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Do you think we need carbon removal for a stable climate?

August 15, 2023

I want to save you a bunch of time and frustration.

Over 6 years I’ve had countless conversations about carbon removal with family, friends, the press, AirMiners, and investors.

These are the first two questions I ask going into any conversation about carbon removal:

  1. Do you think we need carbon removal for a stable climate?

    • Carbon removal means removing carbon from the ambient air, beyond decarbonization. Decarbonization alone means just reducing emissions is enough.

  2. How much carbon removal, by when, how does it happen, who pays for it, who leads?

    • This makes the rest of the conversation tangible

    • You have to get clear on #1 first. If you don’t, the rest of the conversation won’t be productive. When in doubt, go back to check #1.

I find this framework keeps my conversations effective. For example, from what Jon Foley has published, he believes carbon removal is necessary (#1) and that it’s needed at gigaton scale several decades from now (#2). I would love to chat with Jon more about #2 and Al Gore about #1.

In the next week, pick someone in your world and ask them these two questions. Let me know how it goes!


P.S. Use these questions as you listen too. When you watch a TED speaker, listen to a thought leader, where are they at on #1? How about #2?

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