On Carbon Removal
The Practical Polymath #55
Greetings from Brooklyn!
This was a big week for me. The project I’ve been working on for months launched on Tuesday. Carbon removal technology is something I have been learning a lot about in the past months. It’s a fascinating topic and a reason to be optimistic that we have a very real shot at limiting global warming.
For this week’s issue, I want to share the most interesting resources I have come across on this topic.
See you in two weeks,
Carbon Removal 101
🧑🎓 A Mental Model for Combating Climate Change: If you’re looking for a well-written piece that breaks down the problem and the different solutions we have available in just about five pages, this is it.
📚 Carbon Capture: I found myself highlighting sections of this book almost every other page. It’s incredibly well written, concise and easy to understand for a beginner audience. Highly recommend it.
🧐 Carbon Removal Primer: This primer on carbon removal covers everything from why it matters to the different types of carbon removal technologies and their potential. It’s not exactly bedtime reading but the format makes it extremely pleasant to navigate.
👍 Climate hope: If you feel like civilization is doomed, you might want to read this thread which synthesizes recent climate studies. There’s a lot of work ahead of us but we’ve managed to bend the curve of future warming significantly in the last decade.
💲The Cost of Removal: Because carbon removal technology is still early stage, the cost of removing a ton of carbon is significantly higher than other offsets. To give you a sense, check out this calculator. Permanently removing the CO2 you consume in a month would cost a whopping $1,200.
“When you realize how much progress humans can make during a lifetime in everything from economic growth to medical breakthroughs to stock market gains to social equality, you would think optimism would gain more attention than pessimism. And yet.”