Norway Donates US$250 Million to Protect Colombian Rainforests

Norwegian PM Erna Solberg and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

❝ Colombia’s fight against illegal logging is being extended to 2025 as part of the nation’s pay-for results strategy, Norway’s prime minister announced after donating US$250 million to the project.

As part of the 2015 pact signed between Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Colombia, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed the cooperative battle to save Colombia’s rainforest would be extended by five years…

❝ Colombian Environment Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo said that within the next 12 years the government hopes to reduce deforestation to zero.

Norway’s donation represents the first alliance of climate and forest under the Paris Agreement. Prime Minister Solberg hopes the agreement will bring higher standards for inter-institutional collaboration in climate initiatives.

The Paris Agreement is just another one of those historically useful, politically constructive agreements, constructed by smart politicians in modern nations.

So, of course, our fake president withdrew the United States from all provisions of this agreement. And BTW, at minimum projected costs, a donation like this is less than 3 new F35s, the latest toy for our military..

Groundbreaking air-cleaner removes industrial pollutants, odors

A happy Matthew Johnson getting ready to be part of a successful business

Industries across Europe are threatened with shutdown as European Union emission rules for Volatile Organic Compounds are tightened. Now an air cleaning invention from the University of Copenhagen has proven its ability to remove these compounds. And in the process they have helped a business in Danish town Aarhus improve relations to angry neighbors…

In deepest secrecy the inventor Matthew Johnson from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen has been collaborating with an investor, INFUSER, in mounting and testing a revolutionary air cleaning device at the industrial plant, “Jysk Miljoerens” in Danish town Aarhus. The reason for keeping the testing secret was that they wanted to be absolutely sure that they could in fact remove the pollution before going public. Now their measurements are concluded and the results are in. And the device actually works.

At the department of Chemistry atmospheric chemist Matthew Johnson invented and patented the air cleaning method which is based on the natural ability of the Earth atmosphere to clean itself. In a process triggered by sunlight, polluting gasses rising into the sky start forming particles when they come across naturally occurring compounds such as ozone. The newly formed particles are washed out of the atmosphere by rain. Once the rain hits the ground, the atmosphere is clean again. In other words the whole process is nature’s own purifications works, explains Professor Johnson.

I have investigated the self-cleaning mechanism of the atmosphere for years. Suddenly I realized, that the mechanism is so simple, that we could wrap it in a box and use it to clean indoor air. This makes for a better indoor climate, and in this particular case it also removes smells from this industrial process allowing the company to stay in business and making the neighbours happy,” says Matthew Johnson…

In scientific terms, Matthew Johnsons patented process is known as an atmospheric photochemical accelerator. The whole process is housed in five aluminium boxes on the roof of the Aarhus business. Compared to traditional methods the new process outshines by removing pollution rather than diluting it, as is the case when we send smoke up a chimney. The method requires no filters, so maintenance is inexpensive. It consumes very little energy, so its climate impact is negligible. Finally it removes the need for a chimney which would have been costly to erect. For all these reason INFUSER and the photochemical air-purification was the right choice for Jysk Miljoerens…

The company Jysk Miljoerens makes a living separating oil from bilge water in ships, so that the oil may be recycled. For manager Bent Naldal all the parameters were important, but above all he is just happy that the new method has managed to remove the smells from his wastewater treatment plant. Because the smells were threatening to put him out of business.

Unintended consequences. Fortunately, Matthew Johnson was able to make the native connection between a process in nature and copying it for use on a much smaller scale. And doing so, with minimal energy consumption.

On the way to CO2-free power plants

The Technische Universität Darmstadt dedicated today a pilot plant for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) contained in flue gases of power plants. Its Institute for Energy Systems and Technology plans to utilize the plant for investigating two innovative methods for CO2 capture that require less energy and lower operating costs than earlier approaches.

Combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal, fuel oil, or natural gas, liberates large quantities of carbon dioxide, a gas that significantly affects global climate. A key technology that would reduce emissions and lead to more environmentally friendly power plants is the capture and storage of carbon dioxide from flue gases of power plants (carbon capture and storage (CCS))…

Earlier approaches to CO2-capture require expending significantly more energy and entail greatly increased operating costs, which raises questions regarding their efficiency and acceptance. The TU Darmstadt’s Institute for Energy Systems and Technology’s new pilot plant will be utilized for investigating two new methods for CO2 capture that will allow nearly totally eliminating CO2 emissions and require virtually no additional energy input and entail only slight increases in operating costs.

Over the next two years, the institute’s director, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Epple, and his 26 coworkers will be investigating the “carbonate looping” and “chemical looping” methods for CO2 capture. Both methods employ natural substances and reduce the energy presently required for CO2-capture by more than half. As Epple put it, “These methods represent milestones on the way to CO2-free power plants. They might allow coal-fired, oil-fired, and natural-gas-fired power plants to reliably and cost-effectively generate power without polluting the environment.”

The carbonate looping method involves utilizing naturally occurring limestone to initially bind CO2 from the stream of flue gases transiting power plants’ stacks in a first-stage reactor. The resultant pure CO2 is reliberated in a second reactor and can then be stored. The advantage of the carbonate-looping method is that even existing power plants can be retrofitted with this new method.

On new power plants, the chemical looping method will even allow capturing CO2 with hardly any loss of energy efficiency. Under this method, a dual-stage, flameless, combustion yields a stream of exhaust gases containing only CO2 and water vapor. The CO2 can then be captured and stored.

Hope they’re successful. I haven’t an excess of confidence in the politics of coal-generated electricity in the United States. The mentality hasn’t changed since the 1930’s. Rip the coal out of the ground. Burn it. Pay us!

Not only have Europeans a longer timeline of experimentation with some of these processes, there is a tradition of civil service oversight, fiscal and environmental, that may be a pain-in-the-butt sometimes; but, it guarantees fewer lies to citizens, less collaboration between politicians and corporate barons.

Nothing holy or sanctimonious about it. Just systems more reactive and preventive than our two-party tomfoolery. We just witnessed in the Gulf of Mexico how reliable our civil servants can be – when guided by a government in bed with the Oil Patch Boys.