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The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 03 Apr 2014, 17:28:04

U.N. report explores bioenergy's potential for pulling CO2 out of the air

Pushing the needle back on billowing carbon dioxide emissions may be necessary to avoid catastrophic warming. But for those who are squeamish about drastically engineering the climate by seeding algae blooms or spraying aerosols to form clouds, scientists are exploring the concept of negative emissions.

The physical science section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fifth assessment report, released last September, suggested that bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS) could effectively remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The assessment also notes that bioenergy that produces char could also take a big bite out of greenhouse gases.

Over the course of 100 years, the report said, BECCS could pull 125 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from the sky, while biochar energy systems could draw down 130 billion metric tons of the gas. For reference, the world churned out just less than 40 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2013, according to the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.

However, "potentials for BECCS and biochar are highly speculative," the report acknowledged. "BECCS technology has not been tested at industrial scale, but is commonly included in Integrated Assessment Models and future scenarios that aim to achieve low CO2 concentrations."


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 03 Apr 2014, 20:06:40

Five facts CBC listeners didn’t hear from Canada’s geoengineering cheerleader

Keith didn’t take the time to mention a few other details. For those who are skeptical about Keith's case for geoengineering, here are five things that Keith didn't mention, and Enright kindly didn't bring up.

1. David Keith runs a geoengineering company funded by tar sands money

In addition to being an author and a professor, David Keith heads up Carbon Engineering, a Calgary-based startup that is developing air-capture technologies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The company is funded by Bill Gates, who is also a geoengineering proponent, and by N. Murray Edwards, an Alberta billionaire who made his fortune in oil and gas. Edwards is said to be the largest individual investor in the tar sands, and is on the board of Canadian Natural Resources Limited, a major tar sands extraction company. Carbon Engineering hopes to sell the carbon dioxide it extracts to oil companies to help in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR)- a technique for squeezing more fossil fuels out of the ground which will in turn be burnt to produce more atmospheric carbon.

2. The geoengineering that Keith proposes could be disastrous for the Global South

A study of the likely effects of one of the methods Keith is promoting, spraying sulphuric acid into the atmosphere with the aim of reflecting sunlight could cause "calamitous drought" in the Sahel region of Africa. Home to 100 million people, the Sahel is Africa's poorest region. Previous droughts have been devastating. A 20-year dry period ending in 1990 claimed 250,000 lives. Other models predict possible monsoon failure in South Asia or impacts on Mexico and Brazil, depending where you spray the sulphur.

3. Keith's geoengineering proposals are deeply aligned with the financial interests of the fossil fuel industry

If oil, natural gas and coal companies can't extract the fossil fuels that they say they're going to extract, they stand to lose trillions of dollars in stock value, $2 trillion in annual subsidies, and about $55 trillion in infrastructure. David Keith's enthusiasm for geoengineering plays to the commercial interests of these companies whose share value depends on their ability to convince investors that they can continue to take the coal out of the hole and the oil out of the soil. This may be why fossil-sponsored neoconservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heartland Institute have been so gung-ho for geoengineering research and development along exactly the lines that David Keith proposes. For example there is very little difference between what Keith proposes and what the American Enterprise Institute’s Geoengineering project calls for.

4. Climate scientists just issued a new round of criticisms of geoengineering


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 15 Apr 2014, 19:28:10

Biomass with capture: silver bullet or bulldust?

With atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide already at 40 per cent above pre-industrial quantities and rising fast, we need to expand our emissions reduction options, not limit them. We need to scale up renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts, and we need to do it fast. We need to stop deforestation and scale up reforestation. We need to turn off the taps increasing carbon pollution levels, but also to pull the plug.

On Sunday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest mitigation report stressed that in many scenarios, avoiding 2 degrees by 2100 was not possible without carbon-removal technologies, particularly bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (also known as BECCS or bio-CCS). The IPCC also warned that the costs for those scenarios would be substantially higher without these tools.

Nature has the blueprint to remove carbon from the air, as plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide when they grow. The natural cycle returns that carbon dioxide to the atmosphere but BECCS and other technologies can remove it from the cycle (as explored in our recent Moving Below Zero report).

