Carbon removal hype is becoming a dangerous distraction
While large companies and national governments announce plans for efforts to take harmful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, scientists and engineers warn that this approach doesn’t address the root causes of the problem. Even with the use of new technologies that absorb carbon dioxide from the air, tons of carbon emissions would continue to be produced by automobiles and other technologies and industrial operations that burn fossil fuels. Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner, director of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions and a pioneer of carbon capture technology, agrees carbon removal is only part of the solution. Lackner also says he is seeing corporations and countries pledge to remove carbon without the full know-how to achieve what they promise. He and other engineers and scientists say the best long-term option for environmental sustainability lies in a major shift by industries away from fossil fuels.