i am actually relieved that the UNFCCC has shelved the idea of carbon capturing at least for the year. in my opinion, the studies on the implications of carbon capturing has just been too short sighted.
carbon capture is roughly this: you know all that smoke released in the air from factories etc? well, there is a way to separate the GHG gasses from the smoke and channel them somewhere else. what you get then, is the release of water vapors and clean discharge. so now the question is, now that the gasses have been separated, where do we put all this carbon? well, some people say we can park it in the oceans, ponds and lakes, or bury them in the soil underground. over time, through natural processes such as photosynthesis, carbon will be changed back to hydrocarbons or oxygen and be clean again.
so now my question is, how much carbon can you actually sweep under the earth’s rugs before someone trips over? duh, just because all that carbon – and we are talking about carbon in the millions of tonnes – is not in the atmosphere, does not mean that it vanishes. planting it in the soil or the water means it is still around. instead of poisoning the air (which it is still doing, btw), we poison the soil and water channels.
and i know we can change the chemical compounds of carbon once we have captured it. so tell me now who’s going to do it? no matter how much algae you put on the waters or bacterias you put in the soil, the human production of carbon is far more that what nature can cope with. and nature, just like us, can die out of overconsumption too. forcing photosynthesis on nature is like force feeding an already obese person. the effects are not pretty.
the whole idea is to reduce carbons. and i know people are arguing about a new treaty or an expansion of kyoto. and i am actually leaning towards having a new politically binding document which builds from kyoto. i want something stricter and more heavy duty. i think china, scolding the pants off the annex1 countries is admirable. but unlike china, i think the new treaty should be unilateral. funds should flow from the developed countries to developing countries, but developing countries must commit to large reductions too. only then, can these blocs of small and developing countries can gang up on the likes of the US and really make their point.
but that’s just me being debater-ish. i was talking about carbon capture before i digressed.
personally, i have my doubts about CDM and its projects. in my opinion, things like carbon trading and cabon capturing only give polluting countries and organisations an excuse or a free and easy ticket out of their responsibilities, so longs as they can pay for it. at the same time, asking developing countries to commit to slow growth borders on the absurd.
i say, change is an order. and not change who to pay for the same amount of pollution. i am saying toss out the old technology and bring in the new ones. i am saying, change the way we work. change the way we play. change the way we live.