Friday, February 22, 2008

Salvation??

A new article in Science looks like we might have another 'silver bullet' for the climate crisis:

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/02/15/tech-carbon-capture.html

Chemists at the University of California Los Angeles said the crystals — which go by the name zeolitic imidazolate frameworks, or ZIFs — can be tailored to absorb and trap specific molecules.

"The technical challenge of selectively removing carbon dioxide has been overcome," said UCLA chemistry professor Omar Yaghi in a statement.

This is clearly great news - a could be a big piece of an intermediate solution. I think it's important to remember at the same time that increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are but one sustainability challenge (albeit one that is of great magnitude, urgency, and to which we all contribute). There are still many sustainability issues associated with our fossil fuel based economy - the physical destruction of nature from coal mining, the social injustices of exploitative oil extraction, etc. So let's hope this works, and at the same time keep our eyes on the big prize, of a holistic, comprehensive vision of a truly sustainable, healthy, just, and caring society.

Stay going

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why is Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport expanding by adding a seventh runway now?

In London protesters are up in arms about the construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport. But if a third runway is inadvisable at Heathrow, a seventh runway at Schiphol is mind-boggling senseless.

Already, Schiphol Airport carries 32% less traffic than Heathrow, but has three times as many runways. One must ask, first, why on earth would Schiphol need a seventh runway when there's doubt that Heathrow needs a third? Second, why is there no international media coverage on the planned seventh runway in Amsterdam, when there's international attention about Heathrow's plan for a third?

Airport Runways Passengers per yr. (1) World Rank

SCHIPHOL (Amsterdam, NL): 6 46,065,719 12th

HEATHROW (London, UK): 2 67,530,197 3rd

ATLANTA (Atlanta, US): 5 84,846,639 1st


To underline the comparison: With three runways, Heathrow airport is also Europe's busiest airport for passenger traffic, and handles more international passenger traffic than any other airport in the world.(2) In comparison, with its six runways, Schiphol airport ranks down at twelfth largest globally.

It seems Schiphol faces a problem of using existing runways and managing airports efficiently. Airport expansion and additional runways are not a sustainable answer when the source of the inefficiency is with airport management.

The decision maker on the development of a seventh runway is Mr. Camiel Eurlings, the Dutch Minister of Transportation, who will be making a decision Tuesday, March 27th.

For more information, take a look at this Dutch anti-airport expansion group, whose protests have gone unheard by the government and media: http://badhoevedorpzuid.nl/ (For an English translation: http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbadhoevedorpzuid.nl%2F&langpair=nl%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF8)

Sincerely,

A concerned citizen

(1) Airports Council International, 2006 data.

(2) Airports Council International, 2006 data.

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