BECCS = crazy denial

Climate scientists have been adding bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to their models as a means for addressing climate change that allows us to do something in the future rather than today, and that may not require us to change our lifestyles.

BECCS is crazy wrong on many levels.

There is no evidence that BECCS can scale up, nor that we can afford the astronomical construction cost, or higher operating cost from the reduced power plant efficiency required to capture the carbon, or the energy to transport and process the biomass, or that we have somewhere safe to store gigantic quantities of CO2, or that any of this can be implemented on a time scale that matters, or that enough net energy will be left at the end of the process to run a hamster wheel let alone an advanced civilization.

On top of all that, humans are already using far more than their reasonable share of the planet’s primary net productivity. From which of the few wild species left are we going to take the biomass to run BECCS?

BECCS will cause us to waste precious time and money before some engineer assigned to implement it stands up and says it won’t work and should never have been considered in the first place.

Despite being crazy beyond belief it is promoted by intelligent people with PhD’s and good intentions.

And it’s our best option on the table to avoid disaster.

Wow! Where are the adults?

There must be something REALLY big and powerful, like evolved denial, in play to explain our collective crazy insanity.

6 thoughts on “BECCS = crazy denial”

  1. Today Radio Ecoshock interviewed Klaus Lackner who is one of the world’s experts on negative emission technologies like BECCS. If you seek a more nuanced understanding of the issues than my rant provides this is a good place to start.

    Lackner understands the technical and behavioral risks associated with carbon capture but thinks it is now too late for any other solution to help. Even if we reduced emissions immediately, which won’t happen voluntarily, it’s too late to stop very serious consequences of climate change and we must now remove some of the carbon we have already emitted.

    It feels analogous to telling Apollo astronauts to figure out how to get home after they’ve arrived on the moon.


  2. Do the Math: Putting the Genie Back in the Toothpaste Tube (Tom Murphy)

    “You may have heard about the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a result of our combustion of fossil fuels. If we wanted to sweep the excess CO2 out of the air, what would it take? How much is there? Where would we put it? In this post, we will put the numbers in perspective and briefly examine a few of the possibilities for storage.”


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