“The mass of fossil fuels produced and consumed each year is huge – about 12 billion tonnes every year, over one and a half tonnes for each person in the world. That is much more than other major commodities. Wheat is less than a billion tonnes per annum, the iron ore for the world’s iron and steel industry is a little over two billion tonnes, and cement is something over four billion tonnes. … However the CO2 produced from energy and industry (so excluding land use), is much greater still – about 36 billion tonnes. … Even capturing and transporting around a third of current emissions would involve dealing with masses as large as the current fossil fuel system, which has required, cumulatively, tens of trillions of dollars of investment over many decades. … The problem gets even worse for any process of CO2 capture from the air that involves use of a solid to bind the CO2. This is because binding CO2 as a solid inevitably involves adding mass. For example, if the CO2 were eventually to end up as limestone (CaCO3) the limestone would have more than double the mass of the captured carbon dioxide.”
“Industrial-scale renewable energy does nothing to remake the exploitative relationships with the earth and ecosystems created and reproduced by “industrialized humans” — people acclimated to and dependent upon an industrial capitalist way of life. The excessive concern with possible energy solutions within capitalism as opposed to more fundamental social transformations expresses our inability to imagine any other way of living, blinding us to the deeper socio-ecological insurrection that climate change has made necessary.
“When people embrace renewable energy systems, many do not realize that they require various forms of violence against people, environments, and animals, which must remain hidden for obvious reasons. These systems, which require concrete, steel, copper, rare earth minerals and, by extension, fossil fuel and mineral extraction, are made acceptable by being placed out of sight and out of mind, in the materially poor, rural, and Indigenous territories of the Global South and North.”
“Professor Garrett’s model indicates the constant requirement of 9.7 Watts to support every $1000 (adjusted to the 1990 Dollar) means it is impossible to decarbonise the economy and prevent catastrophic climate change within six decades.”