Climate Change and the Quality of Life
Advocates of elimination of all fossil fuels are motivated by quality of life concerns. South Asian countries building coal fired power plants are motivated by quality of life concerns. The key to a policy with broadest support lies in an agreement on quality of life goals.
This agreement takes on a new urgency due the breakthrough on methods to “suck the CO2 out of the air”. Commercial success with biomass combustion and CO2 sequestration means that this is the preferred power source to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. If all the fossil fired power plants in the world substituted biomass and then sequestered the CO2 we would be reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere as fast as we were once increasing it.
If the biomass combustion/sequestration was also combined with the trillion tree program we would rapidly be on our way to achieving low levels of CO2 not seen since the 1800s.
The cost of the fuel options varies widely. So quality of life impacts vs cost has to be considered. If one accepts the worst case scenario of climate impact on life quality with immediate intolerable fires and floods then there ought be large sums spent to convert existing coal plants to biomass and sequester CO2. This is the UK policy and is being implemented by the Drax, NG, Equinor consortium.
The main concern with this heroic effort is that it may be solar activity rather than fossil fired power plants that cause climate change. We could be spending trillions of dollars and not changing the outcome. Rather than argue absolutes lets use an approach to evaluate life quality changes of all the options.
Life quality can be measured in Quality Enhanced Life Days (QELD) as influenced by tribal values and the need to discount future values. An Indian family now using cooking fires and inhaling fine particulate would experience a positive change in life quality once electricity reaches them. Alternatively the great grandchildren of the Indian family may benefit most from a prohibition of the coal fired plants. Here is where you have to discount future value in making a decision.
A wealthy Miami Beach family will receive no benefits from the construction of a power plant in India. In fact CO2 does not have geographical bounds. Here is where you have to take into account tribal values. What is good for India may not be good for the U.S.
This logical approach is needed to resolve the climate change controversy. The minimal discount of future value is reflected in the policy of treating methane based on the 100 year impact rather than short term. If the concern is short term why use a metric based on 100 years.
The Opportunistic Biomass Combustion and Sequestration opens the door for a policy which can be endorsed by all sides in the controversy. Because this approach along with the trillion tree initiative “sucks CO2 out of the air there is no longer a tipping point. Investment in climate change initiatives can be based on a careful assessment of QELD.
The analysis of life quality and QELD is explained at Sustainability Universal Rating System
The Opportunistic Biomass Combustion and Sequestration is explained at The Opportunistic Antidote to the Climate Change Doomsday Scenario
A tracking system for all power plant projects along with analysis of technologies is provided in http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/index.php/databases/42ei-utility-tracking-system