Carbon Capturing Worth Believing To Save Environment

By Akshat Rathi

Most of us don’t change our minds. Whether the issue at hand is the repeal of net neutrality in the US or Brexit in the UK, we avoid information that might shift our viewpoints, assuming that our opponents are simply dumber than we are.

But recently, I had a change of heart about an important issue—and it showed me that it can be detrimental to stick too closely to our convictions.

For the past year, I’ve been investigating the controversial technology of “clean coal”—more accurately known as carbon capture and storage—which allows us to burn fossil fuels without almost any emissions. Many vocal environmentalists oppose any use of fossil fuels. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s cronies—many of whom seem actively opposed to environmental protection—have thrown their weight behind carbon capture. And so the case seemed clear to me: Carbon capture likely does more harm than good.

At the same time, I couldn’t ignore a nagging doubt. My training in chemistry and chemical engineering told me the technology wasn’t scientifically bunk. And more important, some of the foremost climate bodies, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, include carbon capture in almost every economically feasible pathway to avoiding catastrophic climate change. Who should I believe?

As I began to report on the technology, it became clear I hadn’t looked beyond my own information bubble, and may have been overtly suspicious of carbon-capture technology. By meeting dispassionate experts and visiting sites, for the first time I began to grasp the enormity of the environmental challenge facing us and to look at the problem in a new light.

More than 80% of the world’s energy still comes from fossil fuels, as it did in the 1970s. The nuclear-power and renewable-energy revolutions have yet to make a serious dent in cutting emissions. With the deadline for reaching net-zero emissions—a necessity to avoid dangerous global warming—approaching within decades, there is no way to reach the goal without deploying carbon-capture technology. I now believe carbon capture is both vital and viable.

It’s my job as a journalist to seek out counterpoints. But rarely have those counterpoints led to a complete reversal of my stance. In order to form an accurate view of the world, we have to be skeptical toward others’ claims. We also have to be open-minded enough to really listen to them. It’s a tricky balance to strike. But the world would be a better place if we tried. —Courtesy Quartz Daily


“Riding The Tide”: Inspiring Poetry by Ashok Bhargava

bookPoetry Book Review

They say every cloud does have a silver lining. It is nature. It appears along darkest of passing clouds.

In the literary environment, Vancouver-based poet laureate Ashok Bhargava himself created that silver-lining when he put together his collection last year while he braved through the fight against cancerous clouds hanging over his body and mind.

“Riding The Tide” was the result of this anthology. He penned his poetry in between the painful and exhausting regimes of chemotherapy. In contemplative moods, thoughts were his friendly companions and words were his ardent tools.

In his dreadful ordeal, Ashok survived the big C with often porous layers of infinite positivity. He promised himself to endure.
The victorious hero came out with the bouquet of his poetry as words, plenty of them, fell into their place in natural and divine order.

“…….showering of words
Pour down
I am drenched.
“Swaying the elation
I forget the difference
Between pain and healing
Between light and dark
Between faith and doubts
Between promises our bodies make
And the ones they keep.”

During the lonely and dragging moments he spent in the tormented interlude of his life, Ashok sought and found that darkness has a light too. And that makes the “Riding the Tide” an inspiring and optimistic read with an abundance of hope.

“….Even waves lift me up.
When I am about to drown.”

-By Promod Puri
(Since its publication last year, “Riding The Tide” has been translated in few other languages worldwide).