?! Is not enough to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency, or capture pollutants at the emission source (and attempt to sequester or store it, as with CCS)?
— No, that can only reduce future emissions by a fraction. In addition, it would be technically unfeasible and economically untenable to capture and sequester or store more than a small fraction of all future emissions of greenhouse gases. And then we would still do nothing about the greenhouse gases that have already been emitted, gradually accumulating the atmospheric content up to the acute level that we see already today, causing Pacific & Carribean isle and harbor inundations all around the world on strong winds (Google e.g: “Sandy 2012”, “Katrina 2005”, “hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria of September 2017”).
?! Won’t a future sustainable energy production be enough to deflect climate threats?
Historical and (vanishingly minuscule) forecast renewable energy production 2000 – 2040
— Certainly, we need ecologically sustainable energy production in the longer term, but that deprives us not from our liability of promptly commencing cleaning up the outlet stacked for two hundred years. The impact from climate warming is like an oil tanker; reverse the engines and still it flows mile after mile before coming to a halt. Equivalently – eliminate the net inflow of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, thereby halting the level rise, and still years and years will go by before the effects will even be measurable (not least due to a galloping deforestation). We must then reverse the process in order actually to lower the level and bring the melting to a complete halt, thus enabling a certain rebuild of ice-masses around the globe in order to lower sea levels risen. We need luck in order to catch this before the methane (CH4), today frozen just beneath the surface layers of immense tundra areas and in hypothermic pockets of sea bottoms, begins to leak out. Methane is a 23 times more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2). We also need luck in order to catch this before Antarctica ice bodies start sliding into the sea by means of the melting shelf-ices, or before the Greenland ice increases its melt-off rate substantially. These events all individually constitute a watershed for our future – once an event has occurred, there is no way back, and disaster strikes. However much we should like to, we cannot push the ice back from the sea up on Antarctica’s or Greenland’s land areas, or put the methane gas back where it stems from. Thus, there is no time to lose.
?! Specifically what is it you at AES mean should be done?
— We want to arouse public opinion and thereby induce a demand and a market for trading with recycled (regenerated) greenhouse gases. We know how it should be done, taking advantage of today’s infrastructure, modern Nobel Prize (2013 for Chemistry) awarded knowledge and technology (an inspiration for our CatELab-APS/e3 virtual simulation software), as well as the Sun and the Earth’s own resources in the form of water and sunlight – plus greenhouse gases, naturally. We want to transform greenhouse-gases from enemies into friends! We want to create a never-ceasing cycle of energy from fossil hydrocarbon-based fuels into greenhouse gases back into the hydrocarbon-based fuels and so on for virtually all days to come. To achieve this, We offer the global research community and all energy production market parties Our CatELab-APS/e3 solutions – conceptual blueprints with tools for multi-physics simulation and chemical-biological energy research. Unless bureaucracy, corruption, or terrorism are allowed to throw a spanner into the works, it should be possible to start a market-driven, profitable and truly large-scale production of directly usable energy out of recycled greenhouse gases sooner than a single new nuclear power plant could be conceived and built. But it deserves to be repeated that we have no time to lose in terms of further long-term research or unnecessary politicians’ intervention – full steam ahead is now all that counts, departing from the best practices presently at our disposal, integrated with the knowledge and products that We and You through Arphosis.com can offer.
?! Large wind and solar power parks, wave, tidal and geothermal energy, biogas & biodiesel, and net trade in household electricity (widespread in for example Germany) are examples of sustainable energy. Furthermore, nuclear power plants “Gen IV” are to be built here and there. It this not enough?
— Quite rightly, much is going on – but the expansion rate is so slow that we don’t have time to wait for all these in order to avert the disaster of sea levels rising and oceans turning into soda water. And because the sun everywhere on earth except around the equator is weak that part of the year when it is most needed, and because the wind sometimes doesn’t blow, such types of produced energy must be accumulated (e.g. giant battery packs, super-capacitors, pump elevated backwater etc) in order for it to be taken out and consumed in line with the customers’ needs, sometimes during lengthy periods of time. Such accumulators do not exist today and are still far from the drawing board – a few hours consumption needs is all we today, at great expense, are able to accumulate. Bio energy production is today overly uneconomical and fossil energy-hungry, but interesting on a long term. Geothermal energy is so sporadically locally occurring that this perhaps better is suited for welfare, tourism, crop production or local properties’ and installations’ heating.
?! The LNG/ natural gas export from e.g. Norway and Russia (via the gas net through e.g. Ukraine, Poland, Germany, and in the Baltic Sea) increases continuously even to Sweden. Is this not a sustainable energy source?
— No, natural gas is popular among those who market it, i.e. producers, retailers and politicians. The reason is that the former ones earn big money and that the politicians can point to a step in the direction of their decided environmental goals. Since coal emits 60% more greenhouse gases than natural gas with the same energy content, emissions of greenhouse gases are lowered by escaping from the equivalent quantity of coal. This is good for short term placed or political goals, but nothing for long-term planning environmental entrepreneurs to draw their attention to.
?! Are e.g. EU’s climate targets or the Paris (formerly Kyoto – … – Copenhagen) agreement adequate?