Appropriately managed, BECCS has the potential to best remove and store large quantities of our carbon over geological timescales, while providing energy supply. The challenge is to develop and deploy these capabilities as a support, not substitute, for urgent action in other renewables, energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.

The IPCC draws on international models, but no detailed national studies have been done on how much carbon removal technologies like BECCS can contribute to domestic emissions reductions, so we wanted to test this for Australia.

To this end we commissioned leading economics firm Jacobs SKM to conduct a world first national level study into how BECCS can help achieve a carbon budget for Australia that can credibly help international efforts to avoid 2 degrees warming - a goal both major parties reaffirmed their support for this week.

We chose a budget that uses the Climate Change Authority’s estimate of a fair share of international effort, around 1 per cent, but towards a global budget that has at least 75 per cent chance of avoiding 2 degrees, not 67 per cent. This 8.5 billion-tonne budget would run out by 2030 on current pollution levels.

The research found that BECCS using food wastes, sustainable plantation forest biomass and crop residues, could remove and displace up to 65 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2-e) annually by 2050 in Australia. That is about 1.5 times current emissions from all cars in the nation.

Globally, BECCS could remove up to 10 billion tonnes of pollution per year in 2050, according to the International Energy Agency.

Strong and early policy action on energy efficiency and other renewables is needed regardless of whether BECCS is available or not, SKM found. Afforestation and other emission-reduction options relating to land-use change are also critical. For example, energy efficiency and other renewable energy sources like wind and solar are required to halve emissions from electricity from around 200 MtCO2-e today to 100 MtCO2-e in 2030 across all scenarios. Renewables would be 30-40 per cent of electricity supply in 2030.

If we don’t tap into the mitigation potential of BECCS, there will be environmental and economic trade-offs that need to be made.

The research indicates that excluding BECCS – even if putting maximum effort into other emission-reduction options – reduces the chance that national climate goals can be achieved domestically. Without BECCS the national carbon budget would be exceeded by around 1.7 billion tonnes, or a 20 per cent overshoot by 2050. This increases the reliance on the use of increasingly expensive international emission offsets to achieve national goals.

The cost of emission reductions without carbon removal technologies is also significantly higher: up to $60 billion to 2050.

There’s no silver bullet in the climate challenge. While the IPCC's report is the latest in saying we can achieve the increasingly difficult goal of keeping below 2 degrees warming at a fraction of ongoing growth, there’s no free lunch.

Deploying BECCS will, like other climate solutions, need clarity on the overall carbon pollution reduction goals (5 per cent by 2020 is inadequate and irrelevant) as well as long, loud and legal decarbonisation signals. BECCS will also require the recognition of the need for carbon removal and incentives to urgently deploy demonstration technologies. International and national sustainability standards will also be crucial.

A demonstration BECCS plant has been operating in Illinois for three years capturing and storing a million tonnes of carbon pollution from the industrial processing of bio-ethanol. It is due to move to commercial scale next year. The technologies required exist but the policies and incentives don’t.

A big question remains over whether the level of bioenergy needed could be produced in a socially and ecologically sustainable manner. Proper consultation and standards will be required to ensure the protection of conservation and cultural values as well as enhancing, not hindering, poverty-alleviation efforts. These risks don’t mean we shouldn’t consider the potential of BECCS or other carbon removal technologies, they mean we need to work out how to do it properly.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 24 Apr 2014, 21:31:20

Storing Greenhouse Gases by Petrifying Them

Capturing carbon dioxide and storing it underground could help address climate change, but some experts worry that the gas will leak back out.

Research described in the journal Science points to a more secure way of storing it—as rock. The scientists showed that when carbon dioxide is pumped along with water into certain types of underground formations, it reacts with the surrounding rock and forms minerals that could sequester the carbon dioxide for hundreds or thousands of years.

Last week, a major U.N. climate report called attention to the importance of carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) for dealing with climate change, and suggested that the cost of limiting warming to two degrees Celsius would greatly increase if CCS isn’t used (see “The Cost of Limiting Climate Change Could Double Without Carbon Capture Technology”). But the report also noted that concerns about leaks could slow or block large-scale use of the technology.

