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Suck It Up: How capturing carbon from the air can help solve the climate crisis (Kindle Single) by [Gunther, Marc]
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Suck It Up: How capturing carbon from the air can help solve the climate crisis (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 136 KB
  • Print Length: 51 pages
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007G1CZ0E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,574 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I just inhaled your book this morning. I want to thank you for putting this out there. I am an architect and work towards energy efficiency in buildings, but have been yearning to know more about the big picture of solving climate change. This book was clearly laid out many ideas that I had not previously been aware of or had not yet been able to conceptually grasp. Your writing style was well suited to my non-scientific background.
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A year ago I read an article about ocean acidity increasing by 30% in recent years, a leading suspect in the death of coral reefs, due to the ocean absorbing more carbon dioxide from the air. That was the first time I understood that for the health of the planet, including the delicate ocean ecosystem, it is not enough to curb carbon dioxide emissions. We have to actually reverse course, and find a way to remove the excess carbon dioxide already in the air. I started reading about carbon dioxide removal techonologies, and the daunting task of implementing it on a global scale. Are those developing this technology pursuing a ridiculously far fetched fantasy, or are they pioneers in the best solution we have available?

"Suck It Up" is an excellent introduction to what is at stake, the history behind this approach, and the people and companies who are leading the way in the early development of carbon capture technology. It also gives fair voice to skeptics who doubt the technology is a viable solution,and discusses other potential solutions such as algae fuel facilities. I applaud Mark Guntner for furthering this dicussion with "Suck It UP", and strongly recommend it.
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The author discusses the sorry state of climate change mitigation measures and several other geoengineering proposals. Then he describes some of the startup companies active in the field of capturing CO2 from the air.

That is not difficult to do. For example, this kind of technology has been deployed for decades on submarines to deal with the CO2 exhaled by crew members.

The only trick is to do it cheap enough, and to scale it up to the necessary levels.

By chance, I just had read an article by Umair Irfan in Scientific American (2011), which is rather critical of these concepts ("too expensive to be practical").

I learned a couple of things worth noting from Gunther's book.

For starters, the various ideas of shading the earth are actually extremely cheap in comparison with reducing CO2 emissions. Good to know. It may become necessary to fall back on this kind of scheme if CO2 emission reduction efforts keep failing.

Also, CO2 is sold on the market at prices of up to $200 a ton. The largest market for that is enhanced oil recovery, where the CO2 is used to squeeze out oil from the ground. Not exactly helpful from a climate perspective, but the oil recovered in this way is actually less dirty than conventional oil, since the CO2 used in the process remains in the ground. There are more than 100 enhanced oil recovery projects, which pay between $20 and $40 per ton for CO2.

The whole sector is still tiny. Some of the startups involved have built first demonstration plants. One of the main problems (also discussed in the Scientific American article cited above) is energy cost.
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Interesting coverage of dreams of breakthroughs leading to giga-scale chemical capture and liquifacation of CO2. but almost no mention of biochar, which is immediately possible. Dispersal of the char throughout soil gives reliable permanent storage of the captured carbon. Truck-sized mobile char units powered with process byproducts could capture half the carbon in lawn waste, crop residue, weeds, and other matter which otherwise rots, releasing most all of the carbon. The author should issue a revised edition including detailed analysis of these grass-roots possibilities.
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This book enlightened me to a entirely new possible reality associated to climate change... that we continue as usual and turn the waste into a commodity... genius and scary at the same time.

A must quick read for anyone interested in the issue of climate change and its implications.
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Before I commit to a purchase of anything on Amazon, I read the publishers notes, sample the customer reviews and order a sample. The only reason this offering made the cut was that the sample was miniscule--woefully small. I should have known.

This--global warming and proposed solutions--has been an interest of mine for some time. I have looked into it enough to tell you that VIRTUALLY ALL THIS AUTHOR COVERED COULD HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED IN ONE (maybe two) internet searches. This is a survey book, and not a very good one. First, I have a question? This is a really short work. Is it a Kindle Single? It's called a Kindle e-book. Whichever, it means that Amazon's editorial standards are below sub-par and caveat emptor!

Specific Criticisms:

1. The book was obviously a "once-over-lightly" survey of readily available literature. The author dropped a lot of names, and I imagine his telephone bill would reflect some effort at reaching these people, but the material he got from them was already public domain. There was no evidence of hard-core digging. No names from struggling projects that had attracted no public attention or adequate funding. It was a simple survey of a couple internet searches.

2. It wasn't very well organized. It summoned up a cause in the last thousand words, but the support was at best, tepid. There was really no story here. The author read off a list of people and companies, talked about what they were doing, and moved on. He offered some judgements (mostly of others) about the viability of their projects.
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