carbon sequestration

In Defense of Live Carbon

Why Stopping Deforestation May be the Hardest and Most Important Part of the Climate Change Challenge

When contemplating the enormous challenge of global climate change, it is sometimes helpful to think about a simple model of the global carbon budget (see figure below).  These admittedly reductionist schematics distinguish between sources, sinks, and reservoirs.  Fossil hydrocarbons from the geological reservoir–call this dead carbon—are extracted and burned to generate energy, emitting vast amounts …

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Saved By The…Air Conditioner?

New Paper Proposes Carbon Sequestration From HVAC Systems

You have to like the idea carbon sequestration: if our ability to stop putting carbon into the atmosphere is limited, why not try taking it out? But it always seems to founder on a life-cycle analysis: it costs so much in energy to get the system working that you wind up producing more carbon than you …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Reducing Emissions is Not Enough

Post #8 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the eighth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] Under the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to hold the increase in the global average temperature to “well below 2°C …

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Guest Blogger Ken Alex: Working and Natural Lands, From Sources to Sinks

Post #6 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the sixth post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world. The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] Roughly 80% of California land is protected or agricultural.  That includes deserts, forests, wetlands, foothills, and multiple vegetative types, …

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U.S. Agricultural Policy, Climate Change, and Existing Legal Authority

New research from Berkeley Law finds that the U.S. Department of Agriculture can act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is much in the news these days, as it implements the massive and always-controversial farm bill, works to improve access to national forests, strives to enhance the U.S. position in international agriculture markets, and wrestles to contain this season’s extensive wildfire activity. What is less obvious to many is …

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The Significance of EPA’s Proposed Power Plant Standards

Although they won’t have immediate impacts, EPA’s proposed rules for new coal plants will indirectly help shape the future of the industry.

There’s an uproar over EPA’s proposed rules for CO2 emissions from new coal plants, even though no one expects anyone to build a new coal plant for at least a decade.  I’ve argued (here and here) that the industry won’t have standing to challenge the rules because they won’t have any imminent impact.  In fact, …

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America’s Energy Future: A New Report

The National Research Council has released a new report (available for purchase here) on America’s energy future.  Here are some key take away points: Use of existing energy-efficiency technologies is the nearest-term and lowest-cost option for moderating our nation’s demand for energy, especially over the next decade. The potential energy savings available from theaccelerated deployment …

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Failing to “Do the Math”

Remember that DOE canceled the demonstration project for carbon sequestration in Matton, Illinois because of cost over-runs.  It turns out that they screwed up the numbers, according to GAO.  Now that DOE has a Nobel prize winner at the helm, maybe its math skills will improve.

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The future of coal-fired electric power

Tomorrow’s New York Times has an interesting article on the future of coal-fired electric power in the United States. Coal is responsible for fully 20% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, according to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.  “Clean coal,” meaning coal plants that result in no net emissions of carbon dioxide,  would be possible only …

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