Environmental Monitoring Expert at Geologic CO2 Storage Sites
Mark Z. Jacobson
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University
Author of “No Miracles Needed: How Today’s Technology Can Save Our Climate and Clean Our Air”
Here is what we have in store this week:
• A new debate about technology that reduces carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere
• A closer look at how many facilities were created over the last decade
• Your Sunday reading list
Solar energy. Geothermal. Wind. There are a lot of renewable energy sources and proposals being suggested by scientists and governments as effective methods of lowering the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere. But what about carbon capture and storage (CCS) — a technology that is allegedly able to capture more than 25 million tonnes of CO2 in the United States alone each year?
Supporters of CCS say the technology has a vital role to play in addressing climate change, whereas, in the face of other climate solutions still getting developed, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a recent report that removing more carbon now is critical. Critics challenge CCS’s effectiveness and claim the technology provides convenient cover for fossil fuel companies, actually prolonging the life of coal-and natural gas-fired plants and increasing the risk of CO2 leaks underground.
With Mark Z. Jacobson and Katherine Romanak debating this intriguing solution, this debate speaks to the heart of the conversations going on in labs and other organizations on a topic critical to our future as a species. Mark’s important research on net-zero clean energy has informed the scientific reasoning behind the Green New Deal in the United States — and other laws like it globally. Meanwhile, Katherine has brought her expertise in carbon capture to the United Nations and has observed its environmental impacts for over two decades.
As the future of our climate — and the planet — is at stake, we ask: Is Carbon Capture Essential to Fighting Climate Change? Listen now on our podcast or on your public radio station (check your local schedule). Once you’re done, tell us if you’re open to this climate change solution.
DEBATING THE DATA
CCS development is at an all-time high. Is it worth the investment?
Is Carbon Capture Essential to Fighting Climate Change?
“For direct air capture, carbon capture and storage technologies are the only technology that can give us permanent large scale emissions reductions.”
“Carbon capture is just a technology that increases air pollution, it increases fuel mining, because it requires a lot of energy. It increases fossil fuel infrastructure, and hardly reduces carbon, it’s always much more efficient… to use that renewable energy to eliminate the fossil fuel power plant.”
Mark Z. Jacobson
FURTHER READING ON CARBON CAPTURE
Jackson School Researcher Advocates for Carbon Capture and Storage at COP26 in Glasgow
Sophia Aitken and Alex Briseño | February 1, 2022
We don’t need ‘miracle’ green technologies to save the planet
Mark Z. Jacobson | February 15, 2023
What does the latest IPCC report say about carbon capture?
Matt Bright and Toby Lockwood | April 4, 2022
Clean Air Task Force
Carbon capture: Reversing climate pollution
Joanna Foster | March 18, 2022
Environmental Defense Fund
New Rules for Power Plants Could Give Carbon Capture a Boost. Here’s How.
Brad Plumer | April 26, 2023
The New York Times
There’s a carbon-capture gold rush. Some warn better solutions exist.
Pranshu Verma | June 23, 2022
The Washington Post
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