Carbon Capture: An Expensive Solution to a Climate non-problem

Written by Dr. Martin Hertzberg

Dr Martin Hertzberg, a co-founder of Principia Scientific International (PSI), pens a damning letter of complaint to the New York Times about the multi-billion dollar folly of carbon dioxide capture and storage.

In ‘Challenges Await Plan to Reduce Emissions‘ (September 20, 2013) authors Matthew L Wald and Michael D Shear addressed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) legislative proposal on carbon emission limits on new power plants and the multi-billion dollar costs.carbon capture machine

But nowhere in their 1054-word piece did the authors indicate that any such levy (which will be passed directly onto hard-pressed consumers) is based on discredited ‘greenhouse gas’ science. As such it may be entirely pointless.

Dr. Hertzberg (diehard Democratic and noted climate analyst) protests as follows:

       The above article summarizes the Industry objections to the EPA’s proposal to limit CO2 emissions from power plants. They are that the technology is not sufficiently developed (not ready for prime time) or that it would be too costly. However the most cogent reasons for rejecting draconian measure of CO2 control are that it will have only a trivial effect of atmospheric CO2, and no effect whatever on the climate.

While the presence of 0.04 % of CO2 in our atmosphere is essential for life in the biosphere, the notion that such a minor constituent of the atmosphere can control the enormous forces and motions in the atmosphere, is absurd. There is not one iota of reliable evidence that it does.

Furthermore, human emission of CO2 is but a trivial fraction of all natural sources and sinks of CO2. The most recent research by Norwegian scientists shows that the recent modest increase in atmospheric CO2 is coming from the Southern Equatorial Ocean, and that it has little to do with human emission.  Human emission, mainly from mid-latitudes, dissolves rapidly into the Earth’s oceans and re-circulates within them.

The oceans contains 50 times more dissolved CO2 than is contained in the atmosphere. The current small measured increase in CO2 is coming from the oceans: the same place CO2 changes came from during the 400,000 years shown in the Vostok ice-core data. That data show four glacial coolings each followed by an interglacial warming with atmospheric CO2 concentrations near their highest during the warmings and near their lowest during the coolings.

In all cases, however, the temperature changes precede the CO2 changes by about 500 – 1,000 years. Each glacial cooling and interglacial warming cycle had a period of about 100,000 years, which corresponds to the periodic changes in the Earth’s elliptical orbit about the sun. Those increases and decreases in atmospheric CO2 occurred long before any significant human emission of CO2. And furthermore, the fact that they were preceded by the temperature changes means that the temperature changes were causing the CO2 changes and not the reverse.

As oceans warm, they emit CO2, and as they cool they absorb it. Bubbles of CO2 are emitted from cold soda as it is poured into a warm glass, and soda is produced by dissolving CO2 into cold water.

So the real question to be asked is why on Earth would you spend billions of dollars to control the human emission of CO2 when the Oceans already do it – and for free!

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Comments (3)

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    We already have carbon capture technology. They’re called plants and have been proven effective since the Jurassic era.

    These people really need to go back to school.

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    Pierre Latour


    Well done Dr. Hertzberg.

    The solubility of CO2 in water decreases with temperature, as every Champagne and beer drinker knows. Keep them on ice! Which explains why atmospheric CO2 follows temperature with an 800 year lag.

    What is reprehensible is how AGW and GHGT promoters ignore this basic fact of chemistry, reported by skeptics many times. They only listen to the climatologists they finance and call the rest of us unflattering names. They are biased against chemistry and facts. They use coercion.

    Every competent environmentalist knows CO2 is green plant food and would oppose any attempt to deprive Earth’s flora of its basic sustenance.

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