The Conversation: Why is CCS stuck in second gear?

Eric Worrall writes: Carbon Capture and Storage, the most terrifying technology in the green arsenal of deadly stupidity, has once again reared its ugliness on The Conversation.


According to Howard J. Herzog, Senior Research Engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology;

“Pumping CO2 underground can help fight climate change. Why is it stuck in second gear?

To deploy CCS on the scale required is a monumental task. We need to store billions of tons of CO2 annually. However, this is the level of effort needed to address climate change. Similar efforts will be needed with other climate mitigation technologies, such as renewables, nuclear and efficiency. There is no silver bullet; we need them all.

As of now, however, CCS is used very little, nowhere near the scale required to make a meaningful dent in emissions. Why? The reasons have less to do with technology maturity and more to do with government policies and the commercial incentives they create.”

Herzog makes no mention of potential risks of concentrating large quantities of CO2. Why do I think CCS is so terrifying? The reason I am frightened of CCS is, the world has already experienced what happens if a large quantity of CO2 is abruptly released.

In Africa, in 1986, an abrupt release of an estimated 100,000 – 300,000 tons of CO2 killed 2,500 people up to 25km (15.5  miles) from the source of the release.

Concentrating large quantities CO2 in one place is dangerous. A similar release to the Lake Nyos disaster, near a major city, however unlikely, however elaborate the safety precautions, could potentially kill millions of people.  The CCS concept involves the concentration of billions of tons of CO2 per annum in thousands of locations near major industrial centres. Can anyone imagine nobody will ever make just one mistake, with an operation on that scale? Just one release of a minute fraction of this concentrated CO2 could be as devastating, in terms of loss of life, as the detonation of a small nuclear bomb.

I suggest there is a very good reason CCS is “stuck in the slow lane”. The reason, in my opinion, is that it is total lunacy.

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George Tetley
March 13, 2015 3:09 am

Not having a paycheck from MIT so my thoughts would not be worth a “dime,” but would it not be more beneficial to our planet to plant more trees ? ( a normal 25 year cycle would get your money back )

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  George Tetley
March 13, 2015 3:54 am

I love the idea of storing CO2 as wood. I particularly like Douglas fir. Straight grain, super strong, long sections. If push came to shove, you could always burn it, even 200 years into the future.
George, great idea. Stockpile the wood in the empty salt mines or abandoned solar power yards. Billions of tons of wood would store very safely and make really nice furniture!

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 4:09 am

Unfortunately, wood is not a CCS methodology – it is only a CCC (Carbon Capture Capacitor). Like any capacitor, wood only holds the carbon dioxide for a short while, before releasing it back into the environment (via rotting or burning). So wood does nothing for reducing carbon dioxide, over the long term.
Indeed, wood is now a major atmospheric carbon pollutant. Drax (a 4 gw power plant in the UK) has been turned into a wood-burning stove. So they have just signed a deal to cut down every single tree in America, to feed this wood-burning behemoth.
Say good-bye to your trees, folks.
Drax power plant:
Or is this the real Drax?

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 4:16 am

Paul: And if you stored the wood over a long enough period our great x 10^100 grand-children could make use of it as coal! [grin]

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 4:16 am

“great idea. Stockpile the wood in the empty salt mines or abandoned solar power yards.”
Why waste it, turn it into lumber and build a big (well insulated) homes in the country for your family visit.
I wonder what other side effects might pop up? It would be ironic if all of the pressure underground, forced more gas and oil into the local wells (or into aquifers!!)
Yikes, 10 seconds on Google and: “Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery”
“As the United States grapples with the twin challenges of reducing dependence on foreign energy sources and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, the topic of carbon dioxide (CO2) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has received increased attention. In order to help inform the discussion, the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory has published this “primer” on the topic. Hopefully, this brief introduction to the physics of CO2 EOR, the fundamental engineering aspects of its application, and the economic basis on which it is implemented, will help all parties understand the role it can play in helping us meet both of the challenges mentioned above.”
Are we being played? Taxpayer funded CSS to help extract evil oil?

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 4:29 am

ralfellis, sure wood can be a CCS. I see examples of wood that has been storing carbon for over a hundred years everyday. All I have to do is look at just about every part of my house. And I know of ones where the wood has been storing carbon for many hundreds of years.
With minimal effort or cost, stored wood can hold most of its carbon for many many generations. And if it is ever needed (for construction, heating or whatever) it will be easily recovered.
Even just leaving it as trees, with the proper species selection, can store the carbon for hundreds of years. Although since young trees bind up carbon at a faster rate, using trees for CCS would be best with fast growing trees that are then harvested for storage while new trees are planted.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 5:15 am

The best carbon sequestration I know of, apart from furniture, is to chip the wood and use it to cover flowerbeds. It stops weeds, and has the added benefit that it drives ecoloons even more crazy than ever!

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 5:30 am

re: Jer0me March 13, 2015 at 5:15 am
Only if you live where there are no subterranean termites.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 5:34 am

Are we being played? Taxpayer funded CSS to help extract evil oil?

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 5:43 am

Nicely put together, simple, short, and incorporates numerous inconvenient facts and references.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 7:40 am

There is already Billions of tons of CO2 that is sequestered in the Billions of tons of wood that has been sequestered in the infrastructure, factories, buildings, homes, furniture, etc. ….. during the past 200+ years.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 11:13 am

Wouldn’t recommend burning fir.Try planting birch or beech or hornbeam instead.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 12:00 pm

Would our greening biosphere be part of the sequestration? Has it helped to reduce the co2 airborne fraction observed?

Bob Boder
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 12:26 pm

The best carbon sequestration I know of would be to send everyone in the governments of the world on a one way trip to the sun.

Joseph Murphy
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 12:30 pm

ralfellis says: March 13, 2015 at 4:09 am
A tree may be fairly temporary but a forrest can last long time.
Anyways, I vote for cedar. An old, large cedar is a beautiful tree and make great shingles.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 12:34 pm

Balsa. Fast growing and useful. Especially in my model airplanes.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 13, 2015 4:24 pm

The worlds croplands would have a major boost if we grow lots of biomass and turned it into charcoal AKA “biochar”. This would store co2 lots longer then wood with clear long term bonuses to agriculture. This is worth doing irregardless of the legitimacy of co2 as a major climate driver. I live in the high desert where things are marginal for growing from a few angles and this one variable has a huge impact.

Reply to  George Tetley
March 13, 2015 4:04 am

But why would anyone subscribe to a system based on a fear that is only suppored by a theory not yet validated by empirical data?????

Reply to  johnmarshall
March 13, 2015 4:11 am

Good question.
My best answer is that we live in an often surprising and improbable world.

Reply to  johnmarshall
March 13, 2015 10:55 am

Indeed, Alx, indeed. We deserve it though, the entire lot.

Reply to  johnmarshall
March 13, 2015 3:02 pm

Thanks. My suggestion: –
I will buy in – if there is money into my pocket – MIMP.
Subsidies in the UK guarantee much MIMP for investors/insiders.
Elsewhere, there are other fiddles that might guarantee profits for punters.

Andrew Hamilton
Reply to  johnmarshall
March 13, 2015 3:38 pm

Because global warming proponents are nuts.

Reply to  George Tetley
March 13, 2015 4:17 am

And if we buried it for 100,000+ years, we could then dig it up and use it later !

March 13, 2015 3:11 am

CCS is from the same people fighting the storage of LPG in abandoned salt mines in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The hypocrisy never ends..

Reply to  maudbid
March 13, 2015 6:13 am

There are so many loopy ideas and claims of future catastrophes coming from so many angles that one group (“We never said X, they said X. Stop misrepresenting what we’re saying, evil people!”) can always distance themselves from the lunacy of any of the others while progressing towards the same overall goal, funding from the taxpayer’s pocket saving the plant.
It’s like a combination of whack-a-mole and a find-the-pea word game run by rent-seeking Henny Penny.

Reply to  PiperPaul
March 13, 2015 10:23 am

“saving the plant.”
Which one, there’s lots of them around?

Mike Bromley the Kurd
March 13, 2015 3:13 am

Plus, it will require fracking on a grand scale to make room for the material…..Oh, the exploding heads.

March 13, 2015 3:19 am

Wouldn’t Iron Fertilisation be easier, quicker, cheaper & less potentially dangerous? I guess we aren’t allowed to mention geo-engineering though.
Sorry to Wikipedia you all, but it says: ‘Current estimates of the amount of iron required to restore all the lost plankton and sequester 3 gigatons/year of CO2 range widely, from approximately 2 hundred thousand tons/year to over 4 million tons/year. The latter scenario involves 16 supertanker loads of iron and a projected cost of approximately €20 billion ($27 billion).’
Research seems to be slow to none. Greens again.

Reply to  soarergtl
March 13, 2015 4:06 am

No wild cat idea is worth a dam whem natural processes dictate that the methods are not needed.

Reply to  johnmarshall
March 14, 2015 1:10 am

From my point of view there is nothing so stupid as to bury gigatonnes of oxygen for centuries, permanently removing that oxygen from the atmosphere, stupid on steroids, Of course not to mention the gigatonnes of carbohydrates that plants would no longer make with that CO2 that we use to feed the 6 billion or so people on this planet and feeds all the other animal lifeforms in one way or another. Keeping CO2 away from the plants that turn it into Oxygen and food seems like a criminal act to me, literally a crime against humanity.
For those who haven’t yet taken my point, there are 6 billion people on the planet that we are only able to feed because CO2 has fortuitously risen to 400PPM if we were to return to preindustrial CO2 levels of 270PPM, food production productivity would probably fall 50% precipitating probably the greatest famine ever experienced. Most badly affected would be the poor. So to me the oh-so-moral save the world warmists want to kill about 3 billion poor, mostly black people. Yup moral superiority alright, or is that moral stupidity.

Reply to  soarergtl
March 13, 2015 6:11 am

What is scary about all of this is, we are at the end of the present Interglacial and the chances that we might fall swiftly into another Ice Age is a very grave danger and these lunatics want to make the planet COLDER.
Just so they don’t have to turn on air conditioners in Arizona and Southern California!
We are definitely on the knife’s edge and the warm cycles grow weaker. The sun controls our temperatures overall and if the sun ceases having many sun spots during the solar cycles, we get much colder.

Ian W
Reply to  emsnews
March 13, 2015 10:43 am

The CO2 level that they ‘want to return to’ of the Little Ice Age was not very much higher than the level at which c3 plants start to die out. This would initiate the food shortages that Malthus, Holdren and Ehrlich were scaring people with.

Billy Liar
Reply to  emsnews
March 13, 2015 1:26 pm

This would initiate the food shortages that Malthus, Holdren and Ehrlich were scaring people withwould like.
There fixed it for you.

Reply to  emsnews
March 13, 2015 11:32 pm

” the chances that we might fall swiftly into another Ice Age is a very grave danger”.
I agree 100%.
This is the true disaster scenario.
Pretty hard to raise a crop on an ice sheet.
In fact, one good cold snap in the middle of the growing season in any the worlds grain belts would almost surely starve hundreds of millions.
Just check out the stats on how much food is on hand at any given time on a worldwide basis.
The last “Year Without a Summer” occurred during a time when far fewer people were so entirely dependent on others for their food.
Imagine what will transpire if and when it is realized there is not enough food on the earth to sustain current populations. What will people do? What will governments do?
I suppose the real question is, what will they NOT do, in such a circumstance?
Riots, hoarding, wars, mass migrations on an unprecedented scale…
You are very correct sir…we are on the knifes edge.
Unlike the warmistas, I hope the disaster I can imagine never does come to pass.
But it sure looks like the sun is going into an inactive phase, and that the current interglacial is very long in the tooth.

March 13, 2015 3:19 am

Limestone, chalk, shale, coal, oil, gas – these are natural CCS.
Human CCS is indeed dangerous lunacy. It comes from the western mindset derived from Norse mythology in which humans have contempt for gods and believe their destiny is to overthrow the gods in Jotunheim. Both the belief in CAGW and the idea that humans can achieve CCS in a god-like manner derive from this Norse derived psychotic delusion of grandeur.

