Climework‘s Built the World’s First Carbon-Capture Plant in Hinwil, Switzerland
On May 31, 2017 the world’s first commercial carbon dioxide capture-plant was opened in Hinwil, Switzerland.
It’s designed and operated by a Swiss company called Climeworks, and uses a modular design that can be scaled up over time.
The company says that the plant will remove 900 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year by passing it through a special proprietary filter that isolates carbon dioxide molecules from the ambient air—as opposed to industrial exhaust, where the concentration is (obviously) much higher.
What will happen to all of this carbon dioxide?
Some of it will be cycled into nearby greenhouses to help the plants grow better (ironic), which will increase crop yields. Apparently they grow a lot of lettuce in the area.
They also plan to market the carbon for use in carbonated beverages—I guess we’ll have to start drinking more Coke and Pepsi in order to save the planet.
Of course, neither of these uses will do anything to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—all the carbon will simply fizz out of your drink.
The rest will be sequestered underground deep in the Swiss Alps, never again to see the light of day.
The company says their technology could be used to stop climate change.
Could Ambient Atmospheric Carbon-Capture Plants Prevent Climate Change?
Of course, these plants are next to useless when it comes to addressing the perceived problem of climate change.
For example, Climeworks estimates that 250,000 carbon capture plants would be necessary to capture enough CO2 to meet the Integovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s goals of capturing 1% of global emissions by 2025.
One down, only 249,999 more to go—and probably hundreds of billions of (taxpayer) dollars. Although this really is par for the course when it comes to liberal environmental projects.
But all told, this may just be the worst idea that liberal environmentalists have ever had—or ever will have.
And this includes green schemes such as: giving poor farmers in India free solar panels, to re-freezing the Arctic using thousands of windmills, and (NEE’s personal favorite) planting new forests and then burning them for fuel instead of oil.
Why is that?
Because trees exist.
Trees are great. They’re beautiful, they provide shade and fruits, they smell nice—but most importantly, they take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and replace it with breathable oxygen.
They’re good at it too. In fact, it only takes an average of 98 trees to remove 1 ton of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per year.
That means that this carbon capture facility is worth only 88,200 trees per year (never mind the fabrication costs for all the parts, which probably have an enormous carbon footprint).
Although we can’t compare the costs because Climeworks doesn’t state the cost of their plant on their website—probably because it’s egregiously high, we do know the cost of planting trees.
You can sponsor charities to plant trees for you at a grand total of 20 cents per tree.
Granted, they’re saplings—but once relatively mature they’d do the job.
Remember, there are 2000 lbs in a ton. Divided by 98 trees, this equals 20.4 lbs of growth a year—this is actually very reasonable in most climates.
And of course, nothing’s stopping us from planting even more trees.
That means that only $17,640 worth of trees could do the work of the multi-million dollar Hinwil carbon-capture plant.
This is lunacy, pure and simple.
According to Spencer P Morrison, this paper’s editor-in-chief, the Hinwil carbon plant may be “the worst investment in human history”, and is “symptomatic of a complete disregard for common sense, and utter contempt for the working man”.
No disagreements from your humble columnist.
And if we’re being honest, we probably don’t even need to start planting more trees, we just need to stop burning them down to make room for new development and ranch land—better land management is actually our cheapest, and most effective option at preserving the environment.
The fact is that the entire green energy market is a scam that plays on people’s emotions to get them to give money to greedy handout billionaires.
Fossil fuels are not only more efficient and cheaper than renewable energy, but they’re also better for the environment, when you consider all the other factors.