— No, already today sea levels around the globe are rising by 4 millimeters a year, but due to change in ocean currents they’re rising up to 3 times faster in some regions. For example, along the US east coast they now rise by 12 millimetres per year. Since the pre-industrial era, ocean levels have risen by approx 25 cm (again, in some regions 75 cm). And the pace is accelerating faster and faster. Furthermore, the clock is ticking away towards the unpleasant fact that gigantic chunks of Antarctica inland ice, several kilometers thick, is about to get a safe conduct towards the sea — the shelf-ices surrounding the land mass in fact constitute the only barrier, and these lead a languishing life… The ice-chunks sliding out may entail tsunamis not ten, but a hundred metres high, propagating in all directions without too much weakening even with long distances. So, all the available facts slate those altogether far too low political climate targets’ far too long-term itineraries and timelines. Some say that the EU-politicians’ targets of 20% CO2 reduction by 2020 and 50% by 2050 ought to have been 50% by 2020 and 100% by 2050. Unfortunately, we say, not even this would be sufficient. The world is forecast to produce and consume 50% more energy in year 2050 than now, which means that EU’s goal of 50% based on the year 2005 level has to account for 100% of the surplus between year 2005 and now PLUS 100% of the forecast increase between now and year 2050. A DOWNRIGHT IMPOSSIBLE task — unless atmospheric CO2 and CH4 extraction techniques be employed!
?! Some people, not least politicians, believe that ETS (EU’s Emissions Trading System) is a future love song.
— Proud politician initiated market constructions such as the EU’s ETS foremost stand out as embarrassing and tragic manifestations of ignorance demonstrated by the postulates produced, and rest fundamentally on passive approaches to actively doing something. Sales of emission rights – would they be an effective way of raising money for the benefit of serious and effective environmental initiatives? Or just an efficient way for those involved of filling their own pockets? And haven’t companies in industrialized countries far too often acquired heaps of emission rights from low emitting companies in developing countries only for enabling themselves to continue with their own big emissions and buying themselves freedom from environmental responsibilities? The truth is that the current climate situation does not permit the trading of emissions rights at all. We must leave the passive concept in terms of emission limits and now instead jump-start the proactive concept implying regulation of the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. That concentration is already too high and must be lowered from today’s levels, which are already melting off ice with a rippling sound, and keeps rising as you read this. Levels continue to rise due our energy production based on fossil fuels. In addition, due to the rampant deforestation and an increasing number of forest fires around Our entire planet — even if emission rights trading plainly utopian would result in a completely halted emission of gases, the concentration would therefore keep rising just the same.
?! Who would grant authorization for active measures regulating the volumes of greenhouse gases in a positive direction?
— To start with: second by second, day by day, year by year, a negatively spiraling control that nobody has authorised or needed to authorise in any single case, presently owns the global stage. In many countries you can unpreventedly knock up a new coal plant a week, like the Chinese are doing these days. And does anyone ask of You an authorization to buy a new car or drive Your car even though doing so actively regulates the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – upwards! What we know now is that the level immediately must be forced downwards. In the coming years and for generations to come, we will of course need to establish and agree on which level optimally to equalize the concentration of greenhouse gases. There and only then the licensing of some kind would grow into the picture. But let us hope that all world citizens, companies and, if necessary even politicians, would be able to agree on a consensus resting on pragmatism, flexibility, fairness, and inevitable compromises. The important thing is that everyone must experience earning more than losing on doing this or that. Not least for democracy reasons, it will therefore also become more and more necessary to educate the young in environmental subjects as early as possible, in order to give them a fair chance to form their own opinion resting on profound knowledge, thereby provoking positive attitudes to altruistic and proactive environmental priorities and conception among rising generations. Something that too many of us adults prove to be in lack of.
?! Electric cars then, are they not a solution?
Historical and projected increases in global motor vehicle population, 1950–2030
— In the US, all (road, sea, railroad, aviation) transportation account for 26% of today’s emissions. Globally, it’s 14%. Electricity production for 30% (US) and 25% (world), and industry for 21% in both. Agriculture, forestry and other commercial land use account for substantially lower emissions in the US than globally. Heavy goods vehicles and mobile working machines etc require so much power and energy consumption that electricity is not an applicable option there. Neither can sea vessels nor commercial airliners or feightliners be electrically propelled today. Electric vehicles and vessels are excellent as soon as their battery power charging energy is produced on an ecologically sustainable basis, but only then. Incidentally, We believe much in the planned nuclear power “GenIV” which is much more “housebroken” than previous generations of nuclear power, and fueled by old nuclear waste, leaving relatively harmless waste as remains. The terminal storage needs and all the problems around this could be minimized, and perhaps even be eliminated in the long run.
?! Could protective embankments along the coasts help?
— Absolutely, if we have the resources and time to build enormously strong, massive ramparts 70 meters high and 800 000 kilometers (500 000 miles) long, then let’s just get started … 🙂 Astoundingly enough, we hear some complacent politicians in all seriousness discuss embankments as a need and a solution to “adapt” to the rising sea levels, without a word on what to do when these eventually become inadequate. “Attack the symptoms, not what’s causing them” seems to be their obsession, just like a quack doctor knowing little about medicine. Apparently, no extensive formation activities are pursued in their quarters – which some called “Buffoon Temples”. If all goes to hell, that will probably rather appear as a compliment (which it probably would also be perceived by one or another of these frivolous, ignorant and punch-drunk politicians).
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