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Carbon Standard 300/30 Story part 6

Carbon Standard 300/30 Story part 4

Earth A.D. 2050.

To mark the achievement of reducing CO2 levels to 300 ppm a celebration was held, by all the people of the earth and its colonies on the moon and in high earth orbit. It had been twenty years since the W.O.W. faction ( War on War ) had won power in the democratically elected United Nations and war became as unfashionable as being politically correct became some fifteen years earlier, when a group of terrorists were given counselling and ASBOs ( Because of the lack human rights compliant prison space, that required each inmate to have a personal staff of three, a maid, butler and cook.) for blowing up the Isle of Wight during the Cowes week regatta, using twenty four, five kiloton tactical thermonuclear warheads that they bought on Ebay with a stolen credit card, causing the deaths of some fifty thousand people and the tourist trade in that area.

However the first sign that something was different was happening was back in the Spring of 2008, when the Bishop of Bath and Wells took delivery of a 1972 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. This caused a bit of a stir, especially in the ranks of the unfaithful, who in a desperate attempt to flaunt their green credentials had all bought used Smart cars in the previous year. Letters were written to the Wells Journal, stating their indignation at the Bishops behaviour. Being a good showman he declined to comment until the story had built up a bit of steam, about a week later, the Sun obliged with the headline “ Bishop Boshed by Holy Roller Backlash.”

The Bishop finally replied “ I had wanted to get an older model that was a convertible, as it would have been more in keeping with the surroundings at the Bishops Palace but at £79,500 it was a bit expensive.”

This really wound up the press, who rapidly assembled the talking heads and thus the story moved from paper and into the haunted fish tank or television as it was more commonly referred to.
So the T.V. crews arrived at the Bishops Palace for a press conference. There was a buzz of excitement as the first question was fired at the Bishop.

“ Why have you bought a gas guzzling car ?”

“Because we have decided to adopt the Carbon Standard and we want to do our bit towards reversing the global warming that is caused by Carbon Dioxide emissions. We aim to reduce the levels to 300ppm in thirty years.”

“ How is driving a Rolls Royce going to do that ?”

“It is part of our Green Garage Save Oil Strategy ( S.O.S for short ). But here is a point that is not often noted. On average it takes about 60,000 miles worth of fuel to manufacture a new car.

Cars are designed to last about six years. I.e. the manufacturers would like us to renew cars every six years. The average driver does 10,000 miles per year. My car is a Rolls Royce that is thirty six years old. I have thirty years extra use, that means that so far five new cars have not been produced and the resulting 300,000 miles of fuel have been saved, which at 15 mpg is 20,000 gallons of petrol. That is a bit of an exaggeration in that this car has done 97,000 miles, so you have to take 2467 gallons away from the 20,000 saved giving you a net result of 17,533 gallons saved.
The amount of emissions of greenhouse gases caused by manufacturing is never mentioned, in fact we are supposed to buy more cars that are more fuel efficient, but nobody mentions making cars that are designed to last for fifty years instead of six!!!" Every new car comes with a price tag that says " You have used 60,000 miles of fuel to get to mile one.” 60,000 miles in my Rolls Royce is 4,000 gallons.”

There was a stunned silence in the room, but not for long.

“Well, how much did your Roller cost then?”


“But you will have to pay a lot more road tax.”

“Being a classic car built before 1973 it is exempt from road tax.”

“But it will cost more to run, than say a Smart Car, won’t it?”

“Rolls Royce’s are unique in that they tend to go up in value over time. This despite the fact that sixty percent of all of the Rolls Royce’s ever built are still on the road. From a financial perspective some of the money that would have been lost due to depreciation, can be spent on servicing and repairs supporting local jobs that cannot be easily outsourced at the garage. This Roller cost £8500 when new and is now worth £6500 so that is £2000 over thirty six years or £56 per year.
Some of the clergy have been known to drive medium sized family cars such as a Peugeot 406 which cost £14,000 new and with average use is worth £3,800 after four years, so the depreciation is £2,550 per year. Money that would be better spent locally, rather than just vanishing.”

Realizing that this line of questioning was becoming a bit controversial, they changed tactics.

“As a Bishop surely you should concern yourself with moral matters rather than money matters?”

“Good point, but think I will let St Augustine answer it and quote from his book written nearly 1600 years ago called the City of God.”

"Take away justice, then, and what are governments but
great confederacies of robbers? After all, what are
confederacies of robbers unless they are small-scale
governments? The gang itself consists of men, it is
directed by the authority of the chief, it is bound
together by a pact of mutual support and they divide the

The reply that a captured pirate made to Alexander
the Great is interesting. For when Alexander asked the
pirate how he could justify making the sea a dangerous
place, he answered, with defiant outspokenness.

"In exactly the way that you justify doing the same to the
whole world. But because I do it with a single paltry
ship, I am called a robber; while you do it with a large
navy, and are called an emperor’

St Augustine said that Christians are forced to live in
two cities: the city of this world and the city of God.
You cannot put on a mask of holy detachment and pretend
to make your life only in the city of God – because you
are flesh and blood and you need the material things of
this world in order to survive. And if men will not
control the world’s goods according to justice, then the
goods will be left to the pirates.

So all Christians are bound to the world of practical
politics. And even if you say A plague on all their
houses and refuse to vote for any of them, your not-
voting is a factor in the political balance. You can say
I don’t vote – it only encourages them if you like. The
point is that not-voting is also a political act.

Justice is a moral issue, and morals are part of my manor, so to speak. I am duty bound to walk the walk, if I talk the talk.”

“If you start mixing morals and money you could provoke a crisis, people would not know where the city of this world ends and the city of God begins?”

“People know that both cities occupy the same physical space, but they are controlled by different forces, the city of this world occupies the mind and the city of god lives in the heart. It is just the mind not being very discerning, finds it convenient to ignore the heart a lot of the time."

It is interesting to note the mind of the press, which according to you, sees a potential crisis when a Bishop seeks to save some money by buying an old used car instead of a new one, while a one hundred and fifty people die on the roads of the world every hour, and this is unremarkable. Remarkably though the Palace has arranged some light refreshments for you that will certainly be food for thought!!”

The refreshments were served, a simple cream tea made with produce from the Palace Farm, and to a man they said.

“Why are these strawberries so strawberry, why is this cream so creamy and why are the scones so yummy??? “

And the Bishop replied.

“It is because of the Coal.”

“The coal, the coal, what has coal got to do with a tasty cream tea? “

“Global warming from a carbon release perspective. Carbon dioxide is a natural release that is part of the symbiotic relationship of plants and animals on earth. As industrial activity picked up during the last two hundred years, the balance of Release ( emissions ) and Capture ( absorption ) has been altered, we are releasing more CO2 than we are capturing, hence the level of atmospheric CO2 has risen some thirty percent in the last two hundred years.

After the usual human reaction of problem denial, the debate has moved to restricting release via the Kyoto protocol and now on to include carbon offsets (Capture). Capture is the “Cinderella “side of the equation. There is very little mention of how much global warming has been caused by deforestation and desertification. The attention has been focused almost exclusively on release.

Common sense dictates that we have to aim at reducing the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere back to the levels of 280 ppm from the current levels of 380 ppm, and so balance the Capture and Release ledger in favour of Capture for many years to come. A carbon neutral “ Slipperprint“ will not fit Cinderella !! But a carbon negative one will.

You may have noticed that if you burn wooden logs, the ash produced is much lighter that the ash from coal. This is because coal is made from many generations of trees rather than just one generation in a log. This means that the mineral carbon ratio of coal is much higher than that of wood. Our estimate is that the Mineral Carbon Ratio of wood is 1:1 and coal is 10:1.

So the Mineral Carbon Ratio means:- Burn wood and you have the mineral ash necessary to grow the wood you have just burnt i.e. Mineral Carbon Ratio 1:1 Carbon Neutral. Burn Coal and you have the mineral ash necessary to grow enough vegetation to capture ten times the amount of CO2 released during burning. I.e. Mineral Carbon Ratio 10 : 1 Carbon Negative.

You already have the release data for burning coal, and presumably you will know how much ash is produced by burning wood from your investigations into carbon neutral fuels.

I know you are aware of the recent excitement over Bio-fuels in that they are considered to be carbon neutral. This means that the carbon dioxide released when they are burnt is the same as the carbon dioxide absorbed when they grew. Thus they do not contribute to global warming, but they do nothing towards global cooling!!

Carbon trading now exists, and is an attempt by the European Union to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide by industry, so that large polluters have to buy the right to emit carbon dioxide. The other side of the equation is planting trees to reduce carbon footprints.

The curious situation now exists where farmers, who by growing food are absorbing carbon dioxide, but get no carbon credits and are excluded from the financial benefits that they would get by being in carbon trading, such a system could go a long way to replacing the subsidies that currently exist but are paid late or in some cases too late.

