Friday, October 11, 2013
What kind of public pressure is needed to force the world's utilities to capture CO2? It has to be more than what we see today because little or no progress has been made. Coal-fired plants are still belching it into the upper atmosphere and the air continues to absorb it. One would think that we would have reached emergency status by now despite global warming deniers. The publics of developed and Third World countries have not understood the problem well enough to support change, and the economics of the shift are more than utilities feel they can handle alone. Hence, everything sits at status quo. A campaign to change minds and hearts would have to be vast -- along the lines of anti-smoking efforts over 40 years. However, the planet might not have 40 years to spare without major climate shifts. Hence, the urgency. Many scientists are discussing the issue, but they are not being heard in a coordinated and persuasive way. Secondly, the public doesn't see the effects of climate change yet although we can document a retreat of glaciers and ice fields. The attitude seems to be that global warming is tomorrow's problem. We will deal with it when it arrives. Of course, it has arrived stealthily and is increasing year by year. Meanwhile, power plants continue to vent tens of millions of tons of CO2 into the air annually.