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The Future of Energy—A Sustainable Carbon Economy?

Posted in Energy

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I have written about carbon capture technology before (here) but one of my favorite websites, Crave, is now reporting on the same technology. What I like about the article is that it refers to the technology as a “synthetic tree.” From this perspective, I believe it is easier for the average person to envision how truly beneficial the technology might be if it can deliver on its promise to capture—or pull out like a sponge if you will—a 1000 tons of CO2 every year. (A real tree needs 100 years to accomplish this same task.)

More broadly still, if innovative researchers at such places as Sandia’s National Lab and Georgia Tech can learn how to “reenergize” this carbon it is possible that carbon could become a “sustainable” fuel. In other words, our automobiles and coal plants will still spew out CO2 but we may soon be able to recycle and reuse it.

I know environmentalists and “Greens” might not warm to such an idea but the future often has a funny way of playing out. The vision of a “sustainable” carbon economy may not hold as much appeal as, say, a zero-carbon hydrogen economy but it has one large and distinct advantage—it won’t require people or large industries to change. And if there is one thing everyone needs to keep in mind when contemplating the future it is this: People don’t like to change unless it is absolutely necessary.

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