David Keith and Thomas Homer-Dixon argue in last weekend's Globe Essay that environmentalists oppose carbon sequestration schemes because:
1) Environmentalists are gambling that we can make the huge cuts in CO2 emissions we need simply by improving our energy efficiency and using renewables like solar and wind power.
2) They possess a deep suspicion of big business and big industry that's a residue of the leftism of the original environmental movement.
They don't mention a third reason, which is that carbon sequestration is an expensive, iffy technology that may never work. I've written briefly about some of the challenges faced by Mr. Keith's preferred CCs project here, and many other writers have pointed out the technical issues that make any such project a questionable investment.
However, what I think is most significant are the doubts expressed re carbon sequestration by those within the power generation industry itself.
For example, in his day job, Richard S. Courtney, a well known climate change denier, was once Senior Material Scientist for British Coal. That's actually a PR position, but they gave him a fancy name. Now he edits CoalTrans International (journal of the international coal trading industry. His opinion of carbon sequestration:
Firstly, the value of carbon sequestration is political: n.b. it is not technological or economic.
There is opposition to power generation systems that emit CO2 as waste (this is similar to opposition to nuclear power systems that emit radioactive waste). A response to the opposition is needed until the AGW scare is ended. And claims of carbon sequestration (cs) provide that needed response although eveybody knows cs would be too expensive for it to be used.
When one of Big Coal's premier representatives calls CCs a crock meant to give the industry a thin green sheen, you have to wonder if some of that residue of distrust isn't warranted, and whether Mr. Homer-Dixon and Mr. Keith are not being a little bit naive.