Markus Stocker bio photo

Markus Stocker

Between information technology and environmental science with a flair for economics, the clarinet, and the world of soups and salads.

Email Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Github

The concept of “clean coal,” which had been repeatedly mentioned by both Obama and McCain during the US presidential election in 2008 as an alternative energy generation technology with low carbon emissions, still echoes in my mind as it has been made to stick like a perfect advertising slogan.

I’m certainly not the first and probably not the last; have you ever asked yourself how clean coal technology is supposed to work? Wikipedia, books, and uncountable other sources, explain.

To me, the most curious part of the technology is carbon storage. Instead of emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere the alternative is to capture carbon dioxide and store it underground. As far as I understand, deep saline aquifers are believed to be a good container in Earth’s belly for our carbon dioxide.

The image of sidewalks arched by the roots of trees is sufficient to be skeptical this is a solution, a skepticism that culminates with burial programs like the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. It is hard to believe anyone can guarantee safe permanent underground storage for hundreds, thousands, ten thousands of years. I suppose, it requires a homo sapiens for nature to believe something that requires linguists, scientists, science fiction writers, anthropologists and futurists to come up with markers that must warn the next generations of homo sapiens, could be a solution.

Undoubtedly, both Obama and McCain are smarter and more knowledgeable than I am. Naturally, I ask myself, why are they selling clean coal as a sustainable technology while experts have yet to evaluate data from demostration storage projects, and, at least to me, the solution intuitively seems yet another reason why the Moon could be right.

Clean Tax Deferred Coal Technology.