Reply to  Phlogiston
March 13, 2015 4:44 am

Just a copy of the Greek mythology…which gave us the great word hubris. And for more fun, read Plato’s Symposion, with Thucydides’ story of how humans invaded Heaven, and what that resultet in…
We don’t do that kind of thing in Norway any more, of course. We just eat our assorted funghi and go berserk. And as a diversion, we pump co2 into the bottom of the sea in order to get more of that thick black juice, it is “not good for drinking at all” (last words of Thorolf), but the crazy foreigners seem to like it.

Reply to  ConTrari
March 13, 2015 5:49 am

Not sure which diversion you’re remarking on, but the carbon (dioxide) storage trial at the Sleipner field in the Norwegian North Sea doesn’t even use the CO2 to enhance oil recovery, the CO2 is pumped into a saline acquifer in the overburden (about half way down from the seabed to where the oil is) so instead of helping get any ‘black juice’ it’s just making a big underground pool of salty soda water for my children’s children’s children. It’s also not the full-monty CCS since the carbon dioxide is ‘only’ being separated from produced natural gas and isn’t having to be captured downstream of a combustion process (to capture CO2 from flue gases, the experts* admit will add apporximately 15-20% to the energy demand of what ever process is saddled with CCS).
The only reason they do it is as a tax dodge; because since Australia found it’s brains and ditched the carbon (dioxide) tax, Norway reclaims it’s dubious honour of imposing the highest hot-air tax.
There is also a trial Carbon (dioxide) capture facility at Mongstad near Bergen, but that isn’t even in second gear, on account of the outrageous cost, but also because the amine used to scavenge the carbon dioxide is carcinogenic which adds extra risk to what is after-all a political rock-show.
No doubt Stavanger Aftenblad and the twats at Belony have whittered on about this at length over the last decade?
*what is an ‘expert’? An ‘ex’ is a has been, a ‘spurt’ is a drip under pressure.

Reply to  ConTrari
March 13, 2015 1:05 pm

I didn’t mean to be down on Norway – it’s one of my favourite countries. But ancient mythologies are reflected in modern mind sets. You’re probably right about Greek mythology having similar hubris – and also at least as influential.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  Phlogiston
March 13, 2015 7:36 pm

Better CCS idea: oyster farming!

March 13, 2015 3:20 am

The application of common sense is forbidden – sacrilige.
The solution is to tell people that carbon dioxide is valuable. Then it will be stolen!

Reply to  toorightmate
March 13, 2015 5:20 am

Like the guy who leaves a fridge outside his house for a week with a sign ‘free fridge’. He then changes it to a sign saying ‘fridge $50’, and it’s gone in less than an hour!

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Jer0me
March 13, 2015 5:32 am

Yes, perceived value is often more important than actual value.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Jer0me
March 13, 2015 7:56 am

I asked a friend of mine, who lived in Manhattan, NYC, if he had trouble getting rid of his garbage during a Garbage Truck driver’s strike and he said ….. “NO, … I just wrap it up in a neat package and lay it on the seat of my car with the passenger window down …. and when I exit the Deli with my morning cup of coffee my garbage is gone”.

bob boder
Reply to  toorightmate
March 13, 2015 5:46 am

Absolutely brilliant, in one sentance you have come up with the grand unifiled solution to almost any problem.

Reply to  toorightmate
March 13, 2015 6:30 am

CO2’s already valuable!I recall my years working for the “world’s largest manufacturer of carbon dioxide” decades ago. It was so profitable that the company would get purchased by bigger outfits as a cash cow.

March 13, 2015 3:23 am

Sadly, it may take a disaster on the scale of lake Nyos for people to finally see the greens for the dangerous idiots that they are.

Reply to  jim karlock
March 13, 2015 4:09 am

Thanks to the Green blob, 3.5 Billion people are living in abject poverty, suffering malnutrition and dying untimely because of restricted access to modern technology and a lack of cheap energy. Isn’t this enough for people to see the Greens for the dangerous idiots they are?

Reply to  Kevin Lohse
March 13, 2015 7:00 am

Kevin Lohse March 13, 2015 at 4:09 am says: “[Can’t people] see the Greens for the dangerous idiots they are?”
Are they dangerous idiots? Or are they dangerous eugenicists?
Like His Royal Virus, Prince Phillip —

Reply to  Kevin Lohse
March 13, 2015 7:02 am

Have you seen ‘Hotel Rwanda’ (realeased in 2004)?
There is a scene where Colonel Oliver (played by Nick Nolte) explains in blunt and politically incorrect terms to Paul Rusesabagina (played by Don Cheadle) why the west isn’t going to intervene to stop an imminent Hutu assault.
Oliver’s observations explain why 3.5 billion people living in abject poverty, suffering malnutrition and dying isn’t enough for ‘people’ to see the greens for the dangerous idiots they are. And also explains why the green blob don’t care.
Maybe when the parasites in the UN are dependant on developing countries to pay the expenses for the annual hot air fest instead of relying on the sale of season tickets to ride the guilt train in developed countries for their tax free slush fund, then there might be more than just two faced sympathy statements to help those 3.5 billion people get reliable, affordable energy.

old construction worker
Reply to  Kevin Lohse
March 15, 2015 6:37 am

There’s more to it than “access to modern technology and a lack of cheap energy.” You have to look at who is running the so called “government” in a lot of those countries.

Reply to  jim karlock
March 13, 2015 7:02 am

It would be nice to think that new evidence would suddenly cause the Green’s to smack their heads and admit error, but that isn’t going to happen. Any evidence can be explained in multiple ways.
If there were a lake Nyos type disaster, we can be absolutely certain that the Green’s would find a way to attack some “evil corporation” for taking insufficient safety precautions. The villain would be the profit motive, not Green stupidity.

Reply to  jim karlock
March 13, 2015 9:02 am

I am afraid Eric has brought up this Lake Nyos canard before. Sorry, Eric, but I respectfully disagree with your conclusions about Lake Nyos and its applicability to CCS . Lake Nyos was volcanic CO2 that had nothing to do with CCS. Any sequestration facility has multiple layers of risk analysis, modeling, and geophysics before the first ounce of CO2 is put in there. LN was hidden and no precautions could be taken. If you put any trust in the ability of engineers and technology to mitigate risks, then you may see my point. Think of natural gas as an analogy.

Reply to  oeman50
March 13, 2015 9:25 am

Sorry oeman50, while I do for the most part trust engineers and technology to mitigate risks, sh1t does happen. Do Chernobyl and Bhopal ring a bell? Since there is no proof CO2 does anything to affect the climate, then why go to the expense and risk to sequester it?

Reply to  oeman50
March 13, 2015 12:11 pm

I don’t think there was a suggestion that the CO2 had been put into the lake by humans wanting to remove it from the air.
I took the point to be that CO2 in very high concentration is dangerous.
I believe Lake Nyos could happen again and nobody’s too sure what to do about it. That’s surprising for a species that can control the weather (but only the weather averaged over at least 30 years).

Robert Austin
Reply to  oeman50
March 13, 2015 12:22 pm

The Lake Nos release is not a canard. It shows that a massive release of CO2 can kill. Simple as that. And a massive release of CO2 from a CCS facility would kill also if people were in the vicinity. So you are really claiming that Lake Nyos and CCS are different because engineering works and technology are never flawed and the management of CCS facilities will be immune to human error. Nevertheless, even if CCS technology was “bulletproof”, it would still be an idiotic idea. And not just your ordinary garden-variety idiotic but monumentally idiotic.

Reply to  oeman50
March 13, 2015 1:05 pm

Most Greens do not have any idea how much CO2 this really is… in order to sequester all of the CO2 the US produces every year you will be sequestering close to 100 million train cars of LIQUID CO2 every year. Oeman50, If you think this can be done 100% safely, then surely you should welcome having it sequestered in your neighborhood. Right now the Greens are vociferously complaining about the relatively puny amounts of liquids being pumped into the ground for frackking. Of course, the Greens dont care that multi 1000s of birds get fried or chopped by commercial solar installations and windmills, but if even one gets coated in oil… they want to throw someone in jail, so logic is something they seriously lack.

John in Oz
Reply to  oeman50
March 13, 2015 4:54 pm

We should add Fukushima to the ‘engineered’ solutions that failed due to Mother nature being the b1tch she is.
The anti-nuclear power crowd use this as an example for NOT using nuclear for a cheaper and less CO2 intensive power source yet, conversely, think pumping billions of tons PER YEAR of CO2 into the ground is ok and that Mum will not come in to smack them around the ears again because it is an ‘engineered’ solution.

Reply to  oeman50
March 14, 2015 8:53 am

Do I mean that an accident involving CO2 is impossible? Of course not. My point is we accept risk on a daily basis without even thinking about it. Referring to my analogy, a “massive release” of natural gas will asphyxiate just like CO2 even without the harm of an explosion. And building Fukashima was a calculated risk, which, BTW, did not actually kill anyone when the accident occurred. (OK, massive damage stipulated.) I am just trying to say the risk by itself should not disqualify CCS if we judge it like we do other, more familiar but just as risky, technologies.
Now, are the benefits we get from CCS worth whatever risks we assume? That is a separate discussion.

Peter Miller
March 13, 2015 3:26 am

As any half way decent geologist will tell you, pumping something out of the ground is several orders of magnitude easier than pumping something into it, unless you are pumping into a void like an old coal mine.
If you are stupid enough to believe fracking causes earthquakes, then wait until you try pumping large amounts of CO2 underground. Because you are going to need to use such incredibly high pressures to open up spaces between individual sedimentary grains or, if you are incredibly stupid, along geological contacts, then you are going to create stresses which can only be relieved by rocks fracturing, thereby creating both leaks and major tremors.
A recent case in point is shown here in Spain:

Reply to  Peter Miller
March 13, 2015 4:32 am

Many geologic formations have naturally high porosity and permeability and can readily take up huge quantities of injected fluids. That is the primary method for disposing of water co-produced with gas & oil. If you have a water well, you are taking advantage of a near-surface example (i.e., aquifer).
That being said, CCS is the kind of idea dreamed up by those who spend other people’s money (OPM).

Reply to  opluso
March 13, 2015 6:32 am

OPM’s like a drug, no?

March 13, 2015 3:30 am

The CCS concept involves the concentration of billions of tons of CO2 per annum in thousands of locations near major industrial centres. Can anyone imagine nobody will ever make just one mistake, with an operation on that scale? Just one release of a minute fraction of this concentrated CO2 could be as devastating, in terms of loss of life, as the detonation of a small nuclear bomb.

It is perhaps a Malthusian-inspired idea for population control:

Reply to  Johanus
March 13, 2015 6:32 pm

Indeed. I’d imagine the potential for mass death on a global scale is considered a benefit by many Greenies, not a hazard.

March 13, 2015 3:39 am

Eric, what is wrong with your brain?
Nothing published at the (one sided) “Conversation” is of any value.
The big bad engineer says “carbon capture and storage is an economic dead end”. That is that. There is no come back. Warmuloinian bitches are incapable of life cycle analysis. Their word is worthless.
Face reality – no person on this sorry planet who claims adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmosphere’s radiative ability to cool the surface can possibly be better at radiative physics than I am.
Yes, I may be an arrogant foul mouthed bastard. That is still no barrier to me being right. No barrier at all….. 😉
Eric, this is the age of the Internet. It is no longer enough that you scrambled to the”right side”. This is no longer about”sides”. You have to be right personally. Remember, the Internet record is permanent. Think….
“Warming, but less than we thought”
Or –
Warming due to radiative gas increases is a physical impossibility.”
Wrong or right. Black or white. There is no middle ground. Time to choose…

March 13, 2015 3:40 am

Just assuming a huge amount of CO2 was stored in a depleted oil or gas reservoir.
What happens when the oil/gas is naturally replenished from chemical reactions within the earth and this combines with the stored CO2.
Way above my pay grade.

March 13, 2015 3:40 am

Better to pump the CO2 into a manufacturing plant and produce pure hydrocarbons. Greens should love it since it’s “renewalbe” and is ” recyclable” and would actually produce something other than their usual misery, death and habitat/animal destruction.

