Keep hope alive

Cubs win! Congrats to their long-suffering fans, and to Cleveland’s for coming oh-so-close this time-their time’s coming. (And thumbs down to the churlish sour-grapes Cards’ tribalists who make me question my ancestral allegiance. It’s a game, people.)

We close Atmosphere of Hope and look ahead to Ecotopia today.

When the climate gives us lemons, we can make lemon shandy. That’s one way of thinking about chemical capture and storage. Generously pour that excess CO2, not on the rocks but into them. Or into cement, or sand, or some other smart and safe hideaway. We could even capture ships’ exhaust at sea and release it in a carbonate form that might go on capturing more CO2 from seawater.

The famous 1953 Miller/Urey experiment didn’t really “create life in a flask” but it did forge new frontiers with the potential to replace fossil fuels through power generation based on captured carbon. Crossing those frontiers won’t be cheap, but there are no intrinsic technical barriers to make them impassable. Energy economics may be dismal but it’s not rocket science.


Some people who don’t like looking at wind farms or other renewable technologies want to keep the Antarctic a visual wilderness. I’m with Flannery, they don’t have to look. They can retrain their aesthetic sensibility to reflect eco-reality. And Exxon, Mobil, et al, can change their business model. What did Mr. Wells say, adapt or perish?

Flannery is heartenend by the spirited activism of young people lately. “If their elders had been half as effective as they are, we would have the climate problem under control by now.” Despair is not a constructive attitude. Let’s remember that as November 8 impends. “Younger people need to be given the chance to create a better world for themselves.” Their time’s coming too.

6:15 am/7:14, 68/82/55, 5:47

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