This is the best they do and it’s terrible. NPR runs an infomercial on a carbon capture company as news:
DANNY CULLENWARD: Carbon removal refers to things you can do, whether it involves nature-based systems or technologies to literally pull CO2 out of the atmosphere.
KLIVANS: Danny Cullenward researches carbon removal as a fellow at American University. Scientists agree that to avoid catastrophic warming, humans need to stop putting climate-harming pollution into the air, and we need to draw some down. The world’s forests and oceans naturally pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. But – and here’s Cullenward again.
CULLENWARD: The problem is if we don’t intervene in these systems, they won’t suck up enough because we put such an unfathomably large quantity of pollution in the atmosphere in the first place.
KLIVANS: Startups like Charm Industrial need money to develop carbon removal technologies. That’s where the private sector is jumping in. A group of companies, including JPMorgan Chase, Stripe, Alphabet and Shopify, plan to pay Charm millions of dollars. In exchange, the company will bury the bio-oil equivalent of what 31,000 passenger cars emit a year. That’s just a tiny amount of what needs to come out of the atmosphere, but it’s a start. Nan Ransohoff is head of climate at Stripe.
NAN RANSOHOFF: We want to get more companies to the starting line and then help them get down the cost curve as quickly as possible so that we can build carbon removal solutions that have the potential to get to the scale that we need to solve the problem.
But it’s a start? 31,000 cars? Okay, sure. “Let’s plug this cool new startup, you guys! I have their Head of Climate on speed dial.”
Is it to soothe people in their cars so they can worry about really scary things like AI? Wait, don’t answer that – and that story came immediately after the one above. Caveat auditor.
They actually listen to sales people talking about extinction, but in the wrong story.