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Last Call for Carbon Credits

16/11/2010 Leave a comment

Carbon Cap and Trade SchemeIt would seem that the ‘commodification of carbon’ is now well and truly in its final throes, and that the remediation efforts against of Climate Change will need to seek out a better method of self-correcting via the various (Consumer?) Markets. The death knell for carbon trading in North America is the significant, yet curiously under-publicized news that The Chicago Climate Exchange (Inc.) will close down its cap-and-trade market by the end of the year, as announced by spokeswoman Brook McLaughlin via CNN.

What’s curious is that hardly anybody else, out there in the more Mainstream Media, is so much as batting an eye – let alone packaging this news (and it’s deeper implications) for easy public consumption.  It seems that this letdown in the domestic trading of carbon credits is primarily due to political and public opinion shifts in the U.S. resulting in the failures of last years disappointingly de-clawed U.S. Clean Air Act.

The decision also coincided with a significant Republican victory and the loss of Democratic Control in the US House of Representatives. However, if you look abit deeper, we can all see that the Carbon Cap and Trade concept was indeed flawed at a much deeper level…and that this failure might also betray some underlying motivations for this financial scheme to begin with!

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BioChar: Locking in the Heat

03/11/2010 3 comments

Charcoal Farm BBQ BioCharFor most people, the only thing that farming and barbecuing might have in common is where the supply produced by one, meets the market demands of the other on the supermarket shelf. In a day and age where instant gratification trumps tradition, Farmers long ago turned their fields into sterile sponges that they must now constantly fertilize with man-made nitrogen and phosphates. Meanwhile back on the homestead, the fast-firing convenience of gas powered BBQ grills have largely displaced charcoal as the heat of choice for backyard barbecue. Yet charcoal might soon make an enormous comeback in ways that propane and petrochemical fertilizers could never touch, and which will have an enormous impact on farming practices that once relied on the natural biodiversity of soil to sustain healthy crops. This renaissance of ancient agricultural methods will not only enrich our largely depleted farm fields, but also serve to use currently wasted BioMass to sequester carbon and thus combat global warming….by turning it into BioChar.

The trick to this ecologically brilliant shortcut is to simply prepare charcoal at a higher temperature to produce BioChar in an environmentally beneficial process that will far surpass it’s popular role as the perfect heat for traditional barbecue. This old-fashioned soil enrichment method might not only break the petrochemical fertilizer addictions of industrial farming methods, but also serve to naturally capture and store carbon in a stable state that could benefit our environment for centuries to come. If you think that there are still lessons to be learned from the Past, here’s a peek at a Future that can be carbon fixed by BioChar

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Titanium: A Star is Born

21/09/2010 2 comments

Titanium TiIn an age where hydrocarbons still reign supreme, Titanium is finally starting its ascent to a higher orbit around the Technological Sphere, where it will certainly offer us much better views of what the world could actually be, as opposed to what it is at present.

Even though Titanium is the 7th most common element on earth, and is found in everything from reflective paint to orbital satellites, it’s still a long way from being a common household name though. Fortunately, a steady succession of exciting new developments in key areas such as Metallurgy, NanoTechBioTech, and Environmental & Health Sciences, and even Hydrogen production means that Titanium isn’t going to be dutifully playing the humble part of the unsung hero for very much longer now…

Titanium TiIn fact, Titanium (either it’s Oxides or ductile metallic forms) are now poised to far surpass their already enormous roles in countless current technologies and applications (which we’ve already looked at if you’re curious), and start rocketing Humanity into some truly exciting new areas via emerging technologies and revolutionary industrial applications that promise exciting new sources of clean energy, as well as pollution controlling methods for the old ones.

The only remaining question isn’t ‘how’ or ‘when’ we’re going to see genuine signs of Titanium-based progress gaining mainstream visibility, but rather, just how far will Titanium take us into a clearly visible Future which is imminently ready to become our new current Reality!

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Carbon Capture: A Solution in Stasis?

25/01/2010 2 comments

– EVENT REPORT –


Spread the News!

Worldwide adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage solutions have been delayed by an announcement at the Copenhagen Conference

The link to this News Event is no longer available at COP15.dk but it has been cached at Google!

The primary thrust of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change was to implement an accord of limiting CO2 emissions worldwide, and thus necessitate various regulatory solutions which would have required industry to either reduce their emissions, or face stiff financial consequences. This is where Carbon Capture and Storage (CSS) would have liked to step in with some immediate industrial-grade solutions, presumably while the rest of us continued to consider the enormous challenges of actually reducing and eliminating our reliance on carbon emitting fossil fuels as a Society. As mentioned previously however (COP15.dk is History), the committee under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) had discussed the issue of CCS during the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, but delayed any decisions on the subject until future summits. The committee contended that some countries had concerns over the long-term viability for the storage site, including liability for any seepage. Thus the larger challenges of capturing CO2 have seemingly become stuck behind a roadblocking question of legal liability in the ‘storage’ component of this much larger process.

Deja Vu

Proponents of Nuclear Energy will no doubt see a parallel in the bitter irony of yet another Green industry being hindered by the wasted energy and by-products of bureaucratic finagling and legal wrangling over questions of waste storage…Rather than getting on with the business of refining the existing (and already adequate) processes, while continuing to develop new and improved waste management solutions, and effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions IMMEDIATELY, rather delaying movement until later, once the technical details and legal liabilities of any unforeseen accidents have been ironed out to the Nth degree. Carbon Capture Left Out in the Cold

What did Copenhagen teach us about CCS

In it’s search for an accord, Copenhagen seemed like a direct precursor to establishing and implementing Carbon Cap/Trade/Tax solutions, that would place financial burdens on all CO2 emitters, and incent the development and application of CO2 capture technologies to reduce such burden. Although the COP15.dk site is now dead in the water, there are still “selected” pages made available by the Danish Government, which may cast light on what the Conference organizers wished to present as their lasting legacy from this historic conference, or at least demonstrate where the organizers left things on the rather important subject of CCS. A search for “Carbon Capture” yields only four (yes, 4!) results on this rather critical next step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Click Here, if you’d like to consider what these meagre results say about the Future of CCS from the POV of those who selectively transplanted the entire the COP15.dk site less that a month after the Copenhagen Conference closed.

