do you put the brine?

Ranting about AGW does not answer the question, which is: will sequestration work? Prominent petroleum engineering professors say that geologic sequestration of CO2 is "a profoundly non-feasible option for the management of CO2 emissions." http://twodoctors.org/manual/economides.pdf : A very emphatic NO from experts in petroleum engineering must weigh heavy in the scales. So how about that vaunted respect for science now, sequestration boosters?

Sequestration is worse than just a money pit where most of the cleantech money in the stimulus package has disappeared. It threatens the water supply so the oil companies can get the taxpayers to pay for their enhanced oil recovery operations by dressing it up as saving the planet. It is time to punt this fundamentally stupid and seriously dangerous idea.

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#16

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 12:09 PM

You will be running a suction system powered by coal plant and it is almost like a perpetual motion.

Carbon capture systems just try to capitalize on global warming fears.

The best solution is to stop the very burning of any matter -let it be coal fuel, gas, nuclear, fire wood or bio mass for that matter.

There is a happy new year message seen at CLEAN TECHIES BLOG on 30/12/2011 - Titled " 2012 International year of Sustainable Energy for all"

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#17

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 12:36 PM

Gee.....Eviromentalists make a claim.....then the same people post false, and falsified data to back of their claims which they link as proof of their claims.....

the fact is the global temp as been decreasing the last ten years not increasing...

If you want "proof" that Aliens are manipulating our politicians....you can Google it up....but just because you can. Doesn't mean the information is valid OR accurate.

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#25
In reply to #17

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

01/02/2012 6:21 PM

How can you possibly refute the clam that Aliens are manipulating our politicians?

Have you seen some of their decisions lately?

If that is not proof of extraterrestrial interferance I don't know what is.

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

01/02/2012 6:50 PM

Illegal aliens from illiterate third world countries maybe.

Washington DC rated as the lowest IQ per capita of the whole united states at 91.2! http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2010/05/state-iq-estimates-2009.html

Borderline Intellectually functioning is 85.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borderline_intellectual_functioning

Anyone else feel a bit ashamed to admit that its clear that we are letting the village idiots run the country?

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#27
In reply to #25

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

01/02/2012 6:52 PM

Oh I didn't say they weren't....because some of them make you wonder what planet they are from. All the way to the top.

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#19

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 4:59 PM

How many nuclear power plants can you build for the same price this experiment in Illinois has cost?

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#20

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 8:07 PM

In response to tompas PM that was sent to me, not so badly written BTW, I was once a believer as well but as I tried to defend 'the obvious truth' it continually required more reading and expansion of my knowledge on the working theories and math behind of how the complex systems appear to work.

Unfortunately I kept running into problems with the theoretical end results that are continually being postulated by the belief side being so blatantly out of proportion, skewed, heavily filtered, and/or so just made up that I could no longer swallow the info I was trying to defend which is why I became a skeptic.

Basically I cant scream the world is ending because a few degree temp change over a century is going to magically cause world wide apocalyptic earthquakes, mountains to melt, oceans to rise hundreds of feet higher than physically possible, super storms will wipe out everything every where all at once, and so no and so forth because thats what the prescribed sources on my list of people I should listen too says. I just know better than to be that gullible in my belief system. If my info has to come from a filtered list of specific sources and those sources only its probably not factual unbiased or the least bit accurate.

Its like your 2011 was the hottest year on record claim. Obviously by the ruling of the impartial weather record keepers it only came in as a tie for 10th. However the believers apparently are arguing that since a strong La Nina effect pulled down a large portion of the world temperature reading that the factually reached statistical temperature number that tied 2011 for 10th place is not valid and it should have been in first place because if that strong La Nina effect had not occurred 2011 would have been the hottest year on record. Sorry but 'If had I just used different numbers than that I did in the lottery I would have won' arguments does not change the actual outcome make you the winner instead.

'What if something else had not happened or had happened' reasoning is not what makes science outcomes facts. Only what did occur and how it did occur does.