Reply to  cedarhill
March 13, 2015 8:34 am

you mean to turn it into instant mashed potato ?

Robert Westfall
Reply to  cedarhill
March 13, 2015 8:50 am

Where are you going to find the energy? It takes large amounts of concentrated heat to make entropy run backwards.

Reply to  Robert Westfall
March 13, 2015 2:57 pm

Got billions of years of fule if folks spend time working on thorium reactors instead of the bird-chop-o-matics littering the world.
The boys and girls at Los Alamos have written detail papers about using even uranium to produce synfuels. The issue is simply cost. It’s cheaper to generate power with methane at the moment. Regardless, it’s lots cheaper to use nuclear than anything the Greens dream up.

Reply to  cedarhill
March 13, 2015 11:34 am

Converting CO2 into hydrocarbons would require incredible amounts mor energy.
More energy than you would get back by burning those hydrocarbons!!
That’s an immutable that cannot be overcome no matter how hard we might try.

Reply to  Laura Hendrix Kemp
March 13, 2015 3:16 pm

A shame the Germans in WWII didn’t know the immutable regarding synfuels. Since “Google” and “internet search” may also be immutable, you might try these:
under it’s a really, really old idea)
and, for you race car fans:
and, under MIT for Green CO2 capture into synfuels
and, well, there’s thousands of science articles on same. If gasoline sells for over $4/ gallon, synfuels is viable even it it’s an immutable that cannot be overcome no matter how hard. Oh, even the Daily Kos has articles on saving the planet by recycling CO2 using nuclear. Happy immutable hunting!
On, and btw, nuclear is, for sure, cheaper than any Green power conceived outside of their perpetual motion power systems. Even the windmills Audi is supposedly planning using to convert CO2 to hydros.

Tsk Tsk
Reply to  Laura Hendrix Kemp
March 13, 2015 6:42 pm

Why would you waste the energy you get from fission to make more hydrocarbons from CO2 except as a mobile fuel supply? You’re better off just using the electricity and heat directly than fighting entropy. And extracting oil or even converting natural gas or coal into oil is far more cost effective than using nuclear to reverse the combustion reaction.

March 13, 2015 3:50 am

Ten years ago, when I swallowed all this CO2-causes-global-warming crap I experimented with a mineral called serpentine, pulverised, in a pressure vessel. Figured that an engineering solution to the impending disaster was the way forward. If I hadn’t failed I’d probably have joined the ranks of grant-whores whose integrity comes a poor second to their income.

March 13, 2015 3:53 am

CCS is not stuck in second gear, it is stuck in “dead on arrival”. It is doa because it is even less practical than large scale wind or tidal energy, is actually dangerous, and is immensely expensive. Add to that the sad truth that CCS will do nothing to improve the climate and it is obvious CCs is a green folly too far.

Reply to  hunter
March 13, 2015 7:10 am

We can only hope it is “dead on arrival”. The horrible economics of this idea almost certainly make CCS an instance of an attempted perpetual motion machine of the 2nd kind. Once all the true energy inputs required for storage are added up, they probably exceed the value of the fossil fuel energy produced.
We’re back to “sure we’re losing money on every widget sold, but we’ll make it up on volume”.

March 13, 2015 3:58 am

Cedarhill — Better to pump the CO2 into a manufacturing plant and produce pure hydrocarbons.
Agreed — Of course that requires the addition of energy which would have to be non fossil and practical IE: Nuclear

Paul Nevins
Reply to  jim karlock
March 13, 2015 6:27 am

How about running this project on wind or solar power and using new nukes to run our actual real needs?

Reply to  Paul Nevins
March 13, 2015 12:50 pm

Its just a matter of how expensive you want our energy to be.
Oh, and getting the greens to allow solar and wind plant construction. (They already block solar & at some point will switch to pretending to care about birds.)

March 13, 2015 3:59 am

Not to mention that the parasitic load for the carbon capture equipment can approach 30% of the power plant capacity. Nothing is free.

Eustace Cranch
March 13, 2015 4:00 am

We need to store billions of tons of CO2 annually.
That is the lunacy. I utterly reject the premise.

Reply to  Eustace Cranch
March 13, 2015 5:56 am

That is the lunacy.
thus the appeal. politicians find it irresistible.

Billy Liar
Reply to  ferdberple
March 13, 2015 1:50 pm

Politics is the art of the possible; not the art of the sensible.

March 13, 2015 4:01 am

Indeed. Thanks for pointing this out again, Anthony.
I have been saying this for years and years, ever since CCS was first mentioned, and never once have I had any rational response from these Greeny lunatics (or the Greeny loon BBC). They just sit there with their fingers in their ears shouting: “La, la, la, I cannot hear you……”
That was ok, when the Green loons were merely dreadlocked hippies sitting around a campfire singing Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. But now they are in the media indoctrinating our children, and in government spending our money.

Reply to  ralfellis
March 13, 2015 7:06 am

It’s not certain that the modern hippies are qualified or motivated to do anything else, though. This is why we must push ahead with marijuana legalization – to prevent them from destroying western economies in order to save the world!
I’m pretty certain they already know a lot about cannabis growing, processing, distribution and utilization and can be easily motivated to work in this new emerging, highly profitable industry. That is, ‘motivated’ at least until quality assurance time arrives – I think product testing is usually around mid-late afternoon every day, and it’s ALWAYS 4:20 somewhere in the world.

Reply to  ralfellis
March 13, 2015 11:02 am

Heh, heh, the bumper sticker I want reads, “Imagine there’s no Lennon, it’s easy if you try.”

Brian H
Reply to  Don
March 13, 2015 6:42 pm

His son says he was becoming disillusioned with Leftism before his death. He was migrating back towards the POV of the original “Revolution”. He was disposed of Just In Time.

Reply to  ralfellis
March 13, 2015 5:14 pm

Ralfellis ; Best comment / analysis I have read today. You are absolutly right !

DC Cowboy
March 13, 2015 4:02 am

I’m not sure why the ‘greens’ are so dead against ‘fracking’ and so dead for CCS. It appears to my admittedly simple mind to be essentially the same thing, pumping a substance that has no natural reason to be there into an unstable spot under the earth. CCS is arguably worse given that nothing is displaced in the storage location as fracking ‘displaces’ (or replaces) the oil with water. Aren’t we essentially creating hundreds of ticking time bombs?

Robert Austin
Reply to  DC Cowboy
March 13, 2015 12:29 pm

Simple answer. Greens are for anything that damages civilization and against anything that enhances civilization.

March 13, 2015 4:09 am

Not sure I buy the “It’s too dangerous argument”, since that argument could also be applied against nuclear energy. It also masks the underlying stupidity of CO2 sequestration; namely the religious zeal around the misplaced condemnation of CO2. If eco-politics required a new Satan, they found it in CO2.
Nuclear energy has enormous potential for benefit. On the other hand CO2 sequestration has no value, It is the equivalent of the small child trying to make a new ocean by taking bucketfuls of the ocean up the beach to his cottage.
The risks of nuclear energy are real, but zealous eco-politics and it’s attendant doomsday fears makes those risks difficult to asses rationally and proportionally. Heck, we have enough nuclear bombs that though one mistake could lead to nuclear war and wipe out civilization as we know it, we deal with it and no one seems to care including eco-ideologues. Who knows, maybe a post nuclear war world would be an ideal state for them, burning wood for energy and living in huts.
Regardless it is irrelevant. If it needs to the earth will handle the additional CO2 by adding more greenery or through some other mechanism. The earth as a whole seems to be good with the whole evolution concept; it will continue to evolve.

Tsk Tsk
Reply to  Alx
March 13, 2015 6:47 pm

“Not sure I buy the ‘It’s too dangerous argument’, since that argument could also be applied against nuclear energy.”
Yeah, aside from, oh, actual data, you’re right.

Bill Murphy
Reply to  Tsk Tsk
March 13, 2015 10:34 pm

true, but as pointed out many times here, this is FAR more about politics than science. In politics, as the Green Machine knows only too well, perception IS reality, data or no.

Chris Wright
March 13, 2015 4:11 am

“I suggest there is a very good reason CCS is “stuck in the slow lane”. The reason, in my opinion, is that it is total lunacy.”
That’s certainly true, but the writer only gives one argument against it: the possibility of accidents.
I can think of quite a few far more significant arguments against it. For a start, the problem it’s supposed to solve at astronomical cost almost certainly doesn’t exist.

Reply to  Chris Wright
March 13, 2015 6:17 am

Worse, it deprives trees and other plants like crops we eat, essential food. I bet any place that sucks in CO2 will be a desert with zero plant growth!

Reply to  Chris Wright
March 13, 2015 7:25 am

Despite all the sense in your sentences (and in the arguments you didn’t include), the alarmists will zoom in with laser-like precision to ONE word in your comment: “almost”. ANY risk or uncertainty whatsoever is enough to justify spending trillions of OPM.
Yet, of course, the absolutely massive uncertainties in their own nebulous pet theories and “solutions” are dismissed with a wave of the hand (or hand-waving).

March 13, 2015 4:16 am

Plant crops! All that extra CO2 will make them grow faster and take it out of the atmosphere too.
If we give that extra food to starving people, they will store that Carbon in their bodies for up to 100 years!
Come on, it’s not as crazy an idea as burying underground!

March 13, 2015 4:20 am

The VERY BEST place to store CO2 is in the atmosphere and in plants.
Its called “THE CARBON CYCLE” 🙂

March 13, 2015 4:26 am

I work with people who are involved or have been involved in this type of thing; and it is genuinely and truly a great waste of time. They model this, they model that, they write endless papers and reports analysing their models. A number of groups (companies) have been set up in the UK to do just that – in truth they’re all government funded one way or another. It is a complete waste of time and money – and yes we’ve been involved with some of them; if people are happy to waste their taxes then why not make sure you get some of it back! If it was up to me though I’d tell them to **** off!
One point I’d disagree with though…
The reason I am frightened of CCS is, the world has already experienced what happens if a large quantity of CO2 is abruptly released. In Africa, in 1986, an abrupt release of an estimated 100,000 – 300,000 tons of CO2 killed 2,500 people up to 25km (15.5 miles) from the source of the release.
This is true of just about every type of underground reservoir (natural or otherwise). You can even get huge amounts of noxious gases from migrating groundwater (eg. moving upward from high to low pressure). So I don’t think there is any peculiar wish and the technology has been applied in the oil industry with good effect – not too sure how much CO2 has been used as once dissolved in water it is longer inert so it’s use may be limited.

Reply to  cd
March 13, 2015 4:27 am

“…peculiar wish…” should be “…peculiar risk…”

Harry Passfield
March 13, 2015 4:26 am

I noticed that Herzog’s disclosure statement:

Howard J. Herzog receives funding from: Alstom Power, American Petroleum Institute, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Duke Energy, Entergy, EPRI, ExxonMobil, Shell, Southern Company, Suncor, Vattenfall, BP, QRI, Technology Center Mongstad

means that he’s in the pay of ‘big oil’. So will his support of CCS be as demonised as Willie Soon’s work is?

Reply to  Harry Passfield
March 13, 2015 7:34 am

Harry, please report back to the Heretic Penalty Box for a timeout and another injection of corrective thinking. It appears the last dose didn’t quite take.

March 13, 2015 4:31 am

Yeah, CCS could kill some people.
But geoengineering the atmosphere will kill ALL THE PEOPLE.
Greentards accept the loss of BIRDS in pursuit of the sacraments of solar and wind power generation, losing mere humans for CCS means nothing to them.

March 13, 2015 4:33 am

The Conversation is crack-pottery reduced to click-bait. Imagine barroom drunken blather presented as falsifiable.

March 13, 2015 4:36 am

Just leave mother nature alone, if the greens want to contribute to, let’s say lessening the use of fossil fuels, give them shovels, rakes etc, and let them plow a few thousand acres ready for planting in a month or two and live on the same rations as the third world population they are trying to “save”.

