Romans 8:20-21
“For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Every so often, the science news websites refer to the concept of turning greenhouse gases into fuel. Since the emission that worries climate alarmists the most is carbon dioxide, they would clearly like to see that greenhouse gas used to make fuels that could power cars.

Headlines referring to the discovery of such matters tend to be misleading, however. As a product of combustion, carbon dioxide is lower in chemical energy than the fuels whose oxidation can produce it. The understanding of energy changes is governed by the laws of thermodynamics. The first law states that energy is not created or destroyed in an energy change, but conserved. The second states that, while no energy is destroyed, there is always some energy wasted, usually in the form of low temperature heat. Both laws make clear that you cannot get energy for nothing.

Therefore, turning CO2 into fuel – which is possible – requires the addition of energy, which seems counter-productive as the fuel is then required as a source of energy. Despite the misleading headlines, caused by the fact that many science journalists do not understand science, such fuel production might be of benefit if the energy input is produced by a renewable source. Therefore, electricity produced by wind or wave power might be of use in the process of converting CO2 to usable fuel. We are fully prepared to criticize climate alarmism, but the Bible also teaches responsible stewardship, so some such innovations are worth pursuing.

 Prayer: Thank You, Father, for people who use their skills and intelligence to produce useful resources. And thank You for giving us the provision of these resources by creating them and giving us stewardship over them. Amen.

Author: Paul F. Taylor

Ref: Rice University. “Reactor turns greenhouse gas into pure liquid fuel: Lab’s ‘green’ invention reduces carbon dioxide into valuable fuels.” ScienceDaily, 3 September 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190903084035.htm>. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.

 

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