Friday, October 08, 2021

My Wash Post Article

I have an article in today's Washington Post. It's accompanied by a nice piece of artwork, by Amy Ning

"The climate crisis is spawning weird ideas to fix it. They might be all we have."


JoeT said...

Nice article David, congratulations! Your last paragraph says it all.

The argument about human engineering was something I never heard before. Wish I never had. I only read the abstract for the paper, but it was enough to make me ill. This is the kind of argument that Michael Mann talks about in his book -- those who want to put the blame of the climate crisis on individual behavior rather than fossil fuel companies.

I'm very pessimistic about CCS. More than the cost, the problem is the amount of power requirements. Jennifer Wilcox, who literally wrote the book on the subject and is now at DOE, says you need 300-400 MW power plant just to remove 1 Mt of CO2 from the air. Since IPCC scenarios rely heavily on CCS to keep the temperature below 2C, I'm pessimistic that our offspring won't see temperatures higher than 2C in this century.

David Appell said...

Thanks Joe, I appreciate your comments.

I almost thought the human engineering paper had to be tongue-in-cheek. But then I noticed the lead author still has a statement on his Web page promoting the idea, so I think it's not. Which reminds me now I meant to mention the Matt Damon movie "Downsizing" but them forgot to work it in.

In just the last couple of months I have also become pessimistic on CCS, perhaps as I see more and more people on Twitter becoming so. That's a lot of power for 1 Mt. As David Keith pointed out in his good NYT article last week, it's also very slow -- it's a cumulative solution, taking out one ton after the other, which could take decades to scale up, by which time there will be more warming. It does seem hard to believe we can hold warming to 2 C.

Again, thanks for the compliment.

Layzej said...

Great article David. I hope they do clone the mammoths, though not for the sake of the climate.

David Appell said...

Layzej: Why are you hoping for mammoth clones?

Layzej said...

Wouldn't that be fantastical?

David Appell said...


They're going to mix them with Asian Elephant DNA, so they won't be true woolly mammoths, but "mammophants." A chimera.

Layzej said...

Calling it a chimera only makes it more fantastical :)