My assorted thoughts:
1. I’m not sure why the message about CCS from this video (as well many other sources) is: “fossil fuel use is increasing and there’s nothing we can do about it, so we need to develop large-scale CCS projects in order to mitigate climate change.” This argument for CCS feels unnecessarily defeatist. Instead, I think a much stronger argument for CCS is that: “CCS is a potentially great option for mitigating climate change if we find that other GHG abatement techniques (such as renewable power and energy efficiency) are more costly. Here’s why I like this second argument better: a future dependent on fossil fuels does NOT have to be an inevitability. We can drastically reduce fossil fuel use through aggressive R&D programs and policy support for low carbon solutions. This path will fraught with many challenges. But we should rise to these challenges of building of this low carbon world with the support of CCS, not settle for CCS as a second-best option to deal with an “inevitable” future dependent on fossil resources.
2. The option value for CCS to provide negative emissions is entirely missing from this video’s story about why we should develop and deploy CCS at scale today. CCS has the potential to play a large role in a world completely free to fossil fuel use. Biomass energy and CCS (bio-CCS) could provide a valuable strategy to remove carbon from the atmosphere, and if the option for bio-CCS were woven into the narrative of why we need to develop CCS today, green groups would be more likely to start embracing CCS technology.
3. That said, the visualizations in this video of the sheer amount of fossil resources consumed today worries me about the unintended consequences of a transition to large-scale bio-CCS to mitigate climate change. The question of where we would get enough biomass to replace fossil fuels in a sustainable way could be very tricky, as could be the question of how we build the infrastructure required to ship all of the sequestered CO2 to sites where we can bury it cost-effectively. These are not reasons to rule out a bio-CCS future — but they certainly give us reason to study the systems-level impacts of this technology in parallel to funding aggressive R&D for other GHG emission abatement options.