Bryan Lawrence : What does zero emission mean?

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What does zero emission mean?

physorg is reporting that Texas and Illinois will compete for the worlds first near-zero-emissions coal plant.

Fabulous I thought, until I asked myself what zero-emission meant, and chased it up. Actually it means "near zero emission into the atmosphere right now". It would seem the project is about building plants that do carbon sequestration. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Frankly, I have no idea whether it will work long term or not. But what is a bad thing is to be duplicitous while you're doing it, these things are not actually zero emissions, they're still polluters. What this actually means is the pollution will be buried! Again, nothing necessarily wrong with that, humanity has been doing it since civilization was invented, but burying pollution is not the same as not polluting and it must eventually be a problem. If we're going to talk zero-emission, then we ought to be explicit about what it means.

(It must be the humidity, I'm feeling pedantic today).

Categories: environment

This page last modified Thursday 27 July, 2006
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