Is there a way out

1 The World Energy Council estimates economically recoverable reserves of coal, excluding non-conventional sources, at 850 billion tonnes. At current usage rates that would last 150 years. Adding in known potentially exploitable reserves at least doubles this estimate. The United States has the greatest reserves, followed by Russia, China and Australia ( Judy Trinnaman and Alan Clarke (eds), Survey of Energy Resources 2007: Coal, World Energy Council, London, 2007).


3 Anon., 'Trouble in store', Economist, 5 March 2009.

4 http :// com/watch?v= GehK7Q_QxPc.

5 Roland Nelles, 'Germany Plans Boom in Coal-Fired Power Plants Despite High Emissions', Der Spiegel Online, 21 March 2007.

6 Matthew Franklin, 'Obama supports Rudd on clean coal', Australian, 26 March 2009.

7 Nicholas Stern, The Economics of Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, p. 251.

8 Jeffrey Sachs, 'Living with Coal: Addressing Climate Change', Speech to the Asia Society, New York, 1 June 2009. Mike

Stephenson, head of science at the British Geological Survey, says: 'It does not matter what we say in the west about what they should do, they will always want to exploit their coal . . . The only way round the problem is to make the use of coal safe and environmentally friendly' (Robin McKie, 'Coal at the centre of fierce new climate battle', Observer, 15 February 2009).

9 Ross Garnaut, The Garnaut Climate Change Review, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2008, p. 392.

10 Anon., 'Trouble in store'; 20090518/carbon-capture-storage-projects-funded-id-1068423. html.

11 Christian Kerr, 'Carbon capture to save industry', Australian, 13 May 2009.

13 For coal see Guy Pearse, Quarry Vision: Coal, climate change and the end of the resources boom, Quarterly Essay, no. 23, Black Inc., Melbourne, 2009, p. 84. For wool see Australian Wool Innovation, Annual Report 2008, AWI, 2008, p. 4.

14 World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 'Facts and Trends: Carbon capture and storage', WBCSD, 2006.

15 Treasury, Australia's Low Pollution Future: The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2008, p. 179.

17 International Energy Agency, Energy Technology Perspectives 2008, International Energy Agency, Paris, 2008, Textbase/subjectqueries/ccs/what_is_ccs.asp.

18 Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (Australia), 'Sleipner Project Overview', au/demo/sleipner.html.

19 Jeff Goodell, 'Coal's New Technology: Panacea or risky gamble?', Yale Environment 360, 14 July 2008.

20 Quoted by Goodell, 'Coal's New Technology'.

21 CSIRO, Submission to the House of Representatives Inquiry into Geosequestration Technology, CSIRO, Australia, August 2006.

22 IPCC, Summary for Policymakers, Special Report: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage, IPCC, 2005, p. 4 and Figure SPM.2; Anon., 'Trouble in store'.

23 Greenpeace, False Hope: Why carbon capture and storage won't save the climate, Greenpeace International, Amsterdam, 2008, p. 35; Anon., 'Trouble in store'.


25 Greenpeace, False Hope, p. 31.

26 Stern, The Economics of Climate Change, p. 251.

27 Greenpeace, False Hope.

28 Anon., 'Trouble in store'; Anon., 'The illusion of clean coal', Economist, 5 March 2009.

29 Mark Milner, '"Without commercial carbon capture, it's 'game over'", E.ON boss tells government', Guardian, 17 March 2009.

30 Anon., 'UK—no new coal without CCS', Carbon Capture Journal, May-June 2009, CCJ9web.pdf.

31 See especially European Renewable Energy Council and Greenpeace International, Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable global energy outlook, 2008.

32 Quoted in Melanie Warner, 'Is America ready to Quit Coal?', New York Times, 15 February 2009.

33 For the next several paragraphs I'd like to thank George Wilkenfeld and Hugh Saddler for allowing me to draw on George Wilkenfeld, Clive Hamilton and Hugh Saddler, 'Clean coal' and other greenhouse myths, Research Paper No. 49, The Australia Institute, Canberra, August 2007.

34 'Technical reliability of single generating units is not the issue: modern wind turbines are ~98-99% available, far better than any thermal plant. The issue is rather the aggregate effect of some renewables' variability' (Amory Lovins and Imran Sheikh, 'The

Nuclear Illusion', Rocky Mountains Institute, 27 May 2008, p. 22).

35 Lovins and Sheikh, 'The Nuclear Illusion', p. 22, n. 88.

36 Anon., 'Offshore wind farms could meet a quarter of the UK's electricity needs', Guardian, 25 June 2009.

37 'Research is increasingly showing that if we properly diversify renewable energy supplies in type and location, forecast the weather (as hydropower and windpower operators now do), and integrate renewables with existing demand- and supply-side resources on the grid, then renewables' electrical supplies will be more reliable than current arrangements' (Lovins and Sheikh, 'The Nuclear Illusion', p. 24).

38 See, for example, James Kanter, 'European Solar Power From African Deserts?', New York Times, 18 June 2009.


40 European Renewable Energy Council and Greenpeace International, Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable global energy outlook, p. 144.

41 See, for example, Greenpeace International, 'Changing lifestyles and consumption patterns', The Greenpeace Climate Vision, Background Note No. 8, May 2009.

42 Amory Lovins and Imran Sheikh, 'The Nuclear Illusion', p. 8, n. 39.

43 Greenpeace International, 'Nuclear Power: An expensive waste of time', Greenpeace, Amsterdam, 2009.

44 Lovins and Sheikh, 'The Nuclear Illusion', p. 20.

45 Generation IV nuclear energy includes several designs for power plants that are safer and produce much less radioactive waste than conventional plants. The technologies are not expected to be commercial until 2030, although one is planned for completion in 2021.

46 Royal Society, Geoengineering the Climate: Science, governance and uncertainty, Royal Society, London, 2009, p. 1.

47 Royal Society, Geoengineering the Climate, p. 1.

48 James Lovelock, The Vanishing Face of Gaia, Penguin, Camberwell, 2009, p. 98.

49 Robert Kunzig and Wallace Broecker, Fixing Climate, Green Profile, London, 2008, pp. 234-45.

50 Royal Society, Geoengineering the Climate, p. 32.

51 Royal Society, Geoengineering the Climate, p. 25; David Adam, 'Paint it white', Guardian, 16 January 2009.

52 Royal Society, Geoengineering the Climate, pp. 2, 24.

53 Paul Crutzen, 'Albedo enhancement by stratospheric sulfur injections: A contribution to resolve a policy dilemma?', Climatic Change, vol. 77, nos 3-4, pp. 211-20.

54 Scott Barrett, 'The Incredible Economics of Geoengineering', Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 39, 2008, pp. 45-54.

55 Although soot particles can also amplify warming.

56 Crutzen, 'Albedo enhancement by stratospheric sulfur injections'.

57 David J. Travis, Andrew M. Carleton and Ryan G. Lauritsen, 'Contrails reduce daily temperature range', Nature, vol. 418, 8 August 2002, p. 601.

58 H.D. Matthews, L. Cao and K. Caldeira, 'Sensitivity of ocean acidification to geoengineered climate stabilization', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 36, 2009.

59 Kunzig and Broecker, Fixing Climate, p. 262.

60 Alan Robock, Luke Oman and Georgiy Stenchikov, 'Regional climate responses to geoengineering with tropical and Arctic SO2 injections', Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 13, 2008.

61 Barrett, 'The Incredible Economics of Geoengineering'.

62 'Obama's science chief eyes drastic climate steps', Associated Press, 8 April 2009, john_holdrens_minor_geoenginee.shtml.

63 Crutzen, 'Albedo enhancement by stratospheric sulfur injections'.

64 Royal Society, Geoengineering the Climate. As we saw in Chapter 5, in the late seventeenth century the Royal Society was instrumental in unleashing the powers of Prometheus, so there is an irony in the fact that in the twenty-first century it is leading the campaign to counter the consequences.

65 David Victor, 'On the regulation of geoengineering', Oxford Review of Economic Policy, vol. 24, no. 2, 2008, p. 327.

66 Kurt House, Christopher House, Daniel Schrag and Michael Aziz, 'Electrochemical acceleration of chemical weathering as an energetically feasible approach to mitigating anthropogenic climate change', Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 41, no. 24, 2007, p. 8467.

67 Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris, Standard Operating Procedure, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 2008.

68 Aeschylus, The Persians.

69 Karl Jaspers, The Future of Mankind, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1961, p. viii.

70 Clive Hamilton, 'Building on Kyoto', New Left Review, no. 45, May-June 2007.

71 In the glacial/interglacial period of the last 34 million years changes in global carbon dioxide levels have in the main been due to solar radiation triggering ice melt/water interactions, causing warming oceans and carbon dioxide release. Climate deniers have mischievously claimed that the paleoclimate record showing carbon dioxide increases trailing warming 'proves' that recent warming is the cause of rising carbon dioxide levels rather than the other way round.

72 Timothy Lenton and Werner von Bloh, 'Biotic feedback extends the life span of the biosphere', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 28, 2001; James Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia, Penguin, London, 2007, p. 40.

73 Donald Olson, Russell Doescher and Marilynn Olson, 'When the Sky Ran Red: The Story Behind "The Scream"', Sky & Telescope, February 2004, pp. 29-35.

74 Crutzen, 'Albedo enhancement by stratospheric sulfur injections'.

75 H. Damon Matthews and Ken Caldeira, 'Transient climate-carbon simulations of planetary geoengineering', Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, vol. 104, no. 24, 12 June 2007.

76 Royal Society, Geoengineering the Climate, p. 24.

77 Victor, 'On the regulation of geoengineering', p. 331, n. 14.

78 Jeff Goodell, 'Can Dr. Evil Save The World?', Rolling Stone, 3 November 2006.

79 Although Teller was Jewish and left Europe in 1935. Teller had a prosthetic foot while Dr Strangelove had a prosthetic hand. See the Wikipedia entries on Teller and Dr Strangelove.

80 E. Teller, L. Wood and R. Hyde, 'Global Warming and Ice Ages: I. Prospects for Physics-Based Modulation of Global Change', Paper to the 22nd International Seminar on Planetary Emergencies, Italy, August 20-23 1997; Goodell, 'Can Dr. Evil Save The World?'.

81 Alex Steffen, 'Geoengineering and the New Climate Denialism', Worldchanging, 29 April 2009, archives/009784.html.


83 Steffen, 'Geoengineering and the New Climate Denialism'.

84 Royal Society, Geoengineering the Climate, p. 45.

85 Edward Teller, Roderick Hyde and Lowell Wood, 'Active Climate Stabilization: Practical Physics-Based Approaches to Prevention of Climate Change', paper submitted to the National Academy of Engineering Symposium, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, April 2002.

87 Teller et al., 'Global Warming and Ice Ages'.

88 Quoted by David Grinspoon, 'Is Mars Ours? The logistics and ethics of colonizing the red planet', Slate, 7 January 2004, http://

89 Quoted in James R. Fleming, 'The Climate Engineers: Playing god to save the planet', Wilson Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 2, 2007, p. 48.

90 Goodell, 'Can Dr. Evil Save The World?'. The quote is slightly modified.

92 Arthur Conan Doyle, 'When the World Screamed', in The Lost World & Other Stories, Wordsworth Editions Ltd, Hertfordshire, 1995.

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