Friday, February 22, 2008

Idiotic Solutions to Non-Problems

By Alan Caruba

Since there is no threat from greenhouse emissions, especially carbon dioxide, the notion that The New York Times would devote space to a “solution” to CO2 that lacks even a modicum of common sense simply reaffirms this newspaper’s obsession with "global warming."

Viscount Monckton, a British scientist, has famously said that when confronted with a non-problem, the best thing to do is nothing.

On February 19, reporter Kenneth Chang, reported that “Scientists Would Turn Greenhouse Gas Into Gasoline.” This immediately raises the question of why this hasn’t already been done. The answer is (1) it would require an enormous amount of energy—the equivalent of the entire output of a nuclear plant and (2) that a CO2 conversion plant would cost at least $5 billion to build and would not be economically viable unless gasoline was selling for close to $5 a gallon.

According to the article, two scientists, F. Jeffrey Martin and William L. Kuble, Jr., have proposed the CO2 conversion concept they have dubbed “Green Freedom.” Apparently scientists are now taking classes in public relations.

As the article explained, “The idea is simple. Air would be blown over a liquid solution of potassium carbonate, which would absorb the carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide would then be extracted and subjected to chemical reactions that would turn it into fuel: methanol, gasoline or jet fuel.”

According to Wikipedia, “Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, carbinol, wood alcohol, wood naphtha or wood spirits, is a chemical compound with chemical formula CH3OH (often abbreviated MeOH). It is the simplest alcohol, and is a light, volatile, colorless, flammable, poisonous, liquid with a distinctive odor that is somewhat milder and sweeter than ethanol.” (emphasis added)

In other words, it is moonshine. If it didn’t have the side effect of killing you, people would drink it

“Although they have not yet built a synthetic fuel factory, or even a small prototype, the scientists say it is all based on existing technology.” Vacationing on Mars is also based on existing technology. Buy your ticket today or maybe some carbon credits.

Until Planet Earth runs out of oil, the need for this “Green Freedom” energy source is totally unnecessary and, at this point, an idiotic exercise by two scientists who thirst for fame (and grants!) like the most common Hollywood starlet.

Thus we have an idiotic solution to a non-problem. Carbon Dioxide is essential to the existance of every bit of vegetation on Earth. It is not a pollutant and, at 0.038% of the Earth’s atmosphere, it represents zero risk of turning the planet into a dust bowl devoid of all life.

Since we are assailed daily with this kind of global warming related story, it is understandable why people think there's a problem. The problem is the fear mongers who keep telling people we’re running out of oil and that atmospheric CO2 is a danger.

No comments: