Let Us Now Praise Carbon Extraction

At Bloomberg View Leonid Bershdisky touts the advantages of carbon extraction over electric vehicles:

Carbon Engineering is a company co-founded by Harvard physicist David Keith and funded, among others, by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Since 2015, the firm has been running a CO2 extraction plant in Canada, testing out a technology that was until recently rejected as too costly. Keith and his collaborators, who wrote the paper, have used an independent cost assessment to calculate that using the process they developed allows the capture of a metric ton of carbon dioxide at the cost of $94 to $232, depending on variable costs such as the price of natural gas. (Since energy is used in the process, about 0.9 tons of CO2 is actually removed from the atmosphere with each ton captured).

That is far lower than previous estimates for the technology, ranging from $550 to $1,300 per ton. The paper’s authors explain that the reduction comes from simply using industrial equipment already available on the market without much customization, a strategy they put in place at the Canadian plant.

At Keith’s prices, investing in CO2 capture can be a better idea both for consumers and for the environment than car electrification. According to the International Energy Agency, increasing the number of electric cars on the road from the current 2 million to 280 million by 2040 will only displace 1 percent of the expected global CO2 emissions, largely because other demand for carbon-based energy, including from planes and ships, will push emissions up – and because electricity to power the giant electric vehicle fleet won’t come entirely from clean sources. To achieve this unimpressive result, carmakers have already pledged some $90 billion in EV investment, and that’s not counting the cost of the ubiquitous infrastructure necessary to give EVs mass appeal, the investment needed to expand power generation and network capacity and the government subsidies to electric car buyers.

Even better: energy provided by small scale modular thorium nuclear reactors and carbon capture and ending the subsidies to alternative energy, electric vehicles, and oil production.

6 comments… add one
  • Gray Shambler Link

    And build tall steel pillars around our cities in case the sky falls without warning.

  • Ben Wolf Link

    I’m putting this link out not because it’s relevant to the topic, rather that I found it very entertaining as an accurate representation of the Left (among whom I count myself.)

    Anyone not moving in leftist circles should watch. Or if you do, have a good laugh at yourself.

  • It’s mildly entertaining but I don’t think that the author quite captures the inherent inconsistency of the argument that the “antifa” folks are making. Either the “fascists” are as dangerous as they (the “antifa” folks) think they are or they aren’t. If they are just how effective do you think that the “antifa” folks will be against them? Another inconsistency is that at most of the “antifa” events the only really violent people are the “antifa” folks.

    My own view is that most of the “antifa” are sincere but misguided and there’s a certain element of its leadership that understands that. They’re hoping to provoke a violent response, either from the police or the “fascists” or both. IMO some of the “antifa” folks are just letting off steam.

  • Ben Wolf Link

    The antifa references don’t reveal much useful about the Left, but the catgirl character herself does. She wears a communist symbol but doed so ironically. She carries a Marx-Engels reader but is not a marxist. She’s very well-read in philosophy but impractical. She can’t get along with liberals or centrists because she’s an anarcho-syndicalist.

    Bob Sykes left a rant the other day on how all Democrats are communists. When he looks left he sees a monolith. Jordan Peterson does the same thing, alleging a “neo-marxist, postmodern identity conspiracy.” But Tabby the Leftist reveals these views as false. The Left is sectarian, often confused and always fighting itself.

  • Bob Sykes left a rant the other day on how all Democrats are communists.

    I have near-metaphysical certitude there are no communists in City Hall. In fact, there probably aren’t many people that San Franciscans would recognize as progressives.

  • steve Link

    The thing to remember is that what Bob ranted is probably what a near majority of conservatives now believe. I am not even sure that the communist countries have that many true communists left anymore, but it makes for a great smear.


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