- if you came from a planet that had never burned fossil fuels (or from our planet but 300 years ago) you'd probably find the whole notion of burning fossil fuels on the scale we do to be abhorrent, what with the pollution, oil spills, global warming etc. However, we are accustomed to it, so it doesn't bother (most of) us.
- If you're used to your hydrocarbons coming nice and easily from a Saudi field (where the method of extraction is pretty much stick a hole in the ground, let the light, sweet crude oil flow up with hardly any effort at all) then things like shale gas, hydrofracking and tar sands seem crazy.
- However, if someone is considering burning coal from underneath your feet (UCG, see my previous post), suddenly shale gas doesn't seem so bad after all.
However, a sense of perspective can be achieved by considering the work of some colleagues of mine who are working on a project called 'SPICE' - Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering. We are currently looking at the possibility of constructing a huge pipeline into the stratosphere, through which we can pump sulphate particles that will help absorb the sun's rays and reduce global warming to manageable levels. When you consider that plan B is a 25km space-pipe injecting sulphate into the stratosphere, wouldn't it be a better idea to start burying CO2 emitted from power plants now, rather than hoping that we will switch to renewable energy at some unspecified point in the future. Perspective people......