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Institute Of Charterd Chemists Of Nigeria

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Date: 2010-08-31 07:51:46

The global warming has been a mind boggling case! This global problem requires a strategy and very urgent actions of international dimensions that can mitigate the adverse effects of the climate change. The people of the world must quickly adapt to climate change in order to forestall the imminent danger as already projected by the continued increase in greenhouse gas emission (carbon dioxide, CO2) released by burning fossil fuels, over this 21st century. The adverse effects and danger of extreme weather conditions posed include; droughts, famines, floods by rising sea levels, heavier and more frequent storms, fatal heat waves, melting of glaciers that supply fresh water to large population centers, sea level increases leading to salination of sources of agriculture and drinking water; and a possible increase in frequency and intensity of the El Nino Southern Oscillation.
The emission of CO2, a greenhouse gas is mainly released by burning of fossil fuels from a wide range of economic activities (human activities). This CO2 gas accumulates and traps heat in the atmosphere, resulting to global warming. Having linked CO2 as the root cause of the global problem, effective measures and designing of a policy framework that would responsively address this life-threatening event need to be taken, as a matter of urgency. In effect, the enormity of the devastating challenges with the greatest environmental economic, health, to food-security implications posed, do not respect national boundaries. The impacts in one location, for instance; infectious disease epidemics or population displacements caused by droughts (in North Africa) or rising sea levels (which could lead to the submersion of low-lying islands like Bangladesh), quickly spread across national borders.
Be that as it may, in the light of the current increase in the global energy demand through scientific researches for alternative energy sources (bio fuels and renewable energy) for the purpose of achieving clean energy sources with high efficiency and low-carbon energy technologies; as a means to combat the global climate change; I personally believe the divine saying that, “the blessings of God make rich and adds no sorrow”. So, the rich and abundant oil and gas reserve in Nigeria is for wealth creation and never for sorrow neither for calamity nor for disaster. In the same vein, based on the following two scientific laws of energy in thermodynamics and quantum-chemistry thus;
1)    1st law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy), which posits that energy is neither created nor destroyed but could be transformed from one form to another; and
2)     Albert Einstein’s energy law of relativity; I stand to persuade and urge the good people of Nigeria to briefly reflect in retrospect on the subsequent materials culled from the publication in BUSINESS DAY, Wednesday 24, September 2008; page 12, “GLOBAL ENERGY OBAMATRIX (III)”… fossil fuels could still be factored into the presently future energy security plan as the globe clamours for climate change through efficient energy initiative and advanced technology. This I know is possible, considering Albert Einstein’s energy law of relativity; on the premise of time, space and movement. I therefore urge and charge the relevant organs/disciplines and professionals in the academia; in the related fields to put heads together and brainstorm for a way forward on “the future, prospects and the relevance of fossil fuels in the global energy demands”… I foresee a great future for fossil fuels to still remain very relevant in the future global energy demands if, further research is carried out towards re-engineering the methods of application of fossil fuels that would produce low carbon energy in its utilization. Nigerians should not be left out from such researches (our Energy Commission should seriously look into this matter)… Nigeria should always strive to maintain a ‘supplier-status’ in the global energy equation. Invariably it calls for continuous research and development in the energy sector. This is to make sure that the nation does not lag behind in the ongoing global clamor against carbon emissions menace (i.e. the global climate change). We need to always be in the fore-front of programs and strategies of energy efficiency initiatives and improved technologies towards reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts will deepen and expand our technological base and significantly boost the energy sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s economic growth. Among Nigerians (both within and in the Diaspora) in the academia, rich with professional excellence in diverse related fields of endeavor could be reached and be involved in this pursuit…

I therefore continue with the clarion call on the FG, stakeholders in the financial and industrial sectors, and all concerned citizens to join hands and pull resources together, talents and time to support the think-tanks in finding feasible solutions (through Research and Developments) on problems of global warming. On how the greenhouse gas (CO2) emitted could be converted and utilized usefully in the course of continued consumption of fossil fuels for commercial and economic activities. There is need to re-plan because our Creator has played His role by richly endowing our land with such hidden wealth (oil and gas resources). We need to recreate on energy utilization with specific attention to conservation of the global climate. The following measures need to be applied through out the globe.
*    Zero gas flaring and gas sequestration by all oil producing countries.

*    Provision and utilization of more efficient and clean energy sources for vehicular activities in all the countries of the world. While stationary industrial machineries may have accessories/facilities fitted totrap and gather all CO2 emitted from the usage of fossil fuels that would be harnessed later for further synthesis of safer and environmental friendly products.
*    Usage of benign chemicals in productive activities, from the point of view of Green Chemistry must be emphasized upon by the regulatory authorities to all industries.
*    All countries should avoid formula for global disaster by contributing to reduce CO2 emissions (no nonchalant attitude both from the wealthy/industrialized nations and poor/weak nations), regardless of respective quantities of CO2 contributed towards the carbon emission menace because, coordinated efforts and investments in preventive measures invariably contribute to the global public good of reducing the imminent risks that may follow.
*    Massive tree planting programs all over the globe. That will trap atmospheric CO2 and utilize it in photosynthesis and the eventual release of Oxygen (O2) to the atmosphere that will refresh the biosphere. This tree planting will on the other hand check deforestation that results to drought.
*    Stringent environmental compliant measures should be taken globally by every Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on all energy intensive industries in fossil fuel energy utilization to power their various plants and economic activities. Through Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), facilities for trapping and gathering of emitted CO2 in every chemical plant should be put in place. Then, Obama’s “cap-and-trade” greenhouse gas (future energy security) policy could be applied along with a proposed carbon tax policy. This hypothetical contribution is feasible in any practical economy like ours.
*    Trapping, gathering and utilization of CO2 for synthesis of carboxylic acids, which has useful applications in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries pays off a lot better, with consideration of “triple bottom line” in industry (Green Chemistry) and the underlining 3 dimensional benefits (economic, environmental and social).

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