In the new work, researchers from University College London and the University of Iceland added carbon dioxide to a stream of water being pumped underground at a large geothermal power plant in Iceland, as part of normal plant operations. The carbon dioxide quickly dissolves in the water, and in that state it no longer has a tendency to rise to the surface. Once underground, the carbon dioxide-laden water reacts with basalt, a type of volcanic rock. The researchers showed that, within a year, 80 percent of it had reacted with magnesium, calcium, and iron to form carbonate minerals such as limestone.

Researchers have proposed storing carbon dioxide by reacting it with basalt and other types of rock before. What’s surprising about this study is just how fast the reactions occurred, says Sigurdur Gislason, a professor at the University of Iceland. The researchers report that 80 percent of the carbon dioxide they’d injected had formed carbonates in just one year.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 25 Apr 2014, 18:37:20

2C in our Rear-View Mirror, Geoengineering Dead Ahead

Brad Plumer, a writer I sincerely hope you follow on Twitter, has a new piece up about the infamous 2C “safe” limit of global warming. This is an absolute must read piece, and I hope everyone reading this site who hasn’t read it already does so.

Brad’s article is: Two degrees: How the world failed on climate change. While I won’t comment on it in detail, partially out of a desire to push you to go read it and partially because I don’t have a lot to add, I do want to chime in on three points about the overall concept of a 2C “safe” limit:

First, the basic idea that 2C of warming over pre-industrial times (or any other specific limit measured in global average temperature) is a sufficient way to specify a guideline is naive. Just as important is the rate of change, as quick change will ripple through the environment and cause much more ecological disruption than would slow change resulting in the same absolute temperature level. We could certainly define a “safe” limit so low that accelerating from pre-industrial temps to the limit would cap the rate of change, but we’ve likely already blown by that ultra-conservative limit at our current 0.8C.

Second, even ignoring the rate-of-change argument, claiming that 2C is “safe” is making an exceedingly broad and shaky claim. As I pointed out in a post on this site in late 2010 (Some perspective on 2C for the new year), there was a kind of “proto-IPCC” UN effort involving 152 committee members from 58 countries that published their findings in the book Only One Earth in 1972 that said (page 192; emphasis added):


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 01 May 2014, 15:39:09

Graeme you need to see this, it is a speech by an engineer who has developed artificial air carbon dioxide capture technology for $30.00 to $50.00 per ton of CO2. The link should start at 1:10:30, if not fast forward to that time stamp.

http://youtu.be/XPaTAC29W2I?t=1h10m25s
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 01 May 2014, 20:43:41

T, Thanks. I watched the first few minutes of flickering video. I don't have ultra fast broad band yet (will by July) so didn't see all of it. It was a talk by Klaus Lackner who I've referred to before in this or other geoengineering threads. As I recall, his process was expensive but he may have found a way to reduce costs. Are you able to get other details?

I haven't looked very far but I found this:

Klaus Lackner works on carbon capture technology

Professor Klaus Lackner, director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at the Earth Institute, at Columbia University, is working on technology to scrub carbon dioxide from the air. “Our goal is to take a process that takes 100,000 years and compress it into 30 minutes,” says Lackner.

Direct air capture of carbon dioxide is a method that takes carbon dioxide out of ambient air, as opposed to carbon dioxide that is captured from the point of emissions, say, from the smokestack of a coal-fired power plant.

Lackner and his team are developing a device they call an air extractor, modeled after what is most abundant in nature: the leaf of a tree. There is about 0.5 liter of carbon dioxide in a cubic meter of atmosphere. When the extractor is dry, it loads itself with carbon dioxide from the air; when it's wet it releases carbon dioxide it has captured.

“We can do this at a cost of about $30 a ton of carbon dioxide”, says Lackner, “we have designed a box that can extract about a ton of carbon dioxide a day; it fits into a shipping container”. “If we had 100 million of them", Lackner adds, “we could extract more carbon dioxide out of the air then is currently put in.”
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 01 May 2014, 22:00:15

Graeme wrote:T, Thanks. I watched the first few minutes of flickering video. I don't have ultra fast broad band yet (will by July) so didn't see all of it. It was a talk by Klaus Lackner who I've referred to before in this or other geoengineering threads. As I recall, his process was expensive but he may have found a way to reduce costs. Are you able to get other details?