Harvey H Homitz.
March 13, 2015 4:45 am

Splendid article and entertaining and enlightening comments. I am particularly enthused by Paul Westhaver’s salt mine storage and furniture factory! My faith in Human Intelligence restored I shall cancel my subscription to S.E.T.I.

March 13, 2015 4:49 am

Global coal prices had been declining for about 100 years up until about the year 2000. Obviously..with the price of coal headed towards zero CCS was attractive. Unlimited free coal + CCS was still ‘cheap electricity’.
Unfortunately…humanity is quite clever…we use the cheapest resource closest to market first. The ‘cheap coal’ in close proximity to markets has been burned…and the price of coal has been rising in fits and starts since about 2000.
With a cost curve headed upward on coal extraction costs it doesn’t take a rocket scientists to see that electricity from coal is going to be ‘pricey’ in the future…even without CCS.
I would note that the price of Peabody coal stock…one of the worlds largest coal producers has fallen from a high of $80+ to $5.50 this week.
‘Real Money’ has already concluded that coal will not be powering our future (20-50 years out).

Reply to  harrywr2
March 13, 2015 6:14 am

falling stock prices point to declining prices for coal in the future. high prices aren’t the obstacle to burning coal. A barrel of oil is roughly 5.8 million but. A short ton of 8800 btu thermal coal is 17.6 million btu. roughly 3 barrels of oil, for $11.55.
Average weekly coal commodity spot prices
(dollars per short ton)
Powder River Basin
8,800 Btu (per pound),
0.8 SO2

bob boder
Reply to  harrywr2
March 13, 2015 6:31 am

Prices have bean rising because of government intervention.

James Harlock
Reply to  bob boder
March 13, 2015 9:07 am

Not to mention China’s monthly coal-fired power plant additions.

March 13, 2015 4:50 am

I believe the Belgians have a CCS plant and get lots of co2 from it, then they sell the nutritious gas to gardeners, for use in their greenhouses. After that, I suppose the co2 is released into the atmosphere…a true anthroplogical greenhouse effect.

March 13, 2015 5:00 am

There are 5,000 coal fired power plants around the world, each producing an average of 3 Megatons of CO2 each year. This is the bulk of human emissions (half).
If we are going to eventually reduce emissions (and we would need to cut emissions by about 50% in order to stabilize CO2 at let’s say 560 ppm in 40 years), you are going to need to tackle the emissions from coal power plants.
Some type of storage system, or shut down the coal electricity system or don’t reduce emissions, those are your choices.

Reply to  Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 6:38 am

nature removes 1/2 the CO2 produced by humans each year, regardless of how much we produce. all the theories that suggested this ratio would change over time have been shown by observation to be wrong.
now consider the facts. nature removes 1/2 the CO2 produced by humans each year, regardless of how much we produce. what sort of mechanism can produce that sort of effect?
think of the bathtub model. you are pouring water in, and half of this is draining out. now increase the amount you are pouring in, and the amount draining out has increased by half the change in input. the drain is not responding to the total amount of water in the bathtub, it is responding to the amount pouring in.
thus, the bathtub model cannot be correct, because the output of a bathtub responds to the total volume in the bathtub (pressure caused by depth of water). bathtub outputs do not respond linearly to the input rate.
A better model is what I call the scuba tank model. I once went diving in mexico with a faulty pressure regulator. a tourist special, it could only supply air so fast. it was enough air if I was swimming slowly, but not enough if I was swimming fast. I needed to slow down to match the supply of air I was receiving. When I was breathing I didn’t consume all the O2 in the air, only a portion. Due to chemistry this fraction was not significantly different, regardless of my speed. Had their been a surplus of oxygen I could have breathed as fast I wanted, and the fraction of O2 consumed would have decreased. Or if I had stopped the fraction would have changed, however I was swimming as fast as my supply would allow, to keep up with my diving buddy.
This is the model we are seeing in nature. Nature is consuming a fraction of human produced CO2, and this fraction remains constant due to chemistry. Regardless of how much we produce nature consumes the same fraction. We don’t see a change in the ratio because CO2 is in short supply from Nature’s point of view, just like my experience with the SCUBA tank. Nature can’t slow down, because of competitive pressure, so there is no opportunity to reduce the fraction of CO2 consumed.

Reply to  ferdberple
March 13, 2015 12:14 pm

The removal rate of CO2 gone up five-fold since 1960.

Bill Illis
Reply to  Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 7:09 am

Nature is absorbing about half of our emissions each year, as you note, but that is probably a fluke. The natural rate of net absorption is probably related to how much excess CO2 there is the atmosphere compared to the equilibrium level that would exist in the current Earth arrangement of land plants and ocean temperatures etc. Not to our emissions each year, but how much CO2 there is in the atmosphere.
That long-term equilbrium level is 270, or 280 ppm CO2. We have be around that level for 24 million years now (give or take a drawdown during an ice age).
In 40 years, the natural rate of absorption will rise from its current 2 ppm of CO2 each year to about 3 ppm each year. This is based on how much extra CO2 there is the atmosphere compared to equilibrium.
We wiil be emitting about 6 ppm each year in the business as usual environment. If we cut our emission by half from that level (which is lower than today’s 4 ppm per year but not Zero as the environs think), the CO2 level will then stabilize at about 560 ppm. Emissions 3 ppm each year and natural absorption rate 3 ppm each year.

Reply to  Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 7:36 am

At several points in your post you use the word “equilibrium”. That is a dubious word in this context. At the very least, it ought to be “dynamic equilibrium”. At many points in the earth’s history, CO2 levels have been FAR higher. How then did we recently arrive at 280ppm?
The reason, pretty clearly, is that plants suck hard on the atmosphere, and fix all the CO2 they can grab. That CO2 is then sequestered until the hydrocarbons decompose, for whatever reason, back to CO2 and H20. It is worth noting that plants basically shutdown altogether when the CO2 level drops to 180ppm. At that point, the costs of sucking on the atmosphere to try to acquire the very rare molecules, become so prohibitive that plants cannot survive. That fact is the principal one that explains the specific pre-industrial 280ppm level.
What happens then, if the CO2 level doubles? It is really indisputable that plant growth will sharply accelerate. There are thousands of excellent studies that demonstrate this fact. Plants originally evolved when CO2 was far more plentiful, and have now become fantastic experts at the CO2 extraction process.

Bill Illis
Reply to  Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 11:36 am

… CO2 levels have been FAR higher. How then did we recently arrive at 280ppm?
The most likely explanation is that 24 million years ago when CO2 fell to 280 ppm for perhaps the very first time, this is when C4 grasses became widespread (having just evolved in the few million years leading up to that date). C4 grasses are more efficient at using CO2 in more conditions than C3 plants, trees and bushes (mostly dryer conditions) so their evolution resulted in a lower overall CO2 equilibrium level on Earth (because even dryer places now had vegetation cover).
During the ice ages when there is very low CO2, C4 grasses become the dominant vegetation because they do not need to keep their Stomata as open as C3 plants, and they don’t lose as much water through evapotranspiration. Hence, in the dryer, lower CO2 conditions of the ice ages, C4 grassland becomes the dominant vegetation and the C3 plants, trees and bushes die-back. The Amazon rain-forest declines by two-thirds, for example.
The Earth started drying out about 8 million years ago and C4 grass pollen expanded significantly in the geologic record. This lead to the very first savanna regions, yes that’s true, and the first grass herbivores. There wasn’t any before this. It also caused one of the 50 different species of Apes in the trees at the time to come down and spend more time moving through the small savannas to the next group of trees, slowly developing up-right walking on two legs and dexterous arms and hands which lead to us. The ice ages resulted in the savanna taking over most of the planet which meant that one of the up-right walking animals which recently started making hand axes and became a fast runner and had lots of new prey given the grass herbivores and had just developed a new way of cooling off in the mid-day heat, “sweating” and lost his body hair to help with the cooling provided by the sweating, well he became king of the day-time savanna which led directly to us, He could slowly jog down animals in the mid-day heat until they collapsed due to heat exhaustion. The other animals have to pant to cool off. No other animal has anywhere near the ability to cool off by sweating as us.
So thank the C4 grasses, the drying out of the climate which accelerated in the ice ages for the emergence of an upright walking, sweaty, hairless, tool-maker with a big brain who is now in charge.

Silver ralph
Reply to  Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 12:18 pm

Bill Illis
the C3 plants, trees and bushes die-back. The Amazon rain-forest declines by two-thirds, for example.
So the strap-line to your saga is: … “Save the rainforests – burn more coal…..”
Do you think GreenPeace will pick up on it?

Mac the Knife
Reply to  Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 12:40 pm

Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 at 11:36 am
That is an insightful historical perspective!

Bill Illis
Reply to  Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 6:42 pm

I wrote a longer post several days ago on another board which I think some will find interesting, especially if you are into human evolution.
The Earth’s climate started drying out about 8 million years ago. (From 24 to 8 million years ago, precipitation was much higher and temperatures were warmer and the entire land surface was one big forest – Antarctica excepted).
10 million years ago, there was 50 different species of Apes in this big forest world.
At 8 million years ago, pollen from Grasses started to appear in much, much greater numbers in the geologic record and we started to see some savanna appearing. One of those Ape species started to spend more time on the ground moving through the small savanna regions to the next group of trees.
Upright walking slowly developed. More dexterous arms and hands developed.
The climate continued drying out and larger savanna regions appeared.
By 2.5 million years ago, stone tools appeared. Useless devices without dexterous arms and hands.
During the periodic ice ages which started then, the savannas became vast areas covering most of the continents because there was less precipitation and CO2 levels were so low that C3 plants, trees and bushes can only grow where there is very high precipitation regions. The Amazon rainforest, for example, declines by two-thirds during an ice age.
C4 grasses, however, don’t have a problem with lower CO2 levels until there is extremely low precipitation levels. The C4 grasses then become the dominant vegetation during the ice ages. C4 grasses only evolved about 24 million years ago when CO2 levels fell below 280 ppm for perhaps the very first time. Almost certainly because of the lower CO2 levels and/or the newly evolved C4 grasses created a new equilibrium level of lower CO2. There were C3 grasses before this time but basically no C4 grasses.
A new species niche develops, the grass herbivores. Before there was extensive grassland, there wasn’t any grass herbivores.
By 1.8 million years ago, with Homo Erectus and the newly invented hand axe, a bigger brain to be able to think our way through problems, new grassland herbivores, the Homo species began to exploit an entirely new niche. The savanna during the middle of the day. At this time of day, almost all other animals are hunkered down in whatever shade is available, panting, trying to cool off.
Home Erectus, with upright walking, a bigger brain, the new hand axe, wooden spears, the ability to run on two legs efficiently and the next new evolutionary tool “sweating”, Home Erectus became king of the day-time savanna. We and Homo Erectus sweat more than any other animal. The horse is the next closest species in this ability, but far, far lower in their ability to use sweating to cool-off in this method than us. Even Chimpanzees do not compare.
We lost out body hair to help with the cooling provided by sweating and we exploited this super-cooling-off ability so that we could jog down animals in the midday heat until they had to stop because panting does not cool off a body as much. Trying to hide under a tree while suffering heat exhaustion, they were easy prey for the new king of the day-time savanna. The lions stayed away because we had new weapons and they were still trying to pant and cool off in the midday heat. The hand axe can cut up a kill very fast and we could get out of there fast anyway.
Home Erectus was successful enough in exploiting this new niche and these new abilities, that he moved out of the African savanna and spread to most of the old world.
Some fire and coal and another 1 million years of more evolutionary advances and a hairless, sweaty, upright walking tool maker with a big brain is in charge.
Without the evolution of C4 grasses and the lowering of CO2 levels 24 million years ago, the drying out of the climate starting 8 million years ago and accelerating during the ice ages, there would still be 50 different species of Apes in the trees and no humans.

Catherine Ronconi
Reply to  Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 6:52 pm

To make your living like that, you also need a lot of melanin in your naked skin.
When your distant descendants migrate to temperate climes, they need to shed that melanin in order to maximize vitamin production, and learn how to stay warm with fire and animal skins.

