Toast to the Fighters of CCS

Guestblogger: Torund Bryhn, Director of Communications and Government Relations at Gassnova

Torund Bryhn, Gassnova
Torund Bryhn, Gassnova


You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall-down flat, but to lie there – that’s a disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown down, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re beaten that counts, it’s how did you fight – and why?

«How did you die?» by Edmund Vance Cooke

Thank you for you the honor to speak to you – the fighters of CCS – the researchers, the scientists, the engineers, the innovators, the NGOs, industry and governmental leaders. You have fought the good fight. You have seen that the vision of CCS gets its rightful and necessary place to mitigate Climate Change.

How did you fight and why?

You have experienced many downtrodden years. Been so close to see the realization of a full-scale demonstration project. Yet, to see it closed-down because the will was not there – The immediate price tag was too high and did not see the importance of investing in CCS.

Some Environmentalists are not giving credit to CCS. Not seeing CCS’s potential. Not seeing that in fact it is the only solution for the processing industry.

And even though many expert organizations such as the IEA say that CCS is one of three key solutions. CCS is still not getting the attention it deserves.

As you know, the devil is in details – You have saved the day multiple times by being vigilantly meticulous – such as when you used your strength of detail and thoroughness, years back to solve the environmental risk of amine from capture plants.

Yet, the fight continues. You have been rejected by so many and yet you continue to fight – to see that CCS get its rightful place to be part of the climate solution.

And why. Simon Sinek, a thought leader, states: “it is the why that counts and that drives great success,” and I suspect it might be the why that drives you to stay the course – Because you are in fact the heroes of Climate change – Believing when few believe. Yet, you stay the course,  because of your Why. Your purpose is so strong – to do your part to save the world so future generations can still inhabit this earth

What a strong mission: and one with a great burden – to save the world from manmade CO2.

To me – looking sort of outside in – it seems to be a thankless job.  So, few see the great work you are doing to realize CCS.

We are so close. In Norway, we hope to have the “CCS highway” ready by 2022.  Gassnova is working closely with three industrial source “cars”, and soon we will sign a contract with a storage operator.

The first Norwegian full scale demonstration project, exciting, with the vision to trigger other CO2 emitter “cars” from all of Europe to transport via ship to a storage outside the Norwegian coast.

So, what can stop us now?

Well, while the devil is in the details within your field of work, for us the translators of your work, the devil is in the headlines – How to capture your work in such a way that the decision makers, media and public say yes to CCS, while at the same time not lose the meaning of your work. Not an easy task!

As a wordsmith by trade, I came to learn about CCS in 2008 when I worked for an oil service company that were experts on CO2 storage. It was so exciting for me to learn that the same men and women that find and extract oil – the Geologists, reservoir and petroleum engineers – could be part of the solution. And actually, help find solutions to store CO2, as well as use solutions such as EOR – this was quite exciting and inspiring. Since then I have been captured by this important work.

And 6 months ago, I was given the privilege of working for Gassnova to be the translator of your work to the public – To help them understand what is being said and done about CCS.

So during these past 6 months, what have I learned?  It seems to me that we, the translators, have not done a good enough job in translating your work.

As Trude Sundset* said earlier today — CCS is a caught in acronym land where we shorten the words so it becomes its own tribal language. Who will understand?
* CEO of Gassnova

My friends asked me about my first week at Gassnova, and I told them that on my third day I traveled to COP 22 and later to GHGT-13 to hear my new boss Trude talk about CCS.

My friends looked at me… What does that mean?

Do you feel the passion of your work in the word CCS?

And, how to do you tell family and friends about the great work you do?

I see that we have a lot to do. Because I do believe, what will stop us now is not your great work, but the words that tell the story. The story of the important and crucial work that you do.

And you ask – how important are words. They are just words?

But words can actually have a life and death impact. In my spare time, I volunteer for an organization called “Translator without borders (TWB)”. What do they do?

They work to ensure that the words do not get in the way of important development and aid work. Ensuring on delivering information in the language of the affected population such as making sure the instructions of medicines are translated so refugees, the starving, and poor are actually taking the medication right way. What TWB have found out is that when medicines are complicated Medical English, many could not understand the instructions on the label and used them wrong or not at all.

Fortunately, since 2011, TWB have delivered over 40 million words as part of humanitarian crisis response, and health program. So, the right words at the right time, to the right audience, is crucial.

So what do we do?

Well, as I am a great admirer of your work and hope you will allow us to translate your work. I know it is not easy to give you work to someone like me – I am not an engineer, not a geologist or an environmental scientist — I might seem superficial to you — not understanding the importance of saying it the way you wrote it. Not understanding, or valuing the important details of your work. It might seem that we are distorting your work, but as I said earlier, you focus on the details, while please let us focus on the headlines… and while we might not quite be able to incorporate all the details of your work – try to see that we have captured the spirit of your work.

We, the translators, the communicators, we respect your work. The challenge we have now is to gather support for CCS. And in order to do this – we need to simplify so that we capture the heart of what you do.

So, therefore, we are on a journey to find the words that define the great work you are doing. Our contribution is to lift our eyes and find the right words that win people’s hearts.

Together I solicit you to help with finding the words, be open to new ways of explaining what you do.

My favorite line from the poem I read earlier is that “the harder you’re thrown down, the higher you bounce”. So let’s toast to a great bounce-back, where the work that you do is honored by all.

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