They have a process that will collect a halt a liter of CO2 from each cubic meter of air that flows through the collector and it is cyclical, they can discharge and capture the CO2 with a wet process and then reuse the collector plates. Unfortunately they are having a hard time coming up with funding to build a prototype and prove exact cost per ton of CO2 in real world conditions. From costs of materials he estimates costs as low as $30.00 per ton possibly starting out at $50.00 per ton and then decreasing as experience leads to cost cutting improvements. Whatever else he said went over my head other than he expects humans to demand to keep burning fossil carbon because it is cheap and he thinks his technology to retrieve the CO2 would ad about $0.40 to each gallon of liquid fuel and about $90.00 to the cost of burning a ton of coal.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 02 May 2014, 00:04:34

This is also informative but published March 2012. Not sure what is happening now.

Direct air capture of CO2 is becoming a business, for better or worse

Since 1999, when Columbia University physicist Klaus Lackner wrote the first scientific paper [PDF, download] about capturing carbon dioxide from the air, his unlikely idea has grown into a nascent industry. Four start-up companies, including his own, Kilimanjaro Energy, are working on technologies to extract CO2 from the atmosphere using chemical processes. The air-capture start-ups are funded by billionaires (Bill Gates, Edgar Bronfman Jr.) and venture capitalists (Arch Venture Partners), and they are attracting interest from private equity firms (Warburg Pincus), investment banks (Goldman Sachs), energy companies (Summit Power) and a military contractor (Boeing).

This week, a group of about 70 entrepreneurs, academics, investors and partners gathered in Calgary, Alberta, for the first-ever North American conference devoted to air capture. (Someone said it felt like history in the making. That remains to be seen.) As the industry’s pioneer, Lackner, who is affiliated with Columbia’s Earth Institute, played a prominent role, but he was in no mood to celebrate. While climate change was on the agenda, much of the program focused on the biggest emerging market for air capture technology–namely, using liquid CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.

Kilimanjaro’s CEO, Ned David, said that CO2 could do for the oil business what hydrofracking has done for natural gas, unleashing vast amounts of fossil fuels that might otherwise remain in the ground. “A money gusher,” he called it. Others talked about using air capture to make fuels at the military’s Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) and even, half in jest, to “green” the fizz in Coke and Pepsi.

This, of course, was not what Lackner had in mind way back when. “What makes air capture worth doing is its climate impacts,” he told me. “What will pay for it are these other applications.”

“The real problem I want to solve is not interested in being solved,” he lamented.

The conference was the strongest sign yet that direct air capture is becoming a business–for better or worse. For better? Because air capture technology has enormous potential to reduce CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, albeit very slowly and at considerable expense. The costs remain unknown, with estimates ranging wildly from $30 per ton of CO2 captured, which is almost surely too low, to more than $600 a ton, which is almost surely too high, although the bigger number comes from a report [PDF, download] from the respected American Physical Society. For worse? Because as air capture transitions from academia into the marketplace, the start-up companies will need to generate revenues to stay alive, even if those revenues enable more oil to be pumped out of the ground. Put another way, air-capture technology has become a solution in search of a market, while its backers wait for the world to get serious about climate threat.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 02 May 2014, 06:57:08

An article full of deep ironies, indeed.

"...in Calgary, Alberta, for the first-ever North American conference devoted to air capture..."

"...using liquid CO2 for enhanced oil recovery..."

And so even our remote dreams of possible partial solutions quickly become part of the cascading problem.

We are a doomed species that has doomed most other species along with it.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby americandream » Fri 02 May 2014, 08:10:52

It's hard to see how capitalists are able to reconcile their hunger for profit with the risk of death (at some unknown time in the future...even though the evidence will increasingly point in that direction). An entire economic socio-culture is devoted to sustaining the values that underpin this hunger, all the way down to the common man. Unless we understand this subtle point and dismantle this social-economy completely, we will talk around the climate issue right up till the end. And have no doubts...this system will reach a sufficient magnitude as to devastate this planets climate and resources in a generation despite the scale of the planetary system. We as a species now have to realise that and work out the rudimentary arithmetic. Al Bartlett has done a lot of work on this (link attached):

http://www.albartlett.org/presentations ... nergy.html
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 02 May 2014, 19:11:43

There is little point in pursuing this tech on a large scale until we stop burning fossil fuels in the first place.