Bill Illis
Reply to  Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 9:54 pm

Let’s continue the storyline.
Homo Erectus spreads to most of the old world, in very short order 1.8 million years ago.
Over time, Home Erectus evolves into the Neanderthals in Europe (by about 400,000 years ago), and the Denisovians in northern Asia by about the same time. As noted by Catherine, these new sub-species were probably lighter skin colour in order to maintain Vitamin D levels and to do away with the increased melanin needed for the mid-day sun in Africa.
In Africa, Home Erectus continued slowly modernizing. At some point, control of fire was developed, let’s say 1.0 million years ago. This was inherited by the later Neanderthals and Denisovians.
Some type of clothing needed to be invented by the early Homo Erectus and the later Neanderthal because the niche we originally exploited is at a temperature of 32C in the mid-day African savanna and 0C in the mid-day in ice-age Europe is just too cold for a hairless early Homo Erectus or Neanderthal. Even today, room temperature of 22C assumes we are wearing clothes. If not, we are a “hot” or even “too hot for other animals” adapted species.
Language is still an open question at this point. Obviously, 3 or 4 Homo Erectus or Neanderthal or Denisovians hunting together would need to be able to communicate in some manner, so one would have to assume it is something less than modern Homo Sapien capabilities but still existing nonetheless.
These Homo species ate meat almost exclusively. Even though the new hand-axe is still just as good for digging out roots and the young and females would obviously be doing some “gathering” in this lifestyle, meat was the most important part of the diet (according to the analysis of almost all fossil teeth).
In Africa, Homo Erectus slowly modernized eventually becoming a sub-group called Archaic Homo Sapiens.
At some point about 250,000 years ago, a group of Archaic Homo Sapiens in southern Africa became isolated from the gene-flow of other African species. These Homo species eventually became the fully modern Homo Sapiens Sapiens. They lived on the coast of South Africa eating seafood as a first for the species line or from the deserts of Namibia but are the fathers and mothers of ALL of us today. The bush people of southern Africa are the closest living relatives of these people.
By 80,000 years ago, this new isolated group of Homo Sapien Sapien started acting “modern” in that decorative shells were made, orchure was used in burials etc. Stone tools became much more advanced and the hand-axe was gone. Spears were now made of finely tuned stone-points.
These people were even more successful and displaced the other Archaic Homo Sapiens in Africa. By 70,000 years ago, they moved into the Middle-East and then southern Asia by 50,000 years ago. Europe by 40,000 years ago, North America by 13,000 years ago.
Still a sweaty, hairless tool-maker at this time, but now with fully modern language, eventually bows and arrow and atlatl spearthrowers and better clothes. Eventually, agriculture and eventually coal-fired steam and eventually smart-phones. Still an African savanna during the mid-day adapted smart species arising because of C4 grassland.

Reply to  Bill Illis
March 14, 2015 10:29 am

Bill Illis,
Your response to my post was a very good one. I’ve been thinking about it for the past day, and it occurs that maybe you could write piece for submission to wattsupwiththat under its own sub-head.
Since the mid 90s, I’ve been very concerned that AGW research had become politically driven, rather than scientifically driven. My number 1 piece of evidence that this had happened, was the amazing absence of CO2 fertilization as a principal topic in the debate. It is just overwhelmingly clear that increased CO2 makes the planet a greener, more verdant, more productive place yet all we heard about was that we were going to burn up in a desert. One could go years without seeing CO2 fertilization acknowledged in the MSM as a positive change.
Perhaps we have now reached a point where we can go on offense. Your post places CO2 fertilization in a much broader context than is ordinarily seen. By emphasizing that CO2 levels actually have greatly altered the mix of plants and the evolutionary process in the not too distant past, the key role of CO2 fertilization on the biosphere becomes real in a new and deeper way.
Anyway, good job on the post.

Bill Illis
Reply to  Bill Illis
March 14, 2015 3:45 pm

Here is another explanation for the drawdown of CO2 by C4 Grasses. A picture is worth a thousand words. They are very effective Carbon sinks.
Each acre of grassland sinks 0.3 tons of Carbon each year. Use that factoid when someone is trying to talk about methane emissions from Cattle. The pasture they feed on is sinking far more Carbon each year than the methane emissions count up to. Why is there so much farmland in the North American prairies and the Russian steppes. Because the soil left-over from 10,000 years of grassland is Carbon nutrient rich. Grassland is sinking about one-sixth of the total that natural processes are absorbing each year.

old construction worker
Reply to  Bill Illis
March 15, 2015 6:55 am

TYoke: “Plants originally evolved when CO2 was far more plentiful, and have now become fantastic experts at the CO2 extraction process.”
After “stabilize at about 560 ppm”. The progress socialist greenies will be “ringing the bell” about “Killer Tomatoes”.

Reply to  Bill Illis
March 13, 2015 4:58 pm

Why would we want to reduce CO2 emissions?
There is no health reason, no scientific reason and no economic reason.

Walt D.
March 13, 2015 5:06 am

Looks like another crackpot technology.
If you look at the ethanol project in the US, corn is grown then turned into ethanol. If you look at the entire process, the energy contained in one gallon of ethanol is very close to the energy consumed to make it. Without subsidies from the US government, the whole process would be uneconomic.
Who want’s to bet that this Carbon Storage technology will be subsidized?
Experience in California has shown that we need to be very careful of green technology.
Many years ago, California decided that it needed to reduce car emissions. They mandated the addition of a then known carcinogenic additive – MTBE. However, since this was green technology, and not the Tobacco Industry, they were given a pass.
The results were catastrophic. Fish died in Lake Tahoe, the Santa Monica water supply was contaminated so that the wells had to be shut down. The formaldehyde pollutants produced when gasoline containing this additive was burnt caused some people to get asthma. and the bottom line was that since cars running on this gasoline got 2-3 miles per gallon less the reduction in pollution was not achieved. The only people who benefited were the Oil Refineries who were able to charge more for their gas.
“Beware of Green Gods bearing gifts”.

Walt D.
March 13, 2015 5:09 am

By the way, if they are so certain that none of the storage reservoirs will leak, we can also use them to store radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.

old construction worker
Reply to  Walt D.
March 15, 2015 7:16 am

Wald D: “….them to store radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.”
Here in the U.S. we have a place to store radioactive waste that is not being utilized which electric users have paid for through a tax. You can thank Harry Reed and his green friends.

Greg in Houston
March 13, 2015 5:10 am

It should be simply stuck – second gear is already too fast. I have not read all the comments, but I have seldom seen anyone discuss the economics of this idiocy. To get the CO2 underground, one must: 1) Retrieve the exhaust from a plant’s flue stack, 2) scrub/clean the exhaust (remove all sulfur, NOX, SOX, oxygen; fully dehydrate to remove H20, etc.) 3) compress the CO2 from atmospheric pressure to the point that it becomes efficiently transportable by pipeline (min 1500 psig), 4) build a high-pressure pipeline to the sequestration plant, 4) Inject the liquid (a mile?) underground. The power and facilities required for all this is hugely expensive. This URL explains many of the requirements:–Moore–mar09.pdf
A quick web search of pipeline transportation of CO2 reveals a lot of misunderstanding and over-simplification (and reinventing of the wheel) of the process. The oil industry has been injecting CO2 for decades for enhanced oil recovery, but few seem to ask their engineers how it is done.

Greg in Houston
March 13, 2015 5:16 am

Walt D: Regarding MTBE, you mentioned that the “… only people who benefited were the Oil Refineries who were able to charge more for their gas.”
Refineries charged more for gasoline to recover the cost of manufacturing/purchasing, storing, and injecting MTBE into fuel. They may have “charged more,” but profits did not increase.
MTBE was mandated in the whole country, by the way – and when it was discovered that it was soluble in water, and entering the water supply via leaking service station tanks, etc, the oil companies had to pay for clean-up, mitigation, etc., even though it was essentially mandated by the EPA. (EPAdid not mandate MTBE, they mandated “oxygenation” of gasoline. At the time, though, MTBE was the only know viable gasoline oxygenator.)

Eustace Cranch
March 13, 2015 5:33 am

*sigh* This is like debating the best way to attach a cheese grater to your TV set.
I ask again: Why are we even trying to do it?

bob boder
Reply to  Eustace Cranch
March 13, 2015 6:33 am

I have a cheese grator on my tv and you know its not a very good place for it.

Joe Wooten
Reply to  bob boder
March 13, 2015 7:18 am
Reply to  bob boder
March 13, 2015 7:44 am

That wins image of the week! Now I can’t get that out of my mind!

Reply to  Eustace Cranch
March 13, 2015 7:19 am

Would that be similar to a “Salad Shooter” on your keyboard. Of course with dressing. 😉
Even with free shipping and handling there may be need for pause.

Alan Robertson
March 13, 2015 5:33 am

Lethally dangerous and enormously expensive? Of course, Howard Herzog doesn’t see those issues as a problem. After all, they are an effective Dark Green means to an end.

March 13, 2015 5:41 am

Of course the Green groups will be right on board with CCS as it fulfills the primary requirement straight out of the Green environmental solution playbook .
1) Does it inconvenience or endanger humans…..Yes/No ……………..If Yes approved
2) Is it beneficial to the environment ………Yes/No ………………………………Who cares ? see 1)

March 13, 2015 5:44 am

Only stupid [snip] will hide the CO2 from plants.. do we want growing desserts? lower gelds in grain?

March 13, 2015 5:47 am

When all the world’s oxygen (the clue is the O2 bit of CO2) is safely squeezed underground the problem will be solved. No more nasty polluting, breeding, consuming humans.
No more life at all.
Gaia starts from scratch

Reply to  WJohn
March 13, 2015 6:49 am

Don’t be ridiculous. We can save half the oxygen and produce CO instead of CO2 by incomplete combustion.

Reply to  Alex
March 13, 2015 7:55 am

I like it!

Reply to  WJohn
March 13, 2015 8:18 am

Here’s a great page on air composition:

March 13, 2015 5:53 am

I don’t quite follow the attitude here. CO2 is by no means very dangerous thing pumped in a deep container; there is no way you could release it really fast. As long the weight of the stone above it is much higher than the pressure of the gas, and the way out is small enough to limit a possible uncontrolled leak.
However, I would not pump it underground, because that requires lot of work (in terms of Joules). I’d pump it to the ocean. The only very good thing in mines and similar is that it is possible to let the gas out if it proves that we need it anyway.
Eric’s worries – with respect – they sound too much the usual eco-scares used by green antilibertarian people.

Reply to  Hugh
March 13, 2015 6:09 am

Into the ocean? Pray tell how you would get it there? Hundreds of kilometres of pipelines with the associated infrastructure of pumps etc. to keep it going? I would love to have the contract for that.
I haven’t mentioned the specialised pumps that would have to pump to the bottom of the ocean to keep the CO2 there.
It’s possible but in the realms of Scifi.

bob boder
Reply to  Alex
March 13, 2015 6:35 am

Big cost, no bennifit, sounds like something we should do.

Reply to  Hugh
March 13, 2015 6:40 am

Lets get together Bob and form a consortium. We can ask Greenpeace and WWF (for some reason I think of them as the World Wrestling Federation) for funding, they get millions from idiots. We can pay ourselves millions and produce nothing.

March 13, 2015 5:54 am

CSS is great stuff – you can experiment in real time with it here.
Oh wait, nevermind.

March 13, 2015 5:59 am

I think Mr Herzog has been reading too many science fiction books. The only way to sequester CO2 permanently is to convert it to a carbonate. It can be done. Good luck finding an energy source to do it . I am sure I could calculate the energy to do that, but I frankly, couldn’t be bothered.

