Stop Pretending to Cut Carbon Emissions. Engineer a Solution.

Stop Pretending to Cut Carbon Emissions. Engineer a Solution.

From James Conca at Forbes:

Since we are failing to curb global carbon emissions at all, we are left with using our huge brains, which got us into this problem in the first place, to try to wangle our way out of it.

Whether that’s solar engineering [sending back a small fraction of sunlight] or cloud seeding to reduce incident solar radiation, or reforestation, or carbon capture and sequestration from burning fossil fuels, or ocean iron fertilization or putting huge mirrors in space, humans think we can engineer our way around any issue. The best most direct strategy, that has the least bad side-effects, is to remove carbon directly from the atmosphere and make something useful out of it – like fuel – that would further lessen the burden on the environment.

One company is already doing that.

Based in Canada, Carbon Engineering’s Direct Air Capture system directly removes CO2 from the atmosphere, purifies it, and produces a pipeline-ready compressed CO2 liquid using only energy and water. This CO2 can be combined with non-fossil fuel-generated hydrogen, to produce ultra-low carbon intensity hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and Jet Fuel-A.

“California’s Dark Ages”

“California’s Dark Ages”

From the Wall Street Journal editorial page:

Californians are learning to live like the Amish after investor-owned utility PG&E this week shut off power to two million or so residents to prevent wildfires amid heavy, dry winds.

For years the utility skimped on safety upgrades and repairs while pumping billions into green energy and electric-car subsidies to please its overlords in Sacramento.

Suddenly, Californians are learning to love fossil fuels. Stores have experienced runs on oil lamps—yes, those still exist—and emergency generators fueled by gasoline, propane or diesel.

Most batteries that store solar power can’t keep homes charged for more than a day during a blackout, and most electric-car owners won’t have enough juice to escape the power outage. Still, liberals in Sacramento want to abolish fossil fuels.

What ‘Environmental Studies’ Means These Days

What ‘Environmental Studies’ Means These Days

From a Bates College (Maine) ad for an assistant professor in environmental studies:

We seek a scholar or scholar/practitioner in cultural studies, literature, or performing/studio arts who is attentive to hierarchies of power and privilege and can offer cross-cultural and/or transnational perspectives on environmental traditions.

Fields and research approaches are open, but could include: critical race theory, ecocriticism and nature writing, ecofeminism/feminist environmentalism, energy humanities, indigenous and post-colonial/decolonial/decolonizing environmentalisms, posthumanism and animal studies, and queer ecologies. Applicants with a demonstrated record of working successfully with a diversity of students, including underrepresented and marginalized populations, are encouraged to apply.

We specifically seek applications from individuals with the ability to contribute to the continuing commitment of both the Environmental Studies Program and Bates to equity and inclusion, social and cultural diversity, and the transformative power of our differences.

HT-Campus Reform

A Moratorium on Fossil-Fuel Leasing Would Be Disastrous

A Moratorium on Fossil-Fuel Leasing Would Be Disastrous

Shawn Regan of PERC on presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s plan to issue a moratorium on fossil-fuel leasing. Writing in the National Review:

Such a policy would mean no new drilling on the 97 million federal offshore acres and 113 million onshore acres that are currently available for leasing. It would also mean no new drilling on areas that are under existing leases, which have ten-year terms and require permits for each well drilled. It could also apply to export facilities and pipelines, such as those transporting new exports of liquefied natural gas, that cross federal streams and rivers deemed “waters of the United States.”

A moratorium would effectively end drilling on public lands and waters, which in 2018 produced more than 2 million barrels of oil per day and 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, generating nearly $9 billion in federal revenue. It would also handcuff America’s private energy sector by limiting its ability to deliver its products to market. “No country in the world has ever abandoned a natural resource of this proven value,” says energy-law professor James Coleman of Southern Methodist University.

It would be a shift from the Obama administration’s program:

Warren’s pledge illustrates just how far Democrats have diverged from the energy and climate policies of the Obama administration. President Barack Obama presided over, and often championed, a rapid increase in U.S. oil and gas production, driven primarily by the rise of fracking, which has enabled the United States to become the largest oil and gas producer in the world. This has led to cleaner air and lower carbon emissions, cheaper energy, less dependence on foreign imports, a manufacturing renaissance, and massive economic benefits to American consumers. By one estimate from the Brookings Institution, fracking has improved the economic well-being of U.S. consumers by roughly $75 billion per year.

Steven Hayward on Greenland

Steven Hayward on Greenland

Steven Hayward on Greenland:

Citing the Economist, Hayward notes that yes, Greenland is losing more than 200 cubic kilometers of ice (0.007% of its total volume) a year, three times past estimates.

Wait—hold on a minute: Greenland is losing only 0.007 percent of its ice per year right now? That’s what we’re supposed to be panicking about? At this rate, it will take 7,000 years for Greenland to lose half of its ice mass. Even if the rate more than doubles, it will still take around 3,000 years. Trump better lower his bid for Greenland.

H-T Myron Ebell