Paths To Knowledge (dot Science)

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Carbon Capture and Storage can Kill

Posted by pwl on February 23, 2009

“Carbon capture and storage, however, is not as green as it seems — underground burial of carbon dioxide presents immense new risks to society. If the carbon dioxide is stored in deep ocean masses, as sometimes proposed, environmentalists fear that ocean acidification could devastate marine eco-systems. If the carbon dioxide is stored in geologic formations near fossil fuel plants, as is more commonly proposed, the harmful effects would directly affect human life: Research at Columbia University by one of the world’s leading geohazard scientists ranks carbon storage as one of the five top coming causes of man-induced earthquakes, a prediction all the more scary because the earthquakes would tend to occur near the fossil fuel plants, and population centres. In another potential danger, some fret about the consequences of an accidental release of carbon dioxide from underground storage facilities. In Cameroon in 1986, 1,800 people died after an unexplained release of carbon dioxide from beneath Lake Nyos, which has deep stores of carbon dioxide beneath its bottom.

“Ironically, carbon capture technology would not only worsen air quality and more rapidly scar the tar sands landscape, it may also harm the global environment if it is successful in its goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide stimulates plant growth and leads to a greening of the planet. In fact, satellite measurements now show the planet to be the greenest in decades. Little wonder that, in surveys of scientists, the great majority view carbon dioxide as a beneficial gas that’s indispensable to plant growth, and insignificant to any deleterious global warming.”- Lawrence Solomon, National Post

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