Carbon Removal: Today’s Indulgences?

I guess it was no surprise to see this post in the Greenbiz online newsletter as we start a new year:  Shopify: 3 lessons from investing $55 million in 27 carbon removal startups | GreenBiz

Why is there so much interest in carbon removal from the air?  Is it because it seems so big as a business potential?  Or is it that we can do it almost anywhere on the planet … so labor costs won’t matter?  Or is it because we have now given up on controlling the sources since that is so difficult to do?

Or, perhaps, is it because it is easier to ask people to pay for the forgiveness of their sins than to expect them to stop sinning?

The Catholic church called them indulgences and prospered in unseemly ways, but if you get past that extreme, you can clearly see the same root problem with why it is so attractive to have someone take the garbage we create and just make it disappear.  Or at least they can make it appear that they have.

Haven’t we learned anything from our efforts to recycle?  The news media has covered this of course and the results are anything but encouraging.  Why is that we think we can now recycle carbon dioxide?  Isn’t that problem even harder than our efforts to recycle cardboard and plastic?  We have landfill problems already and have for decades.

For example, here is another article in Greenbiz.  It will be very telling to see how Pepsi responds to this lawsuit:
Why it matters that New York state is suing PepsiCo over single-use plastic | GreenBiz

As we start a new year, wouldn’t it be better to remind everyone that the cumulative effects of our sinful extractive and unsafe energy demands on this planet require us to each look a bit more honestly at our personal wasteful tendencies?  Wouldn’t it help if each of us considered each day and in every way whether we really need to use or consume this or that and/or throw it away?

We are not walking gently on this planet, and the idea that we can pay for someone to take away our sins speaks volumes about our true attitudes toward consumption and our willingness to make a difference.

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