Reply to  Alex
March 15, 2015 4:05 pm

Yes, converting CO2 into carbonates would need huge amounts of calcium or sodium oxide. How to make calcium oxide? Industrial process produces it by heating limestone at a high temperature. Ca CO3 + heat = CaO + CO2.
It is highly laughable that one will release as much CO2 in the atmosphere as one wants to capture

Joe Wooten
March 13, 2015 6:00 am

Yikes, 10 seconds on Google and: “Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery”
In my first year as a power plant engineer (1979), a consortium of several mid size oil companies approached Texas Electric to put a CO2 scrubber facility on the Morgan Creek plant unit 6 (500MW) boiler. Being a gas fired unit, the process was much simpler than doing it on a coal fired unit. The CO2 was to be used in a tertiary recovery project in several oil fields in West Texas, and we were not the only plant to be used. CO2 injection for enhanced recovery was fairly new at that point and CO2 supplies were limited. We were going to be paid for the CO2 we generated, the local EPA folks were happy, and even a few envirowhackos were somewhat happy. We got as far as contracting an AE firm to begin design of the equipment and the consortium had landmen negotiating pipeline routes.
Then, Murphy intervened. The really deep natural gas drilling projects, I think the ones in the Anadarko Basin, started completing, and the huge production volumes of raw gas they were generating had a large percentage of CO2 in them. Much more than the traditional sources did. As the equipment and methods for separating this out were well developed, and much cheaper than separating it from a power plant boiler exhaust, the consortium backed out of the project and it was cancelled.

March 13, 2015 6:08 am

I may have missed the post here but nowhere do I see any numbers detailing how much space is needed to store this CO2.
A rough estimate of the volume would be about twice the volume of the coal (assuming high grade coal = pure carbon one C, and CO2 is one C and 2 O), The local coal fired power plant has a pile of coal larger than a big city mall. Several time a week a train of rail-cars almost a mile long replaces the coal that was burnt. That means that to sequester the CO2 it would take two trains over a mile long for each one that was burnt if it was converted into “dry-ice” or liquid CO2. even the abandoned coal mines would not provide sufficient space to store all of the CO2. Further, the massive volume of this material would inevitably cause all of the disaster scenarios described above. The idea is beyond ridiculous, it is insane!

bob boder
Reply to  usurbrain
March 13, 2015 6:38 am

That why we should do it

March 13, 2015 6:09 am

I’m not a Senior Research Engineer, but it took me 30 seconds of Google research to find out why we never got into 3rd gear:

Reply to  Tim
March 13, 2015 6:23 am

I didn’t even bother googling. I just needed an IQ above 90 and being out of my teens

Reply to  Alex
March 13, 2015 9:50 am

Is it true that 97% of climate alarmists have a sub-97 IQ?
[No. But half of all self-selected climate scientists have an IQ below the average climate scientist. .mod]

Wondering Aloud
March 13, 2015 6:23 am

How about this for an answer?: The CAGW fanatics and fear mongers don’t push for any real solutions because that is not what they care about. In fact they don’t really believe their scare stories any more than skeptics. If they did they could have started pushing nuclear and geothermal power years ago and the problem would already be hugely reduced.
Instead they block effective solutions and promote the things that cannot possibly work like wind generation which can never handle base load.

Reply to  Wondering Aloud
March 13, 2015 8:06 am

Bingo! The actual goal is not to solve environmental problems, it is to make people feel guilty and be on the moral defensive. The rest of us should be deferring to the environmentally righteous among us. They deserve status and power because they are MORALLY superior to the rest of us.
Actual solutions would be nothing but a problem for them. Why would we need them, if the environmental problems disappeared?

Reply to  TYoke
March 13, 2015 8:40 am

Sanctimony sells.

Bruce Cobb
March 13, 2015 6:35 am

No. Just, no. The stupidity, the utter insanity of CCS lies not with the possible, very real dangers of it, but rather with the fact that it has absolutely zero environmental benefit, and the huge amount of money used to accomplish such massive stupidity is wasted.

March 13, 2015 7:05 am

Since all sequestered CO2 will eventually leak back into the atmosphere, if not now, later, why not just pretend to pump it into the ground and let it leak out. The entire enterprise is a waste of money so why not do it in a simple manner and just burn the money? This is all crony capitalism and all these efforts will fail while millions and billions of dollars just disappear.
CO2 is plant food and we need more not less, as the planet cools and our food supply diminishes. Not only will CCS have NO EFFECT on atmospheric CO2, it has all the dangers described above.
CCS is a political agenda and has nothing to do with real science or real needs for our world or people.

Craig Loehle
March 13, 2015 7:14 am

People are worried that pumping water underground can cause earthquakes. If you take a ton of coal, turn it into CO2 gas and pump this underground, it creates a lot of pressure underground, far more than a ton of water. I think the potential for creating earthquakes would be far higher with this technology.
The cost to capture, transport, and pump the CO2 has never been properly admitted. It is very high.

March 13, 2015 7:20 am

If you want to frame your argument so greens will understand the risk you must tell them about the potential animal life that could be lost with an abrupt release.

March 13, 2015 7:21 am

The real disaster will be if CCS is adopted, as it will require huge amounts of energy (and money) to make a dent in the supposed CO2 “problem”, and that’s why it’s not economical.
CCS efforts aren’t necessary anyway, as CO2 has nothing to do with the weather and the climate – it is a result of, not a cause of the climate. CCS is a whole lot of “make-work” for nothing and the entire idea should be dropped immediately.
Also, DRAX is a WASTE of good American trees – unnecessary and malignant.

March 13, 2015 7:25 am

Obama and his green-handlers knew long ago CCS wouldn’t be economical — “necessarily bankrupt them” as he said.
There’s so much green-paranoia about coal that a CCS plant would be, size, capital investment and maintenance-wise, mostly “pollution-control” w/the actual steam plant a minor aspect. Picture a normal-size car hauling an 18-wheeler-sized pollution-control trailer behind it.

Jerry Henson
March 13, 2015 7:28 am

Use the CO2 by injecting it into the deep underwater reservoirs of methane hydrates, freeing the CH4
and storing the CO2 in a clatharte which is more stable than was the clathrate containing the CH4.
Using this method, we could shorten the next ice age because the CO2 would be released into the atmosphere as the zone of stability of the hydrate was breached as the sea level falls due to ice accumulation on land.
The perfect solution. /Sarc

March 13, 2015 7:32 am

80% of US energy is fossil fuel/carbon based (EIA). It’s not just about coal. How about CCS for your car’s tailpipe? Or for your NG fired water heater? Coal content can vary widely, but typical hydrogen content ranges between 5% and 10%. Methane, CH4, is 25% H straight away. NG produces half the CO2/Btu because of H2’s high energy content.
They came for coal first, but they won’t stop there.

Mike M
Reply to  nickreality65
March 13, 2015 8:39 am

And everyone can do their part wearing carbon capture masks too. We’ll make them a tax deduction! (err..ahh.. ‘penalty’?)

William Astley
March 13, 2015 7:36 am

Obviously if it is fact that the majority of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to natural sources rather than anthropogenic emissions, mandated policy to spend trillions and trillions of dollars on green scams that do work and carbon sequestration, that is very, very expensive, a waste of energy, and that is not scalable, with the objective/reason investing in the schemes that do not work and that are too expensive, is to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions, is madness not a good idea.
Salby and Humlum’s finding that the majority of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to natural sources rather than anthropogenic emissions is a game changer for the climate wars.
The explanation physically as to why their finding is correct, is that there is a much larger source of low C13, carbon dioxide into the biosphere and there is hence also a much large sink of CO2 in the biosphere.
The primary source of new carbon dioxide into the biosphere is super high pressure liquid CH4 that is extruded from the core of the planet as it solidifies, this super high pressure liquid CH4 moves through the mantel and causes the ocean floor to split and move, explaining why the oldest ocean floor on the planet is roughly 200 million years old. The primary ‘new’ source of CO2 into the atmosphere is not volcanic eruptions, it is CO2 that is emitted from the continents. There are microbiological organisms that live 5k to 10 km below the surface in the continental crust, that live on CH4 that is pushed through the mantel. The microbiological organism converting a portion of the CH4 that is moving through the mantel to CO2. (They exist and have evolved to consume CH4 as there is a slow constant movement of CH4 through the mantel.) There is an immense amount of liquid CH4 beneath the continents. A portion of the liquid CH4 that moves the ocean floors is left behind when the ocean crust is pushed below the continental crust. This liquid CH4 is the reason why there are bands of mountain ranges on the edge of continents and why there are immense CH4 discoveries in these mountain ranges.
An observation (there are more than 70 other observations to support the assertions in this comment, see the late Nobel prize winning astrophysics’ book ‘The Deep Hot Biosphere The Myth of Fossil Fuels, published in 1999’ for 50 observations/paradoxes that support the deep core CH4 mechanisms/theory , I am working away on a succinct summary of the 70 observations and a Coles notes explanation of the mechanisms and further logical support of Salby’s and Humlum’s assertion for presentation in this forum) to support the above assertion, is the fact that there is as much carbon in methyl hydrates on the ocean floor as in all ‘fossil’ deposits on the continents.
The amount of methyl hydrate on the ocean floor was recently incorrectly reduced as there is a factor of ten times insufficient biological residue falling (ocean biological systems are highly evolved so the majority of falling biological material is consumed before it reaches the ocean floor.) to the ocean floor to convert to CH4 and there are no known micro organism on the ocean floor that do or could convert the non existing residue biological material to create CH4 to create the massive deposits of methyl hydrates on the ocean floor.
A second observation to support the CH4 extruding up from the core through the mantel, is the massive methyl hydrates deposits in the Arctic permafrost. The methyl hydrate will only form if the temperature is always less than around 6C and under high pressure. There is no biological source in the Arctic to convert to CH4 and there is no micro organism that exists in the permafrost to convert the biological material to CH4, due to the cold temperatures. The cold temperature is required or there would be no methyl hydrate. The methyl hydrate formed as there is always CH4 that is moving through the mantel and formed after ice epoch 1.8 million years ago occurred which result in arctic temperatures to form permafrost. (Do you see the paradox?)
An observation to support the assertions that there is:
1) There is a much larger new source of new CO2 (super high pressure, liquid CH4 that is extrude from the core which then moves through the mantel) into the atmosphere than volcanic eruptions
2) There is a much larger sink of new CO2 in the biosphere.
Is the fact that there is not a spike in atmospheric CO2 after a super volcanic eruption that takes thousands of years to dissipate.

Reply to  William Astley
March 13, 2015 1:33 pm

Obviously if it is fact that the majority of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to natural sources rather than anthropogenic emissions

What causes under your theory, the _recent rise_ in CO2? What has changed – other than humans burning coal? Why now?

Reply to  William Astley
March 13, 2015 2:25 pm

You have answered a question I have had since seeing a film about Titan. Where did all of that methane come from? How could all of that gas that they claim is a result od rotting plant life be there? I think it could not possibly be from plant life .

March 13, 2015 7:58 am

Another terrorists’ WMD target…could be a dream come true.

March 13, 2015 8:10 am

Here is a Friday Funny cartoon capturing the essence of Carbon Capture and Storage …
Being Social
[OPM = “other people’s money” .mod]

Mike M
Reply to  Max Photon
March 13, 2015 8:26 am


Mike M
Reply to  Mike M
March 13, 2015 8:29 am
Reply to  Mike M
March 13, 2015 4:31 pm

The colours should be the other way around. America is the only place where red=capitalist and blue=communist

Mike M
March 13, 2015 8:24 am

I just had a ~wonderful~ idea taken from Mao’s “Four Pests” campaign – put a bounty on termites! How about a “Penny a Pound” ? We waste over $2.5 billion in direct research ever year “studying the problem” so why not stop studying and just DO SOMETHING? (The laid-off climate scientists can still work too – catching termites.)
Let’s see… that comes out to paying for 250 billion pounds of dead termites per year. The estimated global weight of termites is only about 8000 billion pounds so we’ll have GHG’s under control in less than … a half century!
(I’ll leave it to someone else’s imagination what to do with the dead termites.)
[Dry them in (solar-powered) open bins? Then burn them. .mod]

Robert Westfall
Reply to  Mike M
March 13, 2015 1:19 pm

If you put a bounty on termites you will have more of them. People will raise them for the bounty.

Mike M
Reply to  Robert Westfall
March 13, 2015 1:39 pm

Yeah but that will par for just about any government program I can think of …

Samuel C Cogar
March 13, 2015 8:25 am

Stupidity is,…. protesting against “containment” in Yucca Mountain …. and rallying for “containment” underneath major population centers.

