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Paul CometHouston
United States
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Paul Comet, Houston scientist, is dedicated to continuing the scientific study of climate control.

Paul Comet, Houston scientist, knows how important it is to figure out climate change for the sake of our children, and their children. That is why he is currently focusing on ways to manage the carbon cycle and use the waste we make in our everyday lives aid an economy based on sustainable living. His main focus is to find ways to reduce overall climate change through increasing how much alternative energy is used, regulating greenhouse gasses and to give value to waste. He is also looking at carbon fixation through ecological restoration, using water waste in agriculture more efficiently, and using biochar and ocean fertilization, using iron salts, to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Figuring out the carbon cycle can make the difference between totally uncontrolled climate change and a gradual shift, or perhaps, “if we get our sums right,” some kind of stabilization, says Paul Comet. Houston is just one home to the many climate change scientists around the world, but he believes we all need to understand the carbon cycle so we can all help make necessary changes. The carbon cycle refers to the emission of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere from animals and forest fires, death and decay, and CO2 removal from the air by plants and algae. When nature takes care of it, the cycle is balanced, but when humans are involved in adding more fossil carbon, the cycle can get out of whack. In other words, the earth’s natural process of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is not strong enough to compete with all of the additional carbon dioxide that is burned off from the fossil fuels that are currently necessary to power the world. If more people realized just how much damage fossil fuels were doing, there might be more of a push toward sustainable energy. If Houston, probably the oil capital of the world, could become carbon neutral like Denmark, then other cities would follow along till net world CO2 emissions are zero.

Paul Comet, Houston scientist, has an impressive educational background. His specialization into science began when he arrived at the University of London in 1971. Four years later, he left with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology along with a minor in organic chemistry. He later completed his Master of Science at the University of London, as well, working from 1977 to 1978 to earn his degree in micropaleontology.

Paul Comet, Houston scientist, then moved his studies to the University of Bristol where he worked from 1979 until 1983 to earn his PhD in organic chemistry. Soon after earning his PhD he began his postdoctoral studies at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. There, he studied Hydrous Pyrolysis of DSDP Sediments from 1983 until 1985.

Someone with his impressive educational background was sure to find a job in the growing field, and he was soon considering offers. While most people are shuffled into entry-level positions after finishing their education, Paul Comet, Houston scientist, became a senior chemist and geologist at Core Laboratories International, Singapore and Indonesia. During the four years he spent at Core Laboratories International from 1985 until 1989, he was responsible for the supervision of the large geochemistry and chemistry laboratories on site. He oversaw cargo inspection analysis of products from the oil refinery and would perform them himself when need be. He also aided with forensic work that needed to be completed for insurance adjusters, as well as geochemical evaluations from everything to a single well to an entire basin, which were located across countries such as the United Arab Emirates, , Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, Oman, Indonesia and China. When he wasn’t doing the exciting work previously mentioned, he was processing required paperwork, such as reports and staff evaluations, and used these to recommend promotions when necessary.

After his four-year stint at Core Laboratories International, Paul Comet, Houston scientist, took over as an associate research scientist with GERG at Texas A&M University. He was in charge of figuring out the impact and quantitative analyses of PCBs, pesticide, and priority pollutants, and PAH using GC-MS. He also used GC-MS fingerprint analysis to create and publish the first map of the oils of the entire Gulf of Mexico. Through this research, he was able to identify and map petroleum reservoirs trends and seepage from a “Golden Ring” of Mesozoic oil sources around the entire Gulf of Mexico.

His belief of educating the masses in this important field of study prompted him to become a teacher. For 10 years he educated students in the state of Texas in geology, physics, chemistry, biology and environmental science. However, the high school level is not where the teaching ended for Paul Comet. Houston Community College and Tomball Community College students all benefited from his exceptional background and experiences in the sciences.

When he was done teaching, he decided to get involved in helping the earth transition its energy sources by working with the Sustainability Stakeholders Group at the American Chemical Society. This is where he began to lay the groundwork for his climate change proposals. He discovered that carbon neutral fuel is neither bad nor good for the environment because it does not change the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. He came up with a number of proposals for changes in policies that would turn both urban and rural areas into self-sustaining communities.

Always challenged by scientific problems, Paul Comet, Houston scientist, decided to take a job with Idea Connection beginning a few years ago in 2010. In his position as solver, he was charged with the task of figuring out important scientific issues and how to fix them. His best work before he left Idea Connection in 2012 was figuring out medical biomarkers for different diseases.

Recently, he has focused mostly on consulting. He has been with Comet Environment Consulting since 2008 and Stratochem Cairo since 2012. He is responsible for different roles in each company. Stratochem Cairo has had him focus on new approaches for geochemical data and Comet Environmental Consulting has him focusing on the need for alternative fuels that can help to stop global warming.

An important part of his scientific career has been his work in many different publications. Paul Comet, Houston scientist, has been featured in more than 40 publications throughout his illustrious career. Some of his most recent accomplishments include:

•“The Gulf of Mexico Oil Correlation Study, 22 years later! What was wrong and
what was right?” Published on CD ROMI. GCAGS, Vol. 61 Veracruz, Mexico
(November 2011)
•“Biochar for CO2 Reduction,” C&EN News, pg. 4 (March 15, 2010)
•“A plan for sustainability,” C&EN News, pgs. 6, 8 (August 13, 2007)
•“Good use of waste,” C&EN News, Volume 84, Number 41, pgs. 4-5, 37 (October 9,
2006)
•“A Wasteful idea,” a simple twist on old tech. Reviewed by Ken Milam. AAPG
Explorer, Vol. 27, Number 5 (May 2006)
•An oil quality map of the USA. AAPG International Conference & Official Program
Book, Cancun, Mexico, pg. 14. (2004)

Of course, Comet does not have an all-work attitude, though his passions in his professional life do influence what he does in his free time. He obviously has a deep concern for nature and the desire to preserve it, so it makes sense that he would be a part of The Wilderness Society. The society’s mission statement is “to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places.” They preserve and restore public lands, helping keep 110 million acres in over 44 states safe. He is also a bird watcher. The ease of bird watching is what is so appealing to him: there is little to no equipment necessary, and since there are so many birds everywhere, very little travel is required.

Travel is not something that Paul Comet, Houston scientist is against, though. He has been all over the world, visiting countries in North America, Africa, Europe and Asia. According to Paul Comet, Houston lifestyles are often much different than the social structures and value systems that are seen worldwide, which is why he enjoys traveling to different countries.

Work and play is not the only thing that is important to Paul Comet. Houston is also the home to his wife and daughter. He has spent much of his time dedicated to his work, so he is looking forward to spending a lot more time with his family in the future. Still, he knows that for his daughter’s sake and for the sake of her future children, the world needs to begin moving toward a sustainable energy source now. Fossil fuels are running out and the Greenhouse Effect continues to change our atmosphere and environment.

He is hoping to continue with his work in figuring out a way to implement carbon neutral fuels into everyday life. He believes that if education will not work to change ways of life then maybe a higher cost will, which is why he sees the incremental increase on carbon positive fuels, or fossil fuels, as a potential turn for the sustainable community to make. Finding a way to harness waste energy and unused solar energy can also contribute to the phasing out of fossil fuels. However, he notes that the current oil boom is very much to be desired because it is creating the jobs and money to keep individuals and the country afloat during the current recession and fiscal crisis. Ways of fixing the unwanted carbon dioxide could be controlled on a municipal state and federal basis, however. If Denmark can do it, then so can we, Comet feels.

Paul Comet, Houston scientist, uses an example of astronauts on the moon to explain his hopes and goals for communities to act as sustainable and individual cells. He said that astronauts who have nothing but manure, trash, simple tools and seeds to work with on the moon under a dome could make oxygen, clean water, food and other resources. The trash would provide metals and plastics to use as raw materials. Eventually, the astronauts would be able to sustain a community through their own work. If it could be done on a hypothetical moon in the future, then it is not crazy to think it could happen here.

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