In order to grow, plants need minerals as well as organic matter, in poor soil they succumb to disease (requiring pesticide and fertilizer) and produce nutritionally deficient foods which cause many of the chronic diseases that affect the western world, such as obesity. In the western world, modern agriculture has produced a population that is overfed and undernourished. If the food you eat does not naturally contain enough minerals and trace elements, then your body cannot produce the enzymes necessary to fully digest the food, resulting in incomplete digestion and a build-up of toxins in your body.

A parallel example would be if you did not provide enough air to burn the coal in a power station, the plant would start to soot up. Incomplete combustion would lead to toxins building up in the power plant and preventing it from working properly. By the governments own figures, in order to get the same amount of minerals and trace elements that were present in a 1950 Tomato, you need to eat ten 2005 tomatoes.

Thanks to people like Jamie Oliver, the quality of food is being brought to public attention, and as illustrated in Graham Harvey’s book “ We want real food “, the soil has been depleted of minerals, adversely affecting crops, livestock and people.

The mineral content of vegetables can be easily measured, just as we require minerals to digest plant sugars; plants require minerals to make the sugars in the first place. The measuring of plant sugars is done with a Brix Refractometer, which was originally developed for testing grape juice, to determine which grapes would make the best wines. The vineyards with the most minerals in the soil produced the sweetest grapes and the best wine. Brix Refractometers cost about thirty pounds to buy.

Coal ash should contain all of the minerals in the right proportions to re-mineralise depleted soil. So the coal ash collected could be sold to local farms. It is worth noting that before intensive agriculture the average depth of top soil was between three and four feet. In many places it is now only nine inches or less. Top soil is another good place to store carbon, it being alive with microorganisms etc. Increasing the amount of top soil also protects the plants against drought and flood for longer, the deeper it is. Carbon capture is a function of top soil as well as plants.

Because of the mineral carbon ratio of 10:1 burning coal for the ash that is then put back on to the land, produces a carbon negative result of nine times. I.e. nine times more carbon dioxide is captured by the growing vegetation than was released by burning the coal. The case for burning coal and fighting global warming at the same time has some merit.

Owing to rising oil prices due to “ Peak Oil “, political instability in the producer countries and a falling U.S. Dollar. The demand for coal is likely to increase in the U.K. over the next few years simply to heat homes; to make use of the ash is common sense. If you invest coal ash in agricultural activity, you can earn carbon credits. For every ton of coal burnt can produce nine tons of carbon credits. These could be sold to British Airways for example and provide farmers with more income.”

We are now using the Brix Refractometer as the basis for Bishops Grade produce, that ensure that customers get mineral content in their produce at 1950 levels.”

Having forgotten that most press people have a poor diet with high caffeine intake, and tend to go hypoglycaemic after a decent cream tea, the Bishop was surprised having just given his audience chapter and verse on greenness of coal, that most of them had nodded off, luckily they had left their tape recorders running. He decided that fresh air was needed and led the still drowsy press people up the garden path, through the gate to Willow Bridge.

“Cor blimey, its big mirror floating in the moat, what is it, more sculpture then? “

“It is a sculpture, but it is more than that, it is a Mirror Ark.”

“What is a Mirror Ark.? “

“I’ll tell you, but first an observation about the way Historic Buildings like the Bishops Palace behave in the twenty first century. Historic buildings were at the time they were built, modern, the ones that stand today were “ cutting edge“ and “ State of the Art “, The people in these buildings were the “ Movers and Shakers “ of their age. These buildings were where history was made. Today that history making tradition has been largely removed and in its place has grown the “Formaldehyde Bureaucracy”, which in its mission to preserve the past has to a degree smothered the future.
Within this prevailing climate any addition to the Bishops Palace must be possible and more importantly permissible. Art is permissible and so for technology to be permitted, it should become art or state of the art if you forgive the pun.

Sculpture is three dimensional art, so our Mirror Ark needs to become a sculpture.
This sculpture, The Mirror Ark, being moored in the moat, needs a “ Raison de etre “, a theme that is both Nautical and Biblical. As most of the bible stories are located in the Middle East, an area not renowned for its abundance of oceans, this at first seemed a bit tricky!!

There was however one occasion when the ocean came to the desert and a man was ready for it. His name was Noah and he built an Ark in order to save the wildlife which would otherwise been drowned in the flood.

