Despite the concern about manmade climate change, surprisingly little attention is paid to emerging technology that could extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turn it into useful products like petrochemicals and synthetic fuels.
Top-down policy solutions like carbon taxes and the recently defeated Green New Deal plausibly could reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, but, as with all government mandates, would be costly to implement and would undoubtedly generate unintended consequences that do more harm than good.
While environmental lobbyists push their favorite plans for doing somethinganythingto avert catastrophe, the private sector is quietly finding innovative ways to limit the rise in the average global temperature to 1.5 degrees centigrade (compared to pre-industrial times).
According to the UNs Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 100 billion to 1,000 billion tons of carbon dioxide must be removed from the atmosphere this century to meet that warming target. At first glance, extracting carbon might seem like a pipe dream, but a process for doing just that is nearing commercialization.