•   
  •   

World The Weekly Planet: A Start-Up’s Unusual Plan to Suck Carbon Out of the Sky

04:05  25 november  2020
04:05  25 november  2020 Source:   theatlantic.com

Cosy relationships and a front organisation: how Sky News operates as a law unto itself

  Cosy relationships and a front organisation: how Sky News operates as a law unto itself When the body in charge of regulating pay TV is stacked with Foxtel's own executives, why are we surprised when Sky News' baseless conspiracy theories go unchallenged?Inq‘s investigation into the apparent free-for-all reveals that while there are limits to what Sky’s commentators can say, the task of regulating the channel has been largely outsourced to the industry itself — with Murdoch interests dotted throughout.

Sign up to get T he Weekly Planet , our guide to living through climate change, in your inbox. Stripe is one of those technology companies that controls the Stripe may now have more knowledge of the carbon -removal market than any other private company. In this era of greenwashing and sustainable

Carbon pollution is being sucked from the sky and injected into underground rocks—will Climeworks’ ambitious plan to stop climate change work?

Every Tuesday morning, our lead climate reporter brings you the big ideas, expert analysis, and vital guidance that will help you flourish on a changing planet. Sign up to get The Weekly Planet, our guide to living through climate change, in your inbox.

clouds in the sky with smoke coming out of it: Power plants put carbon into the air; someone has to put it back into the ground. © Sean Gallup / Getty Power plants put carbon into the air; someone has to put it back into the ground.

Stripe is one of those technology companies that controls the internet’s plumbing. It makes payments-processing software that hustles money from your debit or credit card to someone else’s bank account. If you’ve ever purchased groceries on Instacart or supported a project on Kickstarter, you’ve used Stripe, even if you didn’t know it.

Ban on new petrol and diesel cars in UK from 2030

  Ban on new petrol and diesel cars in UK from 2030 The PM confirms he is bringing the ban forward as he sets out his "green industrial revolution".But some hybrids would still be allowed, Mr Johnson confirmed.

The plane seemed to be perfectly Ok and the cabin crew was professional and friendly. No one expected the dramatic outcome that was in store for this The captain had already removed his lap belt. That' s why the man was literally ripped out of his seat and sucked out of the missing windscreen.

Carbon - Sucking Bionic Weeds Are New Front in Climate Change War. Crops by Area Harvested Globally. Data: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Climate scientists have quietly begun to converge on a stark conclusion: The window in which cutting emissions by reducing the use

Owning this particular corner of internet infrastructure is highly lucrative. Stripe is worth $36 billion by one metric, making it among the most valuable U.S. start-ups that have yet to go public. Only a handful of firms, such as SpaceX and Cargill, are more valuable.

Lately Stripe has been helping to build a different kind of plumbing—physical pipes running from the open air to deep underground. In the past year, Stripe has become one of the world’s largest purchasers of carbon-removal credits, devoting $1 million to extracting carbon from the sky. Last month, it began allowing its customers—the businesses that use its payment software—to buy carbon removal as well.

Stripe may now have more knowledge of the carbon-removal market than any other private company. In this era of greenwashing and sustainable everything, its program, called Stripe Climate, is one of the most compelling corporate climate initiatives now running.

Lonely Planet wants to select 30 places, people and groups

 Lonely Planet wants to select 30 places, people and groups The coronavirus pandemic is giving tourism difficult times. One of the most famous travel guide brands in the world is also reacting to this. © - / Couple of Men / dpa Daan Colijn (l) and Karl Krause, founders of the travel blog “Couple of Men”. The two travel the world in search of gay-friendly adventures and are one of the winners of Lonely Planet's “Best in Travel 2021” campaign.

High stakes for the planet as carbon emissions rise again. To avoid climate catastrophe, humankind must stay within a “ carbon budget.” Our factories and power plants, cars and planes , forest fires and cows have used up 79 But we'll also need to actively suck carbon back out of the atmosphere.

Every time we breathe out , we emit carbon dioxide just like all other metabolic life forms. Meanwhile, photosynthetic organisms like plants and algae take The problem with removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is that it’ s present at such a low concentration. In a power plant chimney, for instance

The term carbon removal refers to any technology that extracts carbon from the atmosphere and stores it for a long time. Trees, which inhale carbon as part of photosynthesis and lock it into wood, comprise the simplest form of carbon removal. But trees have their downsides: They take up real estate, require decades of care, and, in a disastrous wildfire, can burst into flame—and release their stored carbon back into the sky. Above all, they can store carbon for only a few centuries. To really tackle climate change, we need to ferret carbon out of the atmosphere for 1,000 years or more.

That requires technological carbon removal. Well into the 2010s, technological carbon removal seemed completely conjectural, a nice-to-have but still very notional idea. Removing carbon is inherently difficult, at a physical level, because capturing a molecule of carbon dioxide takes more energy than would be generated by burning that molecule. So capturing all the carbon pollution released since 1850, for instance, would require more energy than all fossil fuels have generated since that year.

Canada govt seeks carbon neutrality by 2050

  Canada govt seeks carbon neutrality by 2050 The government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday submitted draft legislation that it said would allow the country to be carbon neutral by 2050, but his opponents dismissed the initiative as "smoke and mirrors." "After five years in power, and a record of unfulfilled emissions reductions commitments, the government has given us more smoke and mirrors," she said."Net-zero emissions by 2050. It's ambitious -- but it's possible, it's necessary, and it's exactly what we're going to do," Trudeau said on Twitter.

Capturing carbon dioxide and turning it into commercial products, such as fuels or construction materials, could become a new global industry June 7, 2018 — Someday, the gasoline you buy might come from carbon dioxide pulled out of the sky rather than from oil pumped out of the ground.

