They’re not Solutions

Like zero net carbon itself, all these ‘solutions’ are old system and deeply flawed. They allow execs to continue to suck money out of their current businesses, sometimes with no changes at all (Heathrow airport funds bog restoration, airlines plant trees) as long as the harm is balanced elsewhere (picture planting trees for to balance out a gas power station).

The problems are well documented: CCUS is an excuse to keep digging up coal and using gas – the imperative for industry is not throwing away its current investment – use every bit of coal and gas they can, then convert to green energy. CCUS is unproven at scale, and will take too long to roll-out.

BECCS, growing mono-culture crops to burn then store the carbon produced is as mad as it sounds. Huge areas of prime agricultural land will need to be allocated to it. The monoculture will destroy biodiversity, and we burn en-masse without the full technology to know how to seal in the carbon for good.

Hydrogen isn’t a fuel source, but a way of storing and using. It takes energy to make, so needs to be made from clean energy to be carbon efficient. Used in vehicles it is dangerous to store and transport, less efficient at energy transfer than using an electric vehicle. It seems to be another apology for carrying on as usual.

Nuclear divides environmentalists. It is low carbon whilst operating, but needs major industrial effort to mine, construct and run, with proven risks of accidents. There is an argument that we only have civilian nuclear energy, which is vastly expensive, as it camouflages investment in military nuclear weapons programmes, with academic teaching, training and roles mixing between the two sectors, which are really one. We wouldn’t bother if we didn’t want the bombs.

There’s only really one solution: change everything, now, all at once. Embrace that change – the financial, the economic, the social and the political. Systems Change. Anything else is a waste of life, ours.

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