COP21 Day 10

On Thursday, December 10th, 2015 in Blogues, COP 21

After 5 hours of commentary, complaint and suggested possibilities for compromise, the informal round of talks called an “indaba” broke up at 5 am. If President Fabius (who personally chaired this session) thought we had made progress, it was not evident.

We are circling the drain. Not just those of us in Le Bourget, but the whole of humankind. Our text speaks of funds for “organized migration and planned relocation.” So having procrastinated since 1992 and allowed GHG to rise, we now are talking about helping low lying island states pick up and move.

The so-called leaders spoke in lofty tones. Then the talks are left to negotiate a weak text. But the “leaders” gave no negotiating instructions to their countries’ negotiating teams. And we are back to protecting narrow self-interest.

I do not want to paint too bleak a picture. These talks could still give us a workable, useful treaty. But right now, it is a long way from a sure thing.

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  • mparalovos

    That is terrible to hear.

    • Patrick

      This certainly is an interesting video. I am an electrochemist, and the science here seems solid, but I did a few back of the envelope calculations and in the short term this is not an efficient means to reduce our GHG emissions. Let me explain: This technology removes about 0.25 g CO2 / Wh of energy expended. A coal power plant produces about 1 g CO2 / Wh. So it would be 4x more efficient to build the solar towers that this guy is promoting and use them to produce electricity for the grid (instead of CO2 removal), thereby replacing a coal (or natural gas) plant.

      However, this technology could certainly be helpful for removing CO2 from the atmosphere AFTER we eliminate fossil fuel burning power generation.

      In case you’re curious, my calculations suggested that to reduce Canada’s emissions by 30% below 2014 levels would require 8 GW of generating capacity from solar concentrator towers, which would cost about $44 Billion USD based on the cost of the recent Ivanpah solar tower project and would take up an area half the size of Toronto. If you want to be realistic about the fact that the solar towers only operate during daylight hours, you’d have to double or triple the number of towers required (i.e. $90 – $120 Billion).

      All the best, and thanks for bringing this technology to my attention!

      • mparalovos

        Thanks for the reply. I didn’t even know where to start with regard to calculating the cost and feasibility of it, so i appreciate your calculations.

        Just the fact that we COULD do it, that it’s even possible to pull the carbon out is good news in my book. How bad does it have to get before 44 billion sounds like a bargain? I hope not too much worse, because the longer we let the earth warm the less likely it is that we could stop the domino (or cascade) effect even if we pull the co2 out (if the Arctic melts, then no amount of carbon removal will help).

        I hope that after these climate talks the world realizes that we need proactive action (freezing the Arctic and carbon removal) to have any real chance of the species surviving on earth.

      • mparalovos

        Second reply – ontario is nuclear, we could use that to run this machine. It doesn’t help with the costs, but it does offer a carbon negative option.

        Second question, could you build these into large buildings that are being made more energy efficient – thereby making the building carbon negative and sharing the electrical costs across many businesses /people? Offset install costs with a tax credit (because it’s more important to get the carbon out of the air then it is to not go into debt).

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