Direct air capture sucks carbon dioxide out of the air by using fans to move air over substances There are few estimates of the carbon removal potential of blue carbon , but the costs would be low Y Combinator, an organization that funds promising startups , has put out a call for any working on

Then, in 2018, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced that the world might need to remove 1 trillion tons of carbon by the end of the century if it hoped to avoid more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming. It also needed to start soon: By the 2030s, humanity has to begin removing tens of millions of tons of carbon each year.

Suddenly, carbon removal seemed essential. Money surged into the sector; one CEO reported receiving five investment offers in one day. At the same time, a new crop of companies began to experiment with new forms of carbon removal. And other companies already in the sector, such as Climeworks and Carbon Engineering, became better known.

That was roughly when Stripe got involved, too.

Until last year, Stripe followed the standard playbook for a climate-concerned Bay Area start-up. It powered its operations with renewable energy, and it sometimes paid to plant trees, but it did not study carbon removal, much less purchase it. But then the company’s executives became intrigued by the idea of zeroing out Stripe’s historic carbon pollution—of removing all the carbon that it had emitted since its establishment, in 2010. They were willing to spend up to $1 million on the project.

Power bills could surge by $400 a year, warns Mark Latham

  Power bills could surge by $400 a year, warns Mark Latham The NSW One Nation leader slammed the plan to encourage $32billion of private investment in renewable energy projects by 2030 as a 'stitch up'.The NSW One Nation leader slammed the plan to encourage $32billion of private investment in renewable energy projects by 2030 as a 'stitch up'.

“We got a positive response from the carbon-removal community, because the field is so starved for capital that a million dollars will raise eyebrows,” Ryan Orbuch, a Stripe project manager who’s been deeply involved with this initiative, told me.

The problem of carbon removal works on a different scale than Silicon Valley’s usual software-level fare, Nan Ransohoff, who leads Stripe Climate, told me. “This is a hardware problem, it’s an infrastructure problem, it’s a science problem,” she said. “It takes a long time to develop carbon removal. This is not Snapchat.”

Today, Stripe buys removal from four companies: Climeworks, which captures carbon directly from the air and injects it into underground basalt; CarbonCure, which injects carbon into concrete; Project Vesta, which uses a common mineral to convert carbon in the ocean into limestone on the seafloor; and Charm Industrial, which produces an oil from biomass and then injects it deep into the earth.


Gallery: Big businesses battling to save the world (Lovemoney)

a sign on the side of a building: Big companies are sometimes accused of “greenwashing” – marketing themselves as eco-friendly without putting ttime and resources into actual eco-friendly practices – yet some large firms are taking huge steps to become greener. From businesses that will recycle your old purchases to companies with carbon-neutral or even carbon-positive buildings, click or scroll through to see how 25 global brands are fighting climate change.  

The company picked these four relatively small companies based in part on their potential to become much larger operations. “As we scale up, we hope to find significantly more,” Orbuch said. The company’s ultimate goal here is to bring the cost of carbon removal down the “learning curve”—which means, in essence, making it cheaper. By buying from these companies now, at a relative high price point, Stripe is aiming to let everyone pay less later.

Global tariffs the only way to end Australia’s climate criminality

  Global tariffs the only way to end Australia’s climate criminality With a corrupted political process and a media industry pushing climate denialism, the chances of Australia embracing effective climate action appear slim. The rest of the world is therefore justified in punishing a country that is becoming a climate criminal.It abolished an effective and efficient carbon pricing scheme in 2014 and didn’t replace it with anything. It refuses to endorse a net zero carbon emissions target despite its four biggest trading partners all establishing one, or announcing their intention to.

“The biggest challenge when you’re trying to bring a new technology to bear on something like carbon removal is: How do you come down the cost curve?” Peter Reinhardt, the chief executive of Charm Industrial, one of Stripe’s carbon-removal clients, told me. Right now it costs $600 to sequester a ton of carbon using Charm’s technique, but it won’t become a competitive product in carbon markets until that cost is down to about $200 a ton. “By the time we deliver on our contracts with Stripe and others, we’ll be down the cost curve by 10 percent,” Reinhardt said.

Stripe’s $1 million is a significant investment, but the company can’t do much on its own. It can do more by bringing in its clients. By offering its customers easy access to buying carbon removal from these same companies, it can help expand the market and therefore bring prices down faster.

“We are trying to be the demand-side signal,” Ransohoff told me.

The project has won support from the carbon-removal sector, in part because the field is so small that Stripe has talked to virtually everyone in it. “I am deeply skeptical of almost all corporate climate action,” Jane Zelikova, the chief scientist at Carbon180, a carbon-removal think tank, told me. (She served as a paid adviser to Stripe Climate last year.) “I think what Stripe did is really different, which is why I was willing to be involved with it … They’re not greenwashing. They’re literally paying whatever the price is to remove carbon from the atmosphere.”

Earlier this year, Zelikova reviewed “nature based” carbon-removal companies that applied to be Stripe’s carbon-removal clients. Even though she described herself as an advocate of nature-based removal efforts, such as improving soil management so as to lock more carbon into the dirt, she ultimately decided that none of the projects was as rigorous or transparent as Stripe required. The company did not buy from any of the companies she reviewed.

I visited airport lounges of the 3 major US airlines and saw how the pandemic has changed the once-extravagant experience – here's what it's like to lounge during the pandemic

  I visited airport lounges of the 3 major US airlines and saw how the pandemic has changed the once-extravagant experience – here's what it's like to lounge during the pandemic Airlines are adapting their premium lounges to the new realities of pandemic flying as their top travellers remain largely grounded. Each airline has its own approach but all are centered around health and safety first followed by a gradual ramp-up of the amenities that flyers expect. We visited the airport lounges of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines to see how the lounge experience has changed. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Access to airport lounges is a top perk for frequent