Worlds largest Carbon Capture Plant Opens. Will absorb one 10,000,000th of the world's CO2 emissions

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Climate scientist Peter Kalmus has done the math: "If it works, in one year it will capture three seconds worth of humanity's CO2 emissions," he wrote on Twitter.

Put another way, Kalmus told Insider, "at any given moment, it will capture one 10-millionth of humanity's current emissions."

Two other plants are in planning phases: The Canadian company Carbon Engineering, which is backed by Bill Gates, started designing a similar facility in northeastern Scotland three months ago. It also plans to start construction on a a plant in Texas next year. Each of those facilities could remove up to 25 times more carbon per year than Orca. But as with many emerging technologies, direct air capture is expensive. Christoph Gebald, Climeworks' co-founder, told the Washington Post that it costs at least $600 to capture one metric ton of carbon dioxide, since super-heating the air takes a lot of energy.





Robert Pollin, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, thinks it’s entirely possible to get to net zero by 2050 by spending around 2 percent of GDP each year, or around $18 trillion in total.

“$18 trillion is real money,” he said. “But when you spread it out over 30 years, it’s entirely feasible and it will have a lot of economic benefits in addition to getting us down to zero emissions.”


If we assume we'll have 2,5M higher capacity plants up and running, it would only cost $24,000,000,000,000 annually. Let me translate, $24 trillion per year, or about $3000 for every human being on earth per year. I.e. Even if I assumed that Americans pollute and pay same as everybody (LOL), it would be about a 1 trillion dollars/year. Going carbon neutral by 2050 would cost 18 trillion, so it would cost 35% less. But well...
 

SuperMatt

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If we assume we'll have 2,5M higher capacity plants up and running, it would only cost $24,000,000,000,000 annually. Let me translate, $24 trillion per year, or about $3000 for every human being on earth per year. I.e. Even if I assumed that Americans pollute and pay same as everybody (LOL), it would be about a 1 trillion dollars/year. Going carbon neutral by 2050 would cost 18 trillion, so it would cost 35% less. But well...
It is upsetting that people are STILL refusing to take climate change seriously.
 

Thomas Veil

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I hate to say it as I'm generally in favor of new technology, but in their current state they sound like a giant boondoggle. The intent is pure, but it's throwing an outlandish amount of money at a real problem and getting an imperceptible result.

And it's sad to read that they're working on improved technologies but we just don't have the kind of time we need to ramp them up to be genuinely effective.

The problem is we spent a century filling the atmosphere with garbage and are now trying to figure out a way to undo the damage in just a few years. That article makes it sound pretty hopeless.
 
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