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.