An Ark is technology that copes with a flood by floating on water. Today with global warming and the predicted rise in sea levels, we are also preparing for a flood, and we need to prevent this flood, not by building an Ark, but by changing our behaviour so that the sea levels do not rise and sink the land. This will save the wildlife by keeping the land above water.

The Mirror Ark will enable us to produce power without generating Carbon Dioxide or heating the planet by burning nuclear fuel. And so will go some way to halting the rising sea level. A Mirror Ark is not an Ark in the traditional sense, but approaches the problem of flooding from the other direction, i.e. prevention rather than cure, to use a medical phrase. So its action is like a mirror of a traditional Ark. You can shorten the name to M.Ark and then to Mark, as he was one of the disciples. This Mark is moored by Willow Bridge, I call it the Bishops Mark.

The name “ Mirror Ark “ also gives a guide as to what the sculpture will provoke in the mind of the visitor. No prizes for guessing that a mirror finish on the exterior will reflect the visitor and their surroundings and thus blend in. and give the visitor time for reflection in its broadest sense. Also because of the location in the moat, reflected sunshine will only warm the northern wall when the southern sun is low during the winter months. In the Summer the angle of reflection will fall on the water in the moat and not be too bright for comfort.”

“Why is there steam coming out of the bottom of it?”

“To understand that I will tell you what it is doing. The Bishops Palace has within its grounds, the Well Spring that gives the city of Wells its name. The well spring produces an average of forty gallons per second of water. This spring was used to power a water wheel in the past, which uses the mechanical energy provided by the mass of water being influenced by gravity.
As an example, forty gallons of falling a distance of ten feet will give a potential of four hundred foot pounds per second, i.e. 7.27 horsepower or 5.4 Kilowatts of potential energy.

If you harvested the heat energy within the same forty gallons per second of water by reducing the temperature by one degree centigrade you have a potential of 759.8 Kilowatts of power, which is 140.7 times greater. If this energy is harnessed to produce electricity at 20% efficiency it would produce 151.96 Kilowatts per hour.

The way to do this is to harness the temperature difference between the air and the water, generally speaking at night the air temperature is cooler than the water and in the day it is warmer. As long as there is a temperature difference then power can be generated, on average for twenty hours per day.
The power generation is be achieved by using what is called a Dual Medium Ambient Temperature Magneto hydrodynamic Generator. Such a unit produces no carbon emissions and a negative thermal footprint when operating. It has good potential for micro generation in coastal communities where the tide flushes in and out twice per day, it also has potential for marine propulsion.

Apart from producing electricity, it also produces various fuels, methane, which we use for cooking and methanol which we use to run the cars.

If you compare a horse to a car, as a means of transport, although they both consume oxygen and emit carbon dioxide as they burn fuel. Cars do not produce manure, unlike a horse. In a natural ecosystem the manure is used to produce vegetation which through photosynthesis, reduces the carbon dioxide and produces oxygen, so that the whole process is sustainable. Cars do not have the same ecology and have broken the “Contract of Manure “ and need to honour it to become sustainable. We use of fuel cells to synthesise carbon based fuels, the industrial equivalent of photosynthesis. I.e. Electrosynthesis.

In order to achieve electrosynthesis, large amounts of cheap electricity are needed to power the fuel cells and the Bishops Mark does just this. As a member of the church, this way of doing things has a moral attraction for me, in a “ Thou shalt not steal “ kind of way. Also you may like to note that Professor Klaus Lackner designed an “artificial tree” that extracts CO2 directly from the air using Sodium Hydroxide solution. This method extracts about 50% of the CO2 that is in air. We have fitted one of his units to the Mark and this is where we get the carbon to make the synthetic fuels from. So we can offset our carbon emissions up front, in the same way that you have to pay up front for your fuel at the garage, before you can use it.”

There was a stunned silence when the Bishop had finished speaking, followed by a splash as one of the journalists who had fallen asleep fell in the moat, disturbing the Black Swans that taken up residence in the previous Autumn, after the white swans kept swanning off !! The journalists helped their colleague out of the moat, but not before taking lots of pictures and trying to get him to pose with the Black Swans.

Things went very quiet after that day, there was no fuss in the media at all, in fact the story was buried, except for in the Wells Journal which carried in depth coverage of Carbon Trading, for the benefit of the local farming community, which resulted in the Editor being promoted to answering the phone in the classified advertising department.

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Carbon Standard 300/30 Story part 6

Carbon Standard 300/30 Story part 4