DENVER, CO – April 12, 2023 – There is a movement to develop technology capable of removing excess carbon dioxide (CO2) gas from our atmosphere in order to reverse the effects of climate change. CO2 is the primary greenhouse gas and increasing levels are responsible for global warming. Private businesses and nonprofit groups are incentivized to adopt this approach to CO2 reduction in order to qualify for many billions of dollars of federal tax credits and funds through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. In addition, the federal government has funded 4 national centers to develop new technology. Other names for the removal of carbon dioxide from the air are ‘carbon capture,’ ‘carbon sequestration’ and ‘scrubbing’ CO2 from the air.
Climate change is caused by humans, specifically by green-house gases in our atmosphere like carbon dioxide and other products of fossil-fuel combustion. These greenhouse gases help to keep the heat from the sun from leaving our atmosphere. Not only do the greenhouse gases linger in the atmosphere for a long time, their levels have been shown to be rising rapidly over the past twenty years as does the average temperature of the atmosphere. Last year, 40 billion tons of carbon were released into the atmosphere, according to the International Energy Agency.
Most scientists predict a number of devastating environmental catastrophes will occur with this increase. Warming of the oceans will melt ice from our polar regions with rising oceans, flooding of cities, the loss of many islands and the death of the coral reefs. Warmer air carries more moisture in it which leads to more extreme weather events like more precipitation and flooding. More heat waves mean more drought and starvation.
Climate change can impact health though more climate extremes by reducing air quality, damaging food production systems, decreasing safe water resources, and increasing insect vectors. These climate drivers impact our local region with more forest fires around the city, more floods within the city and the surrounding community, and having longer warm weather seasons for insects to cause disease in humans. Climate change can result in more health impacts due to heat-related illness (such as heat stroke and cardiopulmonary illness), vector borne disease (like Lyme disease, West Nile virus, and malaria), injuries, and mental health problems (due to economic loss, job loss, and stress).
There are 2 ways that CO2 can be removed from our atmosphere. 1. It can be removed at the source of emission from power plants and vehicles that burn fossil fuels. 2. Air from the atmosphere can be ‘captured’ and treated. Carbon capture has been very expensive on a large scale; however, a new technique has been developed that is much cheaper. CO2 gas from the air is collected and transformed into liquid or gas. The U.S. government will pay companies $180 for each ton of CO2 removed from the air using the new direct air capture technology. The second largest carbon ‘direct air capture’ plant in the world is near Denver.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis remarked about ‘carbon capture’, “It’s nothing less than saving our planet and our way of life.”
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Contact: Dr. Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org