Scrubbing out carbon dioxide


Sound environmental policy or eco-ideology? In some countries hardcore environmentalists still resist nuclear power despite it being the most economically clean and truly sustainable energy option available. It also allows us to avoid stifling oil–dependence and additional pollution of the atmosphere. Those opposed to utilizing nuclear have of course dramatically over emphasized any potential problems that it may harbour. So rather than alleviating atmospheric pollution it leaves it at the mercy of the economically illiterate carbon–trading schemes. Similarly environmental activists, such as Greenpeace, have also resisted technologies like carbon capture and sequestration, exposing themselves to the accusation of being 21st Century Luddites. This increasingly compromises their credibility as environmentally responsible citizens.

Now environmentalists are giving us yet another example of imprudent opposition to new technology. Scientists at Columbia University are developing a new appliance called the carbon dioxide (CO2) scrubber. In as single day alone it can remove a ton of CO2 from the air. Speaking for the research team Klaus Lackner guesses that this device could prove an efficient way to minimize the atmospheric CO2 levels:

While some see the scrubber as an efficient and economical way to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, many environmentalists are opposing the technology because it allows people to use fossil fuels and emit carbon in the first place.

After decades of investment renewable energies have yet to deliver their required cost-effectiveness. Therefore it is not prudent to flat-out reject other technological solutions which are often much cheaper than reducing CO2 emissions at the source. This whole issue of green campaigning reeks of special interest groups and doesn’t reflect the pursuit of the noble cause of saving our planet.