Scientists develop feedback technique to manage uncertainties in solar geoengineering

In reality, there is no climate reset button. But climate models, unlike the real world, allow do-overs. Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Caltech and Lancaster University took advantage of this "what-if" proving ground by inserting a unique feedback loop into a climate model to react to theoretical climate engineering techniques. Like using a steering wheel to keep a car on course, their feedback technique reacts and adjusts to conditions resulting from designed climate engineering. And, it is much better at achieving climate objectives—whatever those might be—compared to predicting the amount of geoengineering required ahead of time. In this way, researchers can manage a large set of uncertainties inherent in understanding how these techniques may work in the real world.


The research team used two climate models in the study: one to design a geoengineering strategy, and one in which geoengineering was implemented (a real-world proxy). They implemented the design model as often as they wished, but conducted each simulation in the real-world proxy exactly once. This process parallels the situation that society might face if geoengineering is used to achieve climate goals. Through "what-if" scenarios, they turned up the sun's energy if the climate got too cold or dialed it down if the climate got too warm. Their research showed how using a deliberate feedback mechanism was effective in helping manage some of those uncertainties.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 05 May 2014, 18:35:54

Switch from cattle fields to 'carbon farms' could tackle climate change, save endangered animals cheaply

Changing cattle fields to forests is a cheap way of tackling climate change and saving species threatened with extinction, a new study has found. Researchers from leading universities carried out a survey of carbon stocks, biodiversity and economic values from one of the world's most threatened ecosystems, the western Andes of Colombia. The main use of land in communities is cattle farming, but the study found farmers could make the same or more money by allowing their land to naturally regenerate.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 09 May 2014, 14:55:24

At this point, there is nothing that is going to 'tackle' climate change, and certainly not cheaply.

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014- ... thermostat

Deciding where to set the earth’s thermostat

Clive Hamilton is an Australian academic and author... [of] Earthmasters: the dawn of the age of climate engineering. It is both a chilling and a fascinating read, an insight into...engineering the climate in response to climate change...

It is unlikely to be a democratic decision, perhaps through the UN.

It’s much more likely to be a technological system of control in the hands of one or a small number of powerful nations such as China, Russia or the United States. If one government has the power to instruct a group of scientists or engineers to turn the earth’s thermostat down a bit, down a bit more, no up a bit more, whose interests are they going to be thinking of when they adjust the temperature?

Not the interests of the Bangladeshi peasants facing rising sea levels.

Not the Indian or Pakistani rice farmers who may soon be severely affected by some shift in the monsoon, which is one of the possible impacts of sulphate aerosol spraying.

We also must remember that generals have always dreamed of controlling the weather. Here we’re going from weather, which is a local phenomenon, to the climate of the earth as a whole. So we can expect the whole process to be militarised or at a minimum have profound geo-strategic implications.

One further ethical dilemma within a terrible tangle of ethical dilemmas is the role of expert scientists, those who possess a highly specialised knowledge at the disposal of their political masters. Those masters will use it to make decisions about where to set the earth’s thermostat. So we have a situation in which the wellbeing of everyone on the planet would potentially lie in the hands of a group of technocrats based in the Arizona desert or in some nondescript facility on the outskirts of Shanghai.
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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 20 May 2014, 19:35:11

Advancing transnational governance of geoengineering research

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released its last report in a three-part series assessing the latest data and research on climate change. The new report discusses actions we can take to limit the magnitude and rate of climate change, while previous reports focused on the scientific basis for climate change, and on potential ways to reduce vulnerability to the risks presented by our rapidly changing climate.

For the first time, these IPCC reports also include significant attention to the topic of “solar radiation management” or SRM. Also known as “solar geoengineering,” SRM describes a controversial set of theoretical proposals for cooling the Earth, and thereby potentially counteracting the temperature-related impacts of climate change, by reflecting a small amount of inbound solar energy back into space.

