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The Age of Sustainability - Issue #6 - Stop the Grift

The Age of Sustainability - Issue #6 - Stop the Grift
By Denis Pombriant • Issue #6 • View online
As I’ve said, carbon capture and sequestration is the area of climate change solutions rife with hucksters in business suits trying to get public money for solutions that don’t work. Most of them have the idea that they can capture CO2 from the air (a straightforward process) and pump it under ground where it will magically stay for ever and ever. But their hearts aren’t in it. They propose solutions that capture and store millions of tons of carbon when we, the people of earth, generate on the order of 40 gigatons of CO2 annually producing a 3 trillion ton removal problem and counting. But don’t take my word for it, here are some examples.

This story says that Exxon is looking to start a profit-making business that will capture carbon and pump it into old oil wells. Trouble is that they also need government help in the form of a carbon tax on all of us and maybe a few billion from the government too. In perpetuity. Also, when you extract oil from porous rock thousands of feet below your feet, the geology shifts making the area no longer good for storing anything. That’s what fracking does on purpose. Businesses that frack have been responsible for methane leaking into water supplies causing burning kitchen faucets, just go to Youtube and search. So sequestering carbon in old oil wells doesn’t have a lot of hope but it has very sober and well heeled advocates, that’s why I call it grift.
Exxon Mobil makes a pitch for capturing emissions and a carbon price.
The grift starts here. the CLC was founded by GOP stalwarts George Schultz (Reagan administration) and James Baker (GHWBush administration) and others. They call for a carbon tax that would be returned to consumers a month after they pay the tax. I haven’t figured out how that’s supposed to incentivize consumers to change behavior.
You have to pay a lot of attention to this. It’s a grassroots attempt to ask an innocent question about how to capture and sequester carbon. The Cliff Notes go like this: fertilize oceans with small quantities of iron, it promotes growth of microscopic green plants called phytoplankton; when the plankton die some of them sink way down to the bottom of the ocean where they accumulate and in millions of years produce petroleum. Every drop of the stuff we use today was formed in this way about 200-300 million years ago. No big industrial processes required. No leaks either.
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Denis Pombriant

Starting with root causes a full discussion of what's ailing climate and what we can and are doing to fix it. There is so much news about solutions every day that this will give hope to even the most cynical.

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