Monday, February 07, 2011

The Wrong Power: Power from Landfills


Landfills do create methane gas which leaks up to our atmosphere and puts more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.  And methane gas is a very heat-trapping gas (many more times than CO2) and a relatively easy way to grab energy. 

But it’s a bad idea. 

It’s a bad idea because it encourages our society to continually throw away stuff we should be recycling, reusing, and composting.  Grabbing methane gas from landfills creates in a great delusion that we can have our cake and eat it too: that we can just package all our stuff and when we done with everything just throw it into the ground and then we’ll even get cheap energy for it. 

It’s a delusion because it is a shortsighted delusionary loop of reality. 

It’s shortsighted because it ignores the myriad of environmental issues surrounding waste, Climate Change, and natural resources. 

We could be reusing many of the stuff we are now land-filling and creating new industries and reducing the amount of natural resources we have to dig from the earth.  And at the end of the day, burning methane gas is burning a greenhouse gas—it’s going to continue to warm the planet. 

Capping off methane gas from landfills and burning it for energy is a depraved way of getting energy because it compounds many environmental issues with the delusion of an easy fix. 

We should be recycling, reusing, producing more renewable energy that doesn’t warm the planet; we should be using the ideas of Zero Waste so we don’t produce products that are toxic.  T

his hopeful article ignores our environment:

Noxious, but profitable, gas - Times Union Methane emanating from landfills can be a valuable commodity | ALBANY -- The vast majority of the greenhouse gases emitted by the city -- some 86 percent -- come from Rapp Road landfill. The chief culprit is the copious amounts of methane -- an odorless gas that makes up as much as 50 percent of the foul cocktail of gasses that waft from the landfill and is 21 times worse than carbon dioxide for trapping heat in the atmosphere.  (February 5, 2011)  Home - Times Union

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