If you have to ignore data or add data to the equations as a whole to get the end results to match what you want not what they are its not real unbiased science which is what I kept coming across time after time when trying to defend my beliefs that global warming was really truly caused by humans alone. Sorry but its not. I do agree that we play a very very small percentage role but unfortunately in good science every equation based on a physical measurement no mater how accurate and repeatable has a margin of error factor behind it and what we humans do has by mathematical proof and scientific estimations continually fallen in into the margin of error aggregate at the bottom of the equative pile so to speak.

Simply put if we represent .5% of a system with a +-5% natural variance we simply do not count! Mathematically we are there but we are well below the error threshold level.

If you are wondering how this relates to the topic of this thread its simple. How much time effort money and energy does human sequestering one million tons of CO2 relate to in terms of far more important and beneficial actions that we could have done with that invested outlay done over how much time in comparison to what nature will do by itself for free without our intervention in just 32 hours out of one single year?

As far as human migration goes well if you are too stupid clueless helpless gullible full of yourself or controlled by others you get what you deserve for letting yourself get put into that position.

I for one come from a long family line of resourceful intelligent hard working self sufficient people who understood that we got where we are by what we did not by expecting others to do it for us. We also know full well storms and crappy weather and natural disasters come and go and we at least have enough brains to prepare for what may come instead of whining to others that they have to change their ways in order to change nature so that we don't have to deal with any inconveniences ourselves.

Sorry for the rant but some days its just gotta happen.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

12/31/2011 8:12 PM

Bravo.....and well said....You got a GA from me.

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#22

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

01/01/2012 2:06 AM

millions of tons of gases will be released as the Permafrost melts and allows things frozen to decay. in some areas in Alaska they are covering the ground with plastic sheeting to capture gases then using it to run generators or heat homes. so pumping co2 in the ground in the lower 48 is not going to do very much in my mind.

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#23

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

01/01/2012 1:38 PM

While I support any effort to help the environment to "manage itself" better, the proposed sequestration may only work better if the overall expenditure of the process is lower than all the resources required for the same process. Furthermore, this process should be sustainable in the long run, unlike the brilliant innovation of nuclear energy where this innovation "failed" to find safe means of disposing spent fuel rods as we witnessed recently with the Fukushima debacle

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#24
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Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

01/01/2012 4:01 PM

Huh? The "fukushima debacle" came about from sloppy engineering and poor management decisions of not following advice related to safety concerns with the diesel powered backup generator systems and related emergency systems physical layout.

Putting the the primary and critical emergency power systems in the lower levels of the complex while being next to an ocean in a location well known for both large seismic and oceanic wave related events where they could be flooded was the source of the problem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster

The spent fuel rods had little to do with what caused the chain reaction of failure that lead to the melt down.

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#28
In reply to #24

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

01/02/2012 6:54 PM

Chernobyl was very similar. Human error due to some people not listening to other people who knew better.

I do believe that nuclear power is the stop gap we need to cover our power needs till a more sustainable power sours can be found, I hope to see good things from the thorium reactors tests soon.

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#29

Re: Will Carbon Sequestration Solve Greenhouse Gas Problem?

01/02/2012 7:05 PM

It was really funny that NASA spend Millions on a rocket and satilitte then it blew up at launch. It would have mapped all the Green House Gasses that were being released all around the world.

Did anyone really think the Corporate world was going to allow that mapping to happen ?

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Commentator

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: seattle
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#31

Global warming and CO2.

01/07/2012 3:32 AM

There is good evidence for climate change.

There is crummy evidence for the "greenhouse" effect.

I want more oxygen in the atmosphere so we have to burn less fuel or grow more trees and algae.

Sequestration is not the solution to lowering emissions. And I care a lot more about emissions than I do about the greenhouse effect.

The energy and financial interests that "depend" on carbon-based fuels need to change their minds. We need to "help" them do this by acting to burn less carbon-based fuels (conservation, electric cars, solar, wind, water, hydrogen).

We will have to face climate change anyway. I would rather do it with a strong economy. And that means honest and ethical businesses and individuals. There is no "tech" that's going to come along and save us, unless it's a technology to make people more honest and ethical.

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