Saturday, February 10, 2007

It Ain't As Hard Bein' Green

Can you believe this? They can't be serious. Branson has been involved in some "crazy" schemes in the his reality show last year where he wanted to give away his company to the winner of some impossibly "herculean task" that only he could judge. Here we go again.

There are so many questions that occur to me about this, his latest promotion. Poor Al Gore; he's so well-meaning, but does he actually think you can just "suck up" the Carbon Dioxide in our global climate and send it somewhere? Like outer space? or, as an article in the newspaper today suggests, "bury it" somewhere near the town of Thornton. This is one of several government industry coalitions called West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership or WESTCARB. They are looking at two site, one in Arizona, and the other in California near Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley because of the geology. Below Earth's surface, impermeable caps of shale rock overlie layers of porous sandstone that once held natural gas deposits exist in these areas. It will just leak out slowly over the eons. But just how do you collect all this CO2? How do you even measure that you have it? How do you transport it to these sites?

Would you win the $25 million from Branson if you came up with a three-pronged approach? i.e. Cutting energy use through better efficiency and changing lifestyles; expanding the use of energy sources that don't put CO2 into the atmosphere; capturing the CO2 from fossil fuel-burning engines and storing it (underground or in outer space). But then, how would you monitor this? The logistics wouldn't even be feasible.

There's a new show on TV-Cable that is, at least, entertaining. "Living with Ed" Have you seen it? It is supposed to be humorous and plays on the "eternal battle" of spouses. i.e. Ed Bagley's wife who likes to shop and spend and Ed, who likes "green projects" to build and install in his Studio City home...where money is no object. He goes on about saving money but he keeps getting new gadgets that have to cost something. At least he is making an effort to make us all more aware of the so called "global warming" that has now been officially declared by some conference in France. Even Mr. Bush is starting to listen and give it "lip service" in his "State of the Union" address.

Years ago, back when they were still having "Earth Day" and giving out awards and certificates for classrooms and teachers who were "making the effort", we won a "prize" from KCET at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens (with TV coverage) for our efforts with "styrofoam trays" used with our school lunches. We decided to collect them at our school after each lunch, rinse them off, stack them and bag them and send them back to the company that provided them to our district. At first they (the Co.) were reluctant because of the hassle of putting them back into the trucks that brought them in boxes. Our "administrators" were also reluctant with approval on letting the kids "mess with all that garbage". We had to stand over the trash cans and have the kids knock off the left-over food in one can and drop the tray in another. Then they had to be hosed-off, stacked and bagged and stored in a shed near the lunch area. It went fine until we discovered rats and the smell. Needless to say, if we had all this hassle with a mini-green-project, how are Branson and Gore going to handle a global one?

Branson compared the "Project CO2 Suck" with a competition Britain's Parliament launched in 1714 to devise a method to estimate longitude accurately. Six decades passed before English clockmaker John Harrison received his prize from King George III for making a portable, accurate timepiece that could weather the "weather" on board ships in those days. It is just not the same in scope. Sixty years? Think of all the politics involved...(lying, cheating, stealing etc. yes there was)

Weather Science has yet to be that accurate and dependable. "A 40% chance of rain tomorrow." I just wonder what the percentage chance of "global warming" is in the next 100 years? Can we really do anything about it...besides complain? ...and Bob!


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