Bill Murphy
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 13, 2015 11:27 pm

Bu, bu, but that radiation stuff lasts for millions of years!!!!! /sarc (and the half-life of Carbon12 is……..)

John Peter
March 13, 2015 8:37 am

My idea is to plant forestry whereever there is a suitable open space on mother earth and then fell the trees and use the wood for houses. Any debris is then ground into dust and injected into the cavities currently envisaged for CO2. These deposits will not accidentally explode and kill millions of people. I am sure this idea will solve all “climate change” problems from say 10 years from now and then forever./sarc off

March 13, 2015 8:41 am

The disconnect of the greens knows no bounds.
“Fracking is evil because it puts chemicals in the ground that will leak into the ground water!” “CO2 caused ocean acidification.” “Putting CO2 in the ground is a good idea.”
They tell us that the chemicals used for hydrolic fracturing will leak to groundwater. They tell use CO2 causes water to turn to acid. Well, what is to stop CO2 from doing what the fracking chemicals do and leak to the groundwater and turn it to acid? Or do the chemicals not leak into the ground water after all? Or does the levels of CO2 we are talking about not turn water into acid? Which is it?

March 13, 2015 8:47 am

Change to the level of atmospheric CO2 has no significant negative effect on anything and is plant food. CCS is really, really ignorant.
Discover what actually does cause climate change (95% correlation since before 1900) at . Including the effects of CO2 makes no significant difference.

G. Karst
March 13, 2015 8:56 am

No need to worry CO2 anymore. The alarmist have turned the tide:
Global CO2 emissions ‘stalled’ in 2014
Everyone can exhale a CO2 laden “whew, that was close” and go home. Unless, it indicates cooling has commenced LOL. GK

Reply to  G. Karst
March 13, 2015 11:49 am

And voila! Same year significant portions of North America froze solid in one of the coldest winters in memory.
CO2 does follow temperature, after all!

Billy Liar
Reply to  G. Karst
March 13, 2015 2:40 pm

You can imagine that this is the result of creative accounting in order to ‘demonstrate’ in Paris later in the year that the ‘pause/hiatus/lack of warming’ is not due to natural variability but to the ‘pause/hiatus’ in the growth of carbon emissions.
Anyone want to bet?

March 13, 2015 9:20 am

Why can’t we convert it back into coal?

March 13, 2015 9:24 am

I’d be more worried about enhancing earthquake probability by pumping CO2 underground.

March 13, 2015 9:29 am

Make plastic bags manditory. Greens keep saying they last forever when you bury them.

Reply to  Snowsnake
March 13, 2015 4:20 pm

I like it

March 13, 2015 9:34 am

Why don’t Greens just line up, bend over, and sequester the CO2 where the sun doesn’t shine?

Reply to  Max Photon
March 13, 2015 9:37 am

Instead of ‘fracking’ we could call it ‘cracking’.

Reply to  Max Photon
March 13, 2015 9:46 am

Sorry … I meant to end that with a :

Ryan S.
March 13, 2015 10:03 am

Pumping CO2 underground is hardly lunacy. It happens every day all over North America and other areas with advanced oil field technology. It is used in fracturing technology to speed up the flow-back of fracture treatments. It is used in secondary/tertiary recovery schemes to lower the viscosity of the oil in place and increase recoveries. It is disposed as a waste product from natural gas processing. All of these uses are commercially viable and completely safe.
Injecting CO2 underground for storage only is indeed lunacy. There is no economic benefit and any environmental benefit (if at all) would be negated by the risk.
My $0.02

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  Ryan S.
March 13, 2015 7:50 pm

But recovery schemes aren’t trying to store billions of tons of the stuff! There’s a bit of a difference in the scale involved.

March 13, 2015 10:11 am

So I recently met a couple of Greenhouse gardeners who actually pump co2 into the green house for dramatically increased results. I suspect power plant output far exceeds what a small greenhouse concern would need . Still, using Co2 for growing seems a better alternative than storing toxic levels of it. Any thoughts?

Reply to  rb2001
March 13, 2015 2:44 pm

Q: What do you call a commercial greenhouse that does not augment with CO2?
A: Bankrupt.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  rb2001
March 14, 2015 6:10 am

During the next two (2) or three (3) months, … there will be literally MILLIONS of “roots-attached” half-grown vegetable plants and decorative flowers showing up a Supermarkets, etc., etc. ….. all over America.
What percentage of them do you figure their growth was “added CO2” enhanced? ….. 75%, …. 90%??
The suppliers of those plants only have a “short window” to get them grown and get them to market ….. or they will lose “big” money in the process.

March 13, 2015 10:12 am

if it were to work at all, Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS, can only be viewed as a costly way to throw away comparatively miniscule amounts of useful plant food.

March 13, 2015 10:15 am

Here’s my solution, if it is ever convincingly concluded that CO2 is going to be a serious problem. Collect it and pipe it or ship it in tankers to Antarctica. Build lots of cheep and dirty nuclear power plants for energy to freeze and store it. Some of this hopefully abundant energy could be used to turn some of this CO2 along with the plentiful supply of water back into hydrocarbon fuel. The same tankers could be designed to carry liquid Co2 in and hydrocarbon fuel out.

Reply to  Canman
March 13, 2015 4:18 pm

You’re assuming that CO2 is a bad thing and needs to be sequestered. It doesn’t.

Reply to  AP
March 14, 2015 9:15 am

I did qualify it with, ” if it is ever convincingly concluded that CO2 is going to be a serious problem”, and I don’t think we really know. We have lots of time to find out and besides, I’m looking for a way to get on Richard Bransen’s gravy train.

March 13, 2015 10:31 am

Rud Istvan has a good post on CCS at Climate Etc:

Jim G1
March 13, 2015 10:34 am

Movie plot: 500 years in the future when we are reduced to small tribes of remnant humans as a result of too much carbon sequestration, with severely reduced crops and frigid temperatures, sequestered CO2 eruptions begin. We need a Hollywood producer ala the “Day After Tomorrow” propaganda flick.

Reply to  Jim G1
March 13, 2015 11:03 am

The big Holywood alarmists could make a big budget scare movie where the increase in CO2 causes the plants to take over!

Jim G1
Reply to  Canman
March 13, 2015 11:11 am

They already have. Take a look at who is in charge in DC, or most other countries for that matter.

March 13, 2015 10:36 am

I just wish I had the drawing talent as those who contribute to this site. My drawing would be of a plant labelled Carbon Caputre Inc with it pumping thousand dollar bills underground. And yes I know there are no such things as thousand dollar bills – but our politicians don’t know that with the way they feel about squandering billions.

Crispin in Waterloo
March 13, 2015 10:52 am

“As of now, however, CCS is used very little, nowhere near the scale required to make a meaningful dent in emissions. Why?”
Because it is a stupid idea that should not have been lifted off the back of whatever envelope it was first written on. Or was it a serviette? I can’t remember.
There is a multi-billion dollar behemoth of a power station in Mississippi that is planning to pipe all the CO2 into the local oil fields, charging for the supply. This project is $4 billion over-budget and 3 or 4 years behind schedule. I am presuming it is being done deliberately to demonstrate that the whole idea is plain crazy.
“This project was one of two selected in the second round of the US Department of Energy’s Clean Coal Power Initiative. It received US$270 million in funding to demonstrate advanced power generation systems using IGCC technology.”
Too bad it cost $6 billion. It is obviously too big to fail.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
March 13, 2015 12:30 pm

“…stupid idea that should not have been lifted off the back of whatever envelope it was first written on…”
…and designed with real, effective modelling software like this or this. Expensive, but much more useful and nowhere near the cost of the useless climate models.

Marlo Lewis
March 13, 2015 11:06 am

A fundamental flaw too seldom noted is that, in commercial practice, CCS would actually increase net CO2 emissions from coal power plants!
CCS is nowhere close to being economical unless the captured CO2 is sold to oil companies for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. But the CO2 emitted when recovered oil is combusted exceeds the CO2 injected underground.
According to the National Energy Technology Laboratory (, injecting 20 billion metric tons of CO2 underground in EOR operations would increase oil production by 67 billion barrels. According to EPA (, combusting one barrel of oil emits, on average, 0.43 metric tons of CO2.
Combining that conversion factor with NETL’s analysis, injection of 20 billion metric tons of CO2 produces 67 billion barrels of oil that, when combusted, emit 28.81 billion metric tons of CO2. In other words, EOR produces 1.41 tons of CO2 for every ton injected underground.

March 13, 2015 11:31 am

I say that if the alarmists are really concerned about CO2 that they should support the idea that every coal fired plant can be taken down as soon as a nuclear plant is built to replace it. Then take a weed wacker to the EPA and NRC and unburden our nation of over reaching ideologically oriented bureaucracy and set up a sensible approach to regulation and monitoring health and public safety issues. Economic opportunity every where and a path to a post petroleum economy clearly made possible!

March 13, 2015 11:49 am

I live along the Front Range of Colorado which is fueled by Wyoming coal . It is not possible to drive from Colorado Springs to Denver without passing at least one kilometer long coal train .
The idea of adding 2 atoms of oxygen to each atom of carbon in those trains and then forcing it down holes int the ground , hour after hour , day after day , year after year is ludicrous .

March 13, 2015 12:33 pm

“Global CO2 emissions ‘stalled’ in 2014” apparently???
Does that mean there is a pause in the increase of atmospheric CO2?
If not, why not?

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  mwhite
March 16, 2015 8:42 am

Yes that is exactly what it means. Now, watch the birdie: if there is not an immediate concomitant stabilisation of the atmospheric level of CO2, the ‘splaining will have to start. If AG emissions remain constant for 5 years and the excuse that ‘it’s got a lag, you know’ wears thin, there will be a lot of ‘splaining that will need to be done. Maybe 100 excuses like the pause.
If the rise is not really caused by humans after all, what the heck is going on? If part of the rise was caused by humans, what about the rest? It will mean humans are not in complete control of the planet’s atmosphere, weather, temperature and destiny! Oh noes!
The core claim by climate scientists is that they understand and are in control, and the greatest threat is information or anyone who says they are not. Hence, the current ‘shoot the messenger’ campaign. All it is doing is attracting attention to the pauses, declines and failing models of reality. Kerry is absolutely the best ally available at the moment. He should hold weekly press conferences on the subject.

Walt Allensworth
March 13, 2015 12:42 pm

I’m going to take a bunch of CO2 out of the air and sell it back at an enormous profit when the earth starts to cool.

Ewan Macdonald
March 13, 2015 1:03 pm

Sorry, haven’t read all the comments, but surely the energy required to separate, compress and pump the CO2 into the deep storage reservoirs wil reduce the net useful output of a coal fired power station to around 30% from 38%, and a CCGT to around 45% from 54%. So we end up burning more fossil fuels to delivervthe same power. Madness!!!

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Ewan Macdonald
March 16, 2015 8:46 am

Quite soon you will see the wasted heat from these stations turned into electricity at an efficiency of about 45% using thermo-acoustic generators. Big ones. Simple, very few moving parts, low maintenance, no steam.
However in Asia and other intelligent places, they use the waste heat for district heating so the efficiency of the stations is not as important.

Mac the Knife
March 13, 2015 1:06 pm

That was a really nice, compact summary of CCS …… and why it is both unnecessary and fraught with high cost and peril.

March 13, 2015 1:07 pm

It might be cheaper to build the powerplants deep underground, pumping down sintered coal and O2, then bringing up high voltage lines.

David L. Hagen
March 13, 2015 1:13 pm

For details on modeling a CO2 pipeline puncture see:
Modelling punctures of buried high-pressure dense phase CO2 pipelines in CCS applications
Wareing et al. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control Volume 29, October 2014, Pages 231–247

Part of this work involved the development of a mathematical model for predicting
the near-field dispersion of pure CO2 following the venting, puncture or rupture of such a pipeline. This article describes the application of this model to the simulation of punctures in buried pipelines, and specifically three scenarios – a puncture at the side, at the base and at the top of the pipeline. Such scenarios following human interference with the pipeline are the most common type of pipeline failure and form an important part of the quantitative risk analysis (QRA) required in the development of such pipelines for CCS. In each scenario, a idealised crater is modelled, dispersing CO2 into dry air. In two of the experiments, an idealisation of a naturally formed crater is used. In the third, the idealisation is based on the pre-formed crater.

March 13, 2015 2:04 pm

The Conversation: Why is CCS stuck in second gear?
Probably because reverse gear has been sabotaged. Now that the true engineers and qualified technicians are on the scene and when the past drivers/saboteurs are tossed out of the operators seat we can get things moving in the right direction.

March 13, 2015 2:08 pm

Just because an idea is total lunacy, is no reason for the Warmistas to cease pursuing it. Look how far they have persisted with CAGW theory, long after.its proofs vanished..

March 13, 2015 2:14 pm

Heck, just shot the stuff into outer space. It will fall into the sun, and problem solved.

Reply to  Joel Hammer
March 13, 2015 2:17 pm

Heck, just shoot the stuff into outer space. It will fall into the sun, and problem solved.
Or, build a big smoke stack that goes through the atmosphere,and just blow it out. It would use the vacuum of space to suck it out.
People, get creative.

Reply to  Joel Hammer
March 13, 2015 2:20 pm

You know, that really high smoke stack (RHSS) idea might work, and you could get rid of any noxious gas that way.
Do you think I could get a billion dollars from the Dept of Energy to build one? Imagine the carbon credits!

Doug Proctor
March 13, 2015 2:40 pm

CCS is a 100% cost operation if it is not used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) programmes. If you don’t put it into an under-pressurized zone, you are destabilizing an existing stable reservoir. All the earthquakes showing up with fracking demonstrate what geologists have long known: the rock beneath our feet has many, many minor, open fractures that serve to relieve compressive stresses before a large movement on what we recognize as a fault happens. Over pressured, fractured (open fractures) zones move and release fluids, including “gas” as a standard geological process. You are right to worry about a large scale uncontrolled release of CO2 if a “normal” reservoir is used. It will be unstable.
CCS has no market-justified reason except in EOR projects. In EOR schemes the revenue derived from additional oil obtained is greater than the costs of gathering CO2 and pushing it down injection wells. Now, the Greens would say that this is because CO2 has been given no negative value in the capitalist system, an example of the “problem of the commons”. True. But that means the costs of CCS have to be front-loaded onto other operations. Why would anyone voluntarily do this when it would put their operation at a (huge) economic disadvantage? There is no incentive, especially at this time as carbon offsets etc. are far cheaper, some of which actually generate a profit in their own rights.
Note that CCS as an EOR project is not really CCS, as the CO2 is circulated. Even the CO2 won’t be jammed into the oil-bearing rock once the oil-bearing rock has no more oil in it. Unless that reservoir becomes a storage unit for other EOR projects, of course. Which just increases the non-disposal of CO2 and production of further oil.
The Canadian Weyburn CCS that the world comes to see is not the CCS of Greenpeace ideology. And the Weyburn CCS is also NOT using CO2 from industrial plants, or even a power-plant. The Weyburn case is special, as the CO2 it uses comes from a SOFT BROWN (lignite) COAL GASIFICATION scheme in the northern USA at Beulah, North Dakota. It is a byproduct of upgrading a low-carbon source (lignite), into a high-carbon product (CH4). At the energy-conversion loss (inefficiency) such a process causes. Even so, only the high netback on conventional oil makes the purchase and transport of the CO2 economically worthwhile.
Anything can be done if enough public money is thrown at it, just as a brick can fly with enough power on its ass. Safe storage/disposal of CO2 means movement of liquefied or compressed CO2. Which means, like the trainloads of Bakken crude burning these days, there will be accidents and uncontrolled releases somewhere at some time. Is that what the eco-green want? Don’t think so, either.
CCS is a thing that makes market sense only as part of a conventional EOR projects. The current greens don’t want anything that supports the oil industry, so the EOR doesn’t have “public” support. Mass movement of compressed or liquefied CO2 is a scary idea for the reasons of accidental release noted above. So lots of green and non-green people don’t want it, at least not in their backyard.
The Greenpeace groups understand CCS as a non-starter as a whole. That is why they want the whole fossil fuel energy systems shut down. There is no way to dispose of the “pollutant” gas that makes sense or is desirable.
No profit, unacceptable costs, no acceptable and safe way to get rid of it or get it to the disposal site. CCS is done except as a way to get more oil out of the ground.

Reply to  Doug Proctor
March 13, 2015 8:40 pm

Doug, that was one terrific comment.

Gunga Din
March 13, 2015 2:55 pm

Since the USEPA has gone CaliforniaEPAish, perhaps a careful study of the fault lines on the US left coast would suggest just where the CO2 should be injected to reduce the hot air?

March 13, 2015 4:12 pm

It’s almost as stupid as the other idea that was proposed by “greens”: releasing large quantities of aerosols (i.e. Sulphuric acid) into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight.

jai mitchell
March 13, 2015 8:11 pm

I think I can answer the premise of the question.
with one image, provided recently by Deutsche Bank analysis:
Imagine what would happen to the electricity cost curve if CCS was required!
It is obvious that solar/battery tech is going to completely disrupt the current power generation model.

jai mitchell
March 13, 2015 8:12 pm
March 13, 2015 9:14 pm

The people pushing this lunacy have no idea of the difficulties such a proposition will have as it gets nearer to an actual executable project.The irony of ironies s that, if a project like this ever gets near to a ‘final investment decision’, there will be some very hard questions from very smart skeptical managers who will be pointing out basic truths like that fact that CO2 is in fact beneficial for the planet, that the link between warming and CO2 is increasingly tenuous, that there will be significant safety concerns, the risk of which will be carried by the investors, and that the overall business case for such a project might be hugely flawed.
Its never going to happen.

Reply to  ImranCan
March 14, 2015 7:45 am

“the risk of which will be carried by the investors”
But isn’t the whole idea that governments would fund or guarantee (at least part of) these projects making “investment” attractive? That’s what’s going on now with turbines and solar.

Dave Wendt
March 14, 2015 2:45 am

I’ve posted this link a number of times over the years whenever CCS has reared its ugly head
Irrigated afforestation of the Sahara and Australian Outback to end global warming
Leonard Ornstein, Igor Aleinov, David Rind
Each year, irrigated Saharan- and Australian-desert forests could sequester amounts of atmospheric CO2 at least equal to that from burning fossil fuels. Without any rain, to capture CO2 produced from gasoline requires adding about $1 to the per-gallon pump-price to cover irrigation costs, using reverse osmosis (RO), desalinated, sea water. Such mature technology is economically competitive with the currently favored, untested, power-plant Carbon Capture (and deep underground, or under-ocean) Sequestration (CCS). Afforestation sequesters CO2, mostly as easily stored wood, both from distributed sources (automotive, aviation, etc., that CCS cannot address) and from power plants. Climatological feasibility and sustainability of such irrigated forests, and their potential global impacts are explored using a general circulation model (GCM). Biogeophysical feedback is shown to stimulate considerable rainfall over these forests, reducing desalination and irrigation costs; economic value of marketed, renewable, forest biomass, further reduces costs; and separately, energy conservation also reduces the size of the required forests and therefore their total capital and operating costs. The few negative climate impacts outside of the forests are discussed, with caveats. If confirmed with other GCMs, such irrigated, subtropical afforestation probably provides the best, near-term route to complete control of green-house-gas-induced, global warming.
As a rule I’ve always considered efforts to control the climate by limiting CO2 emissions to be complete malarkey, but if we must submit to it in some form to shut the alarmists up, although that is likely an impossibility under any possible scenario of a climatic future, the above seems like the least destructive, probably completely positive and cheapest plan I’ve come across. Relative to CCS one of the primary benefits is eliminating the need for the middle C i.e. the CO2 is captured with complete indifference to its source, without energy gobbling capture equipment or potentially disastrous sequestration technology. it is such a seeming no brainer that I have in the past suggested that we should polish up the concept, take it to the next Climate Fandango and offer it up as a peace plan. Saying we can’t accept your bird choppers and incinerators and dollar/.kilowatt power bills, but we could go for this. The Africans and Australians get a big bunch of new trees, the CO2 gets sucked up, if we handle it right we might only have to irrigate heavily in the early stages if we can establish some feedback precipitation as we go. It would seem to be irresistibly logical but of course they would never go for it because it contains no pathway to dominate and control humanity which even they no longer bother to deny as their real agenda

March 14, 2015 3:03 am

CCS is very like fracking. A hole is drilled deep into the ground and something is pumped into it at very high pressure and contaminated with pump lubricants etc.
I guess that’s why the greens are pro CCS and anti fracking. Because they are the same technology effectively.

Samuel C Cogar
March 14, 2015 6:55 am

Given the scientific fact CO2 is a “heat-trapping” global warming gas, … then Prez O’bomba should immediately sign an Executive Order mandating that CO2 be sequestered as “insulation” in the walls and ceilings of all homes and businesses, ….. which would immediately generate terrific “savings” on utility costs for heating and cooling ….. and would prove to be invaluable at keeping the populace alive iffen the climate began again to get “Little-Ice-Age” cold.
Yours truly, Eritas

Jim big fan of the appallingly overbearing Scot the dreadfulll Twins and long sufering Amy and Baldermore of Flipping Vegas fame.
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 15, 2015 2:01 am

The stuff you talk of already is and its called timber and you build houses out of it

Samuel C Cogar

The timber you speak of is used to build “stick houses” …. which has miminal insulating properties because of the vast amount of “air space” between the “sticks”.
“Air space” that is now normally filled with ineffecient “pink” or “yellow” insulation ….. which should be replaced with highly efficient “heat-trapping” sequestered CO2 insulation.
Of course, iffen you wanna build 6″ thick solid-wood walls and ceilings houses … then you’ll get maximum insulation efficency as well great sequestering of CO2.

March 14, 2015 7:44 am

Sad that this idea is not stuck in 3rd, 4th or 5th gear. The concept has scared the ever loving beegeezus out of me ever since i first heard about it years ago. Cameroon, anyone?

Rich Lambert
March 14, 2015 10:41 am

Check here for a story about gas leaking from underground storage.

March 14, 2015 4:20 pm

Hey! I have a great idea!
We should bottle the excess CO2, mix it with water and distribute it to the
drought stricken areas in Africa. This would reduce carbon emissions and help quench their thirst.

Jim An efficient solar powered carbon capture device already exist that is zero instalation costsand maintenance and zero impact on the environment and its called a tree.
March 15, 2015 1:53 am

PS actually also provides low cost fuel and building materials and agricultural produce.Anything else

March 15, 2015 4:15 am

It is usually called carbon sequestration. But it would be better called oxygen sequestration. After all, each CO2 molecule contains twice as much oxygen as it does carbon. The funny thing is that, while plants breath CO2 to live, I breath oxygen. So I can either starve from lack of food, or suffocate from lack of oxygen.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Hivemind
March 15, 2015 8:08 am

Limited by their “one-track” minds, the proponents of CAGW haven’t figured that out yet.

old construction worker
March 15, 2015 7:48 am

This CCS reminds me of the story about the “kurplunk”. To make a long story short. Briton was in a deep depression. The government turn to a famous economist. He came up with a plan called “kurplunk” but nobody knew what it did. Hundreds of thousands people went back to work developed and manufactured the “kurplunk” all paid for by the government. The day came to test the “kurplunk”. It was a 4″ x 2″ cigar shape, high quality, finely polished piece of metal. The famous economist took the object to the middle of a bridge above the Thames river and dropped it in resulting in the sound “kurplunk”. When asked “Is that all it does?” He said yes, make another one.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  old construction worker
March 15, 2015 8:16 am

Don’t tell Obama that story or he will fund a similar program immediately and appoint a cadre of partisan Democrats to oversee its success.

March 15, 2015 11:35 am

Not looking good for CCS technology any time soon. Also note that the EPA proposed rules use CCS as their suggested means of achieving the reductions they are recommending.