Krauss: cutting carbon dioxide emissions is not enough
Data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii indicates that carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere officially exceeded 400 parts per million last week, the highest value since before the emergence of humanity. Lawrence Krauss, director of ASU’s Origins Project, argues that just reducing carbon emissions is not a sufficient response to climate change; we need to develop methods to remove and sequester CO2 directly from our atmosphere.
“Though there could be huge advantages to directly extracting carbon dioxide from our atmosphere instead of from its source, there has been almost no R&D funding to explore making it a reality. Meanwhile, literally hundreds of billions of dollars have been put into subsidies for fossil fuel exploration and production,” writes Krauss in a Future Tense article in Slate magazine. He also urges scientists and politicians to begin the technological, economic and political processes necessary to make carbon capture possible.
Krauss’ Future Tense piece was inspired by an event hosted by the Origins Project, where a group of geologists, planetary scientists, climatologists, social scientists and physicists convened to explore new ways to address the challenge of climate change. Fifteen of the participants at the meeting are preparing an upcoming paper that will express broad, interdisciplinary support for public investment in carbon capture systems.
Future Tense is a collaboration among ASU, the New America Foundation and Slate magazine, that explores how emerging technologies affect policy and society.