CCS…Does green Energy hurt the Carbon Market?

In a short blogpost at Envirogy (derived almost entirely from Spiegel Online), we can clearly see how Green (or low emisions Renewable) Energy sources have actually hurt the price of carbon at the European Climate Exchange (and thus the cost incentives for implementing CCS), and in fact the entire system can be proven to have not reduced European carbon emmisions by a single gram!

Sitting on the Border Fences

Meanwhile, in North America, the open markets for carbon at the Chicago Climate Exchange is still awaiting the kinds of regulatory and political pressures that will kick things into a higher gear, and properly comodify Carbon in the U.S. and thus at least make select financiers, investors, and other assorted Middlemen rich in the process, if not at least repeating the lessons already being learned in Europe.

Meanwhile in the Oilpatch

Even though Copenhagen squashed any immediate hopes for Carbon Cap/Trade pricing, and delayed it’s pronouncements on teh future of CCS, searching the transplanted COP15.dk site yields a link to shipping giant Maersk’s role in bringing CO2 to oilfields in the North Atlantic, and there are examples all over the world where CO2 is pumped down into older oilwells to force out remaining oil, and maximize yield.  In fact contrary to popular belief, CO2 has already been getting stored in large quantities within used up gasfields, with the only concerns so far being in small amounts of CO2 re-escaping via carbonated water in the formations, and the possible formation of carbonic acid within any porous water areas. The fixation in carbonate minerals is playing only a minor role, so the search to chemically ‘fix’ CO2 into a more neutral and stable state will continue.

TBC…This is a work in progress

Please feel free to add to this Report Stub via the Comments Section below

Worldwide adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage solutions have been delayed by an announcement at the Copenhagen Conferenc

COP15.dk is History!

20/01/2010 1 comment

MEDIA & IMPACT REPORT:


Spread the News!

The official website for the Copenhagen Climate Conference has been taken down, and traffic is being redirected to :

“The Official Website of Denmark”

Near the end of the proceedings at last months U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, news was posted to the official Conference website (COP15.dk) that capturing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) at the source (of industrial emissions) and storing it underground is not likely to become a measure supported by the UN-backed Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) this year. A committee under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has discussed the issue, but delayed any decisions until future summits.

Please don’t bother clicking on the above-mentioned COP15.dk link though, because less than a month after the conclusion of the conference, this newslink is now unavailable, along with all the rest of the COP15.dk website! Instead, all traffic is being directed to “The Official Website of Denmark”.

What we’re left with, as a reference on this historic event less than a month later, is a mere footnote that states: “this page contains a selection of some of the most popular content from Denmark’s Host Country website for UN Climate Change Conference 2009 –  cop15.dk ”

What possible reasons could there be for taking down this official site so quickly? What benefits could possibly be derived from removing this enormous resource? Most importantly, what are the perceived repercussions of such an obviously hasty demise of what should have our greatest reference point on Climate Change at the end of 2009, if not an actual public launchpoint as we move forward through the Post-Copenhagen letdown, and proceed with all the work adn understanding that still needs to be accomplished?

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Climate Change: Gaming the Odds

07/12/2009 1 comment

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Take a spin...

Go ahead...Take a spin...but only ONE spin

Much like the frog who will happily sit in a steadily warming pot until he boils to death, a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, finds that 3/4 of Americans think that Climate Change is an important issue, but don’t perceive it as an immediate threat. This Washington D.C based think tank tasks itself with gathering data and providing correlative info behind the issues, trends that shape attitudes in the United States and thus affect the rest of world. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, it turns out that Climate Change has ranked at the very bottom of a list of 20 issues that included Terrorism and the Economy.

The Environment rated abit better in this same 2009 report, at 16 out of 20, but also saw a 15 point decline from 2008.

Of course it stands to reason that building a better future requires a solid foundation, and it’s understandable why Americans would want to get their own household affairs in order before trying to reinvent the wheels of their economy and social fabric. But before a greater vision of the future can even begin to be shared, let alone put into motion, it seems that there are basic credibility issues to be ironed out on the subject of Climate Change.

Americans seem rather divided on the whole issue of Global warming with only 49% believing that it is the result of man-made factors and activities.

36% say warming is occurring “mostly because of natural changes in the atmosphere.” About one-in-ten (11%) say “there is no solid evidence that the earth is getting warmer.” There’s also a strong correlation between the results and respondents political ideology, with only 21% of conservative Republicans saying the earth is warming due to human activity, compared with the nearly three-quarters (74%) of liberal Democrats who see humans as a root cause of Climate Change.

Is this a cognitive disconnect caused by a partisan political outlook? Or are there other more deeply rooted Sociological or even Psychological issues at play here? Could there be a tendency for humans to cower in denial at the prospect of issues that they feel powerless to change? Or are we just incapable of grasping the big picture long enough to see alternate possibilities, and deeper causes ?

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Carbon Credits: The House Always Wins

07/12/2009 1 comment

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…Unless of course the “House” gets shut down on charges of corruption, fraud, bribery, price fixing and graft. At which point the rest of the story just recedes into fading history.

Nobody gives much thought to Enron anymore these days…

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