With the impacts of rising temperatures already being felt and the IPCC drawing into sharper focus the range of impacts expected in the coming decades, SRM is attracting increasing attention as a potential cheap, fast-acting, albeit temporary response to some of the dangers of climate change.

SRM’s potential effects are only poorly understood, however. And most discussions to date on SRM research governance, as well as most research activities, have taken place in developed countries. Yet people in developing countries are often most vulnerable both to climate change, and any potential efforts to respond to it. The scientific, ethical, political, and social implications of SRM research are necessarily global. Discussions about governance of SRM research should be as well.

Recognizing these needs, in 2010 the Royal Society, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences) launched the SRM Governance Initiative (SRMGI), an international NGO-driven initiative, to explore how SRM research could be governed. SRMGI’s activities are founded on a simple idea: that early and sustained dialogue among diverse stakeholders around the world, informed by the best available science, will increase the chances of SRM research being managed responsibly, transparently, and cooperatively.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 21 May 2014, 22:13:12

Bill Vander Zalm suspects Canadian government is geo-engineering climate

Federal government documents received by former B.C. premier Bill Vander Zalm through a freedom of information request define geo-engineering as the modification of Earth systems.

“This approach is increasingly discussed in the scientific and policy communities because global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to grow while science is converging on the need to reduce such emissions immediately in order to limit global warming to 2 [degrees Celsius] above pre-industrial levels (i.e. Copenhagen Accord),” states a 2012 Environment Canada briefing paper.

The document notes that geo-engineering methods are classified into two groups: solar radiation management, and carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere.

It also indicates that government scientists are involved in the internationally-coordinated Geo-Engineering Model Intercomparison Project or GeoMIP. The modeling program seeks to improve understanding of the “efficacy and unintended consequences” of solar radiation management.

The briefing paper was prepared in advance of a top-level inter-agency meeting convened by Environment Canada to discuss matters about geo-engineering options to address climate change.

A Natural Resources Canada memorandum notes that among those scheduled to attend were Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s national security advisor Stephen Rigby, and Richard Fadden, who was at that time director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 31 May 2014, 17:25:10

Use of biochar could reduce the green house gas emissions in B.C by 22 per cent

A report published by the “Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions” entitled “Industry and Market Development of Biochar in B.C.” showed that substituting coal and natural gas with biochar could help the province reach its 33 per cent emission reduction goal by 2020.

This report published in February of 2014 is one of the few recent articles that looks into the economic limitations of producing bioenergy products that can compete with conventional fuels. For example, the lowest-cost feedstocks (about $20 per tonne) are mill residues which account for about 20 per cent of harvested round wood.

Most of this product is now being used by existing facilities close to the mills. The cogeneration plant and pellet plant are two good examples in Williams Lake.

The more expensive biomass products are primarily forestry residues from logging operations, commonly called slash piles. They are mainly burned on site at a cost to both the industry and air quality. Therefore, using cull piles to produce biochar offers an environmental positive and possibly economic returns in some locations.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Sun 01 Jun 2014, 19:13:04

Geoengineering isn't going to save the planet, says UCLA researcher

In recent years, some researchers have proposed massive technological fixes to combat global warming, attempts to "geo-engineer" the climate to counteract the build-up of greenhouse gases. A new study led by a professor at UCLA concludes there's no silver bullet to stop climate change.

Some researchers envision seeding the oceans with iron filings to grow massive blooms of carbon-eating algae. Others see scattering the atmosphere with aluminum oxide particles to reflect solar heat back into space. But UCLA geology professor Daniela Cusack says those ideas are mostly pie in the sky.

“Climate engineering is not going to provide a quick fix,” Cusack says.

She and professors from five other universities – including an ethicist and a political scientist – spent two years evaluating various geo-enginnering proposals and found most were either too expensive, too unproven or too risky.


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Re: The Geoengineering Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 02 Jun 2014, 17:14:34

Engineering professor hopes to improve carbon-capture with patented technology

Less than a year after patenting a process that could improve stripping greenhouse gasses from industrial emissions, a professor was recently granted another patent with a different solvent to accomplish the same goal. The newest method uses a form of liquid salt that could be swapped with chemicals currently used to scrub harmful emissions, such as carbon dioxide, or CO2, from industrial emissions.


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