Sunday 23rd of February 2020

the great clean coal con .....

the great clean coal con .....

For years, scientists have had a straightforward idea for taming global warming. They want to take the carbon dioxide that spews from coal-burning power plants and pump it back into the ground. 

President Bush is for it, and indeed has spent years talking up the virtues of “clean coal.” All three candidates to succeed him favor the approach. So do many other members of Congress. Coal companies are for it. Many environmentalists favor it. Utility executives are practically begging for the technology. 

But it has become clear in recent months that the nation’s effort to develop the technique is lagging badly. 

In January, the government canceled its support for what was supposed to be a showcase project, a plant at a carefully chosen site in Illinois where there was coal, access to the power grid, and soil underfoot that backers said could hold the carbon dioxide for eons. 

Perhaps worse, in the last few months, utility projects in Florida, West Virginia, Ohio, Minnesota and Washington State that would have made it easier to capture carbon dioxide have all been canceled or thrown into regulatory limbo. 

Coal is abundant and cheap, assuring that it will continue to be used. But the failure to start building, testing, tweaking and perfecting carbon capture and storage means that developing the technology may come too late to make coal compatible with limiting global warming. 

The Energy Challenge - Mounting Costs Slow The Push For Clean Coal 

meanwhile …..

The celebrity scientist and Climate Change Coalition candidate for the Senate, Karl Kruszelnicki, has described clean coal as a "complete furphy", likening it to Nazi propaganda. 

The colourful campaign of the physicist-turned-politician took a serious turn when he slammed Labor and the Coalition for propagating the "myth of carbon capture" and wasting taxpayers' money. 

"Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist, said if you're going to tell a lie, tell a big one, and this is a beauty," Dr Kruszelnicki said. "It is a furphy, a pork pie to cover up the fact that there is no such thing as clean coal," he said at Customs House in Sydney. 

Dr Kruszelnicki, who is standing on the Climate Change Coalition NSW ticket behind the organic farmer and author Patrice Newell, used a scale model of Sydney and a $10 tent to demonstrate the impossibility of storing the carbon dioxide produced by coal-fired power stations. 

Sydney alone would produce a cubic kilometre of compressed carbon dioxide every day as a result of the process, he said. 

“It’s a total mess,” said Daniel M. Kammen, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Clean Coal Is A Whopping Furphy Says A Filthy Dr Karl

trust the Germans...

Germany leads 'clean coal' pilot

By Roger Harrabin
Environment analyst, BBC News, Germany

Beneath the gargantuan grey boiler towers of Schwarze Pumpe power station which pierce the skies of northern Germany, a Lilliputian puzzle of metal boxes and shining canisters is about to mark a moment of industrial history.

This mini power plant is a pilot project for carbon capture and storage (CCS) - the first coal-fired plant in the world ready to capture and store its own CO2 emissions.

Next week the pilot - an oxyfuel boiler - will be formally commissioned.

A cloud of pure oxygen will be breathed into the boiler. The flame will be lit. Then a cloud of powdered lignite will be injected.

The outcome will be heat, water vapour, impurities, nine tonnes of CO2 an hour¿ and a landmark in clean technology.

Because the CO2 will then be separated, squashed to one 500th of its original volume and squeezed into a cylinder ready to be transported to a gas field and forced 1,000m below the surface into porous rock where it should stay until long after mankind has stopped worrying about climate change.

This is the technology once lavishly described by the former UK Chief Scientist Sir David King as "the only hope for mankind".

The plant operators, Vattenfall, have worked furiously for two years to get the pilot running.


NASA chief climate scientist’s letter to Rudd:
Stop building coal-fired plants
ANU earth and paleo-climate researcher Andrew Glikson writes:

On the 27 March, 2008, Professor James Hansen, NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Science chief climate scientist and arguably one of the world’s most eminent authorities on climate change, sent a letter to Kevin Rudd :

The letter continued:

Global climate is near critical tipping points that could lead to loss of all summer sea ice in the Arctic with detrimental effects on wildlife, initiation of ice sheet disintegration in West Antarctica and Greenland with progressive, unstoppable global sea level rise, shifting of climatic zones with extermination of many animal and plant species, reduction of freshwater supplies for hundreds of millions of people, and a more intense hydrologic cycle with stronger droughts and forest fires, but also heavier rains and floods, and stronger storms driven by latent heat, including tropical storms, tornados and thunderstorms.

Yet there are plans for continuing mining of coal, export of coal, and construction of new coal-fired power plants around the world, including in Australia, plants that would have a lifetime of half a century or more. Your leadership in halting these plans could seed a transition that is needed to solve the global warming problem.

If Australia halted construction of coal-fired power plants that do not capture and sequester the CO2, it could be a tipping point for the world. There is still time to find that tipping point, but just barely. I hope that you will give these considerations your attention in setting your national policies. You have the potential to influence the future of the planet.

The letter was passed on to the Department of Climate Change and was answered on the 5 June, 08, by the Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Branch, outlining the government’s three pillars of climate change policy: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate change that we can’t avoid, and helping to shape a global solution.

It is not known whether Kevin Rudd has read the letter. Given the government was elected on the promise of “evidence based” policies, and that the letter by the world’s eminent climate scientist included a warning regarding the future of the planet, the magnitude of the moral dilemma posed by Professor Hansen’s proposition would be clear.

Should the government adopt Garnaut’s Review recommendation of 10% emission cut by 2020 relative to 2000, such policy would be in line with attitudes Professor Hansen found to be a “sobering degree of self deception”, based on his visits to the UK, Germany and Japan in July, 2008:

The public, however, is not presented a realistic picture of how science works on such matters. Instead public discussion of global warming is befogged by contrarians, whose opinions are given a megaphone by special interests that benefit by keeping the public confused. Some of the contrarians were once scientists, but now they behave, at least on the topic of global warming, as lawyers defending a client. Their aim is to present a case as effectively as possible, citing only evidence that supports their client, and making the story appear as favorable as possible to their client. The best, the most articulate, are sought out by special interests, and even by much of the media, because the media likes to have “balance” in its coverage of most topics – and especially this topic because special interests have influence on the media.

We cannot pretend that a goal for future CO2 emission reductions will solve the climate problem. If we continue to ignore obvious geophysical facts about the magnitude of fossil fuel reservoirs, our children and grandchildren will have little reason to forgive our obtuseness.

there is no such thing as "clean coal"...


Sydney shock jock Ray Hadley was apoplectic. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, one of Hadley's favourites who has a regular spot on his program, had just committed blasphemy.

Mr Dutton said he didn't believe in the Government building a new coal-fired power station. Hadley couldn't credit what he was hearing. "You're toeing the [Morrison] company line," he said accusingly.

It's another story with Mr Dutton's Cabinet colleague and fellow Queenslander, Resources Minister Matt Canavan, who is part of the Queensland Nationals' push for support for a new power station in that state.

"Studies have come back always saying that a HELE [high-efficiency, low-emissions] or a new coal-fired power station would make a lot of sense in North Queensland," Mr Canavan said this week.

The two ministers' divergent views are not surprising on the basis of where they come from. In Brisbane voters tend to share similar opinions on climate change and coal to those in the southern capitals — it's the regions where support for coal is stronger.

What's surprising is how the rifts at the Government's highest levels are being exposed. In these desperate days, it is every minister, every government backbencher, and each part, or sub-part, of the Coalition for themselves.

Never mind cabinet solidarity, or Coalition unity.


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This interview was like a Laurel and Hardy routine... It was a stint to debate the politics of government "investing" while letting the public "accept" the concept of clean coal. It's rubbish. Whether coal is "clean" (with less impurities such as sulphur) it still spews CO2 at the same rate for the same amount of energy within a couple of percentage point depending on the efficiency of the machinery. 


You can do better than this, Michelle...


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