Is Sucking Carbon Out of the Air the Solution to Our Climate Crisis? Or Just Another Big Oil Boondoggle?

Originally published at: Is Sucking Carbon Out of the Air the Solution to Our Climate Crisis? Or Just Another Big Oil Boondoggle? - Systems Change Alliance

In British Columbia, there’s a little valley where the Squamish River snakes down past the cliffs of the Malamute, a popular hiking spot. The hills in all directions are, like much of BC, thickly forested with firs. And nestled in that valley is a newfangled industrial plant that aims to replicate what those millions of trees do: suck carbon dioxide out of the air.

What happened to “systems change” ? The system needs to change, regardless of CO 2 extraction.

Direct air capture technology is currently a nonsense. it is most effective literally on the flu of factories and plants, to capture CO2 at what is basically the factories exhaust pipe, Where emissions all in the several 10s of thousands per million or more. Anywhere else, there simply isn’t the density of CO2 to suck the required amount of carbon dioxide out of the air.

Worse still, direct air capture currently emits 80% of the CO2 used in the factory it is attached to, again. and at the near the carbon dioxide to offset that. Every time it is diploid, it is like deploying another factory. Effectively, doubling the emissions from the manufacturing and doing that for 78 years before then trying to suck up tens of billions of tonnes of CO2, from a completely unproven technology, when the only thing that has been proven is the level of emissions it generates, is the most deficient strategy humankind could ever have come up with.

Worse still, as Eliz implies, it is trying to tackle a system problem come up by using silo thinking. To be honest with you, I’m getting to stage where I think anybody who tries to solve or procure silo products, to solve system problems, should be jailed. Civil service included. Silo thinking killed 172,000 people in the UK during the pandemic. It forced the Medical Research Council to issue a “woops” in November 2021 (because their silo randomised control trial dogma, only funded completely the wrong sort of research to be able to tackle things like pandemic’s or healthcare system optimization, and is doing the same with climate). That ignorance should be regarded as disgusting as infanticide. Because it basically is.

With that controversial statement, I’ll bring this comment to a close. There are people who know much better than to waste time, money and climate on DAC. But they rightly won’t do the work. So it is done by someone else from fossils and worse, the engineers who won’t do the work, are not supported by the climate movement when they do the right work to solve it.

Hence, system change, must include us and the way we support or reject solutions. As well as our ability to spot disinformation and tackle it. In the vast majority of cases, eradicating politics in all its forms. Which is a debate for another day.