(p. A13) A new study partly funded by Bill Gates has dramatically cut the estimated cost of removing CO2 directly from the air to as little as $100 a ton. According to the study, much of this expense could be recaptured by converting the CO2 into low-carbon motor fuel.
Assume California recovered 80% of its costs. For $500 billion a year, or 20% of state gross domestic product, California could solve the alleged problem for the whole world, reducing global emissions by half and meeting the widely touted goal of holding warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius according to prevailing climate models.
Too speculative? Too expensive? Many classic studies suggest that, at a cost as low as $2 billion a year, any highly motivated actor, even one with pockets less deep than California’s, could offset the entire warming effect of excess CO2 by distributing enough high-altitude sulfates or other aerosol particles to limit by 1% the amount of sunlight reaching the planet’s surface. Indeed, experts quietly acknowledge that, by reducing such particulates, our clean-air efforts have actually made our climate problem worse.
For the full commentary, see:
Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. “If California Was Serious About Climate; Its pockets are deep enough to cool the planet if politicians believe their doom-mongering.” The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, Sept. 1, 2018): A13.
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Aug. 31, 2018.)
The study, partly funded by Bill Gates, that is mentioned above, is:
Keith, David W., Geoffrey Holmes, David St. Angelo, and Kenton Heidel. “A Process for Capturing CO2 from the Atmosphere.” Joule 2, no. 8 (Aug. 15, 2018): 1573-94.