Carbon Capture without giving us the Oxygen back would be a disaster.
It is in the nature of humans to look for the latest gismo, preferably with bells and whistles and girls dancing. Therefore the perceived “holy grail” of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is to take the flue gases from burning oil, coal and lignite, and put it down a deep hole and leave it there. So far, nobody has done this on a commercial scale successfully. If people don’t like shale gas exploration and the pressures used in “fracking”, CCS might be worse with the pressures involved and potential for catastrophic leakage. There is also a problem in that this route locks up the Oxygen and some living creatures might find that a bit difficult.
So, what answer is under our noses? It is called the green leaf. Green growth takes Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and gives us the Oxygen back. Only farmers and foresters can do this. So, support them and stop building on land that will support green leaves. The alternative, according to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is likely to be catastrophic.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 15 December ‘18
Solar is getting more efficient and lower cost. Wind turbines are, in terms of energy pay-back a better bet. But we need tidal and wave power, and other renewables, too, in a balaced mix of sources.
The cost of renewable energy has declined precipitously. Between 2009 and 2014, the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules declined by 75 percent, while the cost of wind turbines dropped by 33 percent. Furthermore, the cost of residential solar PV has been declining significantly in recent years: in 2015, it was competitive with natural gas generation in India and nearly so in China. Battery storage is also becoming less expensive, which will make distributed energy even more affordable. Between 2008 and 2014, battery costs have declined 20 percent each year. (Credit to World Resources institute)
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 6 November ’18
We know that burning aviation fuel advances global warming by producing GHG (Green House Gas), BUT, it also delivers what is called “global dimming” because the ice crystals which allow us to see jet contrails also reflect sun radiation back into space. Complexity yields uncertainty.
The global weather system is complex and how it will change with respect to the global warming that we all (except, apparently, Mr Trump) know is happening is difficult to predict in detail and fast enough. One of the problems with that is that by the time we are sure of something, it may be too late to do much about it. The evidence so far does not suggest that climate change causes hurricanes. However, it’s becoming more and more clear that a warming climate leads to more devastating hurricanes.
As far as UK farming is concerned, the implication is that winds generally will get stronger and storm winds will do more damage to crops. Wind breaks and stronger cereal straw are still likely to be part of the defence strategy. Wind turbines may be a better investment, too.
Putting “waste” into an AD plant to make “renewable ” energy can make sense, despite the energy cost of the plant. However, growing crops to feed the plant is both insane and immoral.
The energy cost of the steel, plastics used in the construction of an AD plant, plus the energy involved in construction, can sometime make environmental sense and make a small contribution to energy security, However, it is as well to remember that 1 tonne of Nitrogen fertiliser nutrient, made in a modern and efficient USA fertiliser factory, according to UN-sponsored research, typically takes 21,000 (yes, twenty one thousand!) kWh to produce and deliver. N fertiliser produced in eastern block countries may use as much as 20 tomes more power. So, using fertilisers, to grow crops, to harvest using diesel to cut and transport to an AD plant, to digest to produce methane, to burn in an engine to drive a generator to produce even less electricity is insanity based on ignorance. What is more, that land could be used to produce food and we need food security and so do 100,000,000 people in central Africa which the UN reports are on the edge of starvation death. That is immorality on a global scale sanctioned by ignorant government. in Brussels and Whitehall.
(There is a chapter on renewables in general and AD in particular in “Survival”.)
Dolly Parton, a woman of great wisdom, said “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”. Look again at the picture and the electricity pole. Our lives depend, at least to some degree, on power supply. Without it , we die. Energy and food supplies don’t just happen; there are risks and the worst risk is to do nothing. The real question is whether we can do things with professional standards.
In the 24th June issue of New Scientist, a comment column observed “In this post-truth world …….. the power of facts is in retreat from public discourse”.
This is a potentially shattering observation in terms of not just the drowning of common sense but, quite likely, of the survival of the human race. Now, more than ever, science has to sell itself against attack by vested interests using social media. Let us look as some examples.
“Agricultural spay chemicals are dangerous and should never be used.” It is true that they are dangerous and so is starvation. Could we have a balanced, fact-based discussion?
“Shale gas exploration is dangerous and will damage the environment and threaten our children’s health.” It is certainly true that shale gas exploration has risks and when we run out of energy to heat people’s homes, people will die. Could we have a balanced, fact-based discussion?
Why is it that we as a society vote into power politicians who distort the truth? Why is it that we do not educate the next generation to NOT allow social media to distort the truth about events of every day? Science is, or should be, fact-based common sense. So, all scientists, do not distort the truth; tell it how it is.
A normal pond? Not quire – note the white colouration of the water, This is spent drilling fluid from drilling through chalk to bring cables off the North Sea wind farms.
The attached below link is to the Dutch drilling company, VSH website. The pictures (scroll down a bit) are of the drilling operation bringing cables off the North Sea wind farms to the site at Holt in North Norfolk. This brings renewable energy to the UK consumers. What Land Research does is to take the cuttings and spent fluids from such operations and re-use them, usually on agricultural land to replace the 2.5 million tonnes of top soil which the UK loses by wind and rain erosion, down into the sea, every year. Renewable energy with zero waste from such construction operations.
Dom Arnold’s JCB Fastrack and 360 excavator on its way to assist in laying cables from the North Sea wind farms under farmland in Norfolk to the National Grid to supply the economicm life of the UK.
Farming is not just food production, it is the back-bone of the economic life of the UK. It is not just the food chain which is integrated with so much of UK industry, it is the land itself.
The land is what the whole lot stands on, even the City of London and all its financial activity. It is the land across which we travel and which carries the life blood of economic activity. It is the land across which the water, electricity and gas are channelled to carry energy to the people and their businesses.