Friday, March 13, 2015

Carbon capture "total lunacy"?

Anthony Watts argues that storing billions of tons of CO2 near population centers is a nuclear bomb scale catastrophe waiting to happen.

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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