Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Carbon Dioxide News

I found a couple of articles yesterday about carbon dioxide that I though were interesting. The first is about a company that is converting CO2 into liquid fuel. The article goes into the process and the problem with similar claims and the difficult science behind developing this technology. The second is about the recent desire for a cap-and-trade program on CO2 emissions and how there might be unintended consequences if the price drops and it becomes cheaper to pollute.

It looks like our desire to maintain the status quo while trying to minimize the damage is going to lead us further astray. Without any real attempt at conservation, building a renewable energy infrastructure or distributed generation program I think it will be difficult to get away from the cheap power from coal. Cap-and-trade, while a good idea, will only facilitate the continued pollution because we have no alternatives. Carbon capture is too expensive to be viable right now and nobody really know the long-term impact of burying CO2. Experimental technology converting CO2 to other fuels or for other uses is a great idea and I hope it is feasible. I'm just nervous that it will not help us actually reduce our emissions and change our consumption culture. We need to link ourselves to the production of what we consume and the waste we generate to fully understand the impact we have. Then we can work on a comprehensive solution.

No comments: