When introducing the subject of CO2 geological storage numerous other complex and socially-important issues immediately come up.
First of all, CO2 excess is a world-wide problem and thus it needs to be addressed globally. This is not easy, not only because it is a long and difficult task to find an agreement among all countries, but also because we are just beginning to learn how to face problems that involve a global context. The number of factors which need to be taken into account is great and local policies are no longer local, but rather they get their meaning in relation to many other local policies. If we are dealing with a world problem, how can a "world - scale way of thinking" be developed?
Another major and extremely complex theme is energy production: fossil fuels, nuclear power, renewables, etc. (each with its different advantages and disadvantages) have social, environmental, economic features and costs that form the context within which CO2GS is going to be evaluated (Shackley et al., 2004). How is CO2GS to be considered in relation to the general energy situation? What kind of solutions can it offer? How can it help? From the economic point of view, what are the costs to implement this technology and how do they compare to those of other technologies?
People, and especially stakeholders, need to learn about CO2GS, to be able to decide on its potential and because public collaboration is needed for its implementation. In this respect there are a number of concepts that are crucial for a correct understanding. They need to be studied not only to find scientific information, but also to outline the kind of relationship we feel with them. For example, what is CO2, what has it come to mean, what is geological storage, how does one imagine it, and how is the effect on the earth (or with a particular territory) felt and characterized?
With some differences among the various countries, some of which are moving forward more quickly than others, the present situation is a preliminary phase to the possible adoption of CO2GS as a mean for the reduction of excess CO2 in the atmosphere.
Any decision regarding energy issues will have an enormous impact on society in terms of quality of life and well - being, economic costs and profits, environmental exploitation and protection, social safety and risks, etc.. Thus it is socially very relevant that complete and correct information is available on the various technological opportunities in order to help take decisions. At the same time all the different social groups, with their specific requests, need to enter into the learning process to be able to participate in the decision-making process (Shackley et al., 2004).
The type of information requested on CO2GS will vary in relation to the needs of different social subjects. For example environmentalists and citizen associations will probably be more interested in safety and health-related issues, politicians to costs and implementation times and plans, industries to costs and advantages such as incentives, and local administrators to control and monitoring of sites, etc.
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