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Can We Clean Up Fossil Fuels?

Can we continue to burn fossil fuels and still halt global warming? Big government and big business are pushing zero emission power plants tha tburn coal or gas but release no CO2. Europe is much more worried about global warming than the complacent US, because if the gulf stream stops flowing, which it happening right now, then the UK and much of Europe will have the climate of northern Canada.

Fred Pearce writes in New Scientist that the European Union's energy commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, claims we can still burn fossil fuels without greenhouse emissions if we use clean coal technologies or capture and store the carbon dioxide gas before it gets into the atmosphere and store it underground. A third alternative is to pass the CO2 through chemical scrubbers that boost the amount of hydrogen it contains.

To bury CO2 underground, it has to first be compressed, then injected under pressure. Scientists are considering the possibility of burying carbon dioxide in the ocean floor. This is already being done: the Norwegian company Statoil already buries a million tons of CO2 gas every year that is stripped from natural gas in the ocean where it?s mined. It never even reaches land. In Algeria, BP oil has begun reburying CO2 gas as well. The problem with this is that earthquakes there could release all this gas suddenly. Global warming events in the past occurred when huge amounts of greenhouse gases were suddenly and mysteriously released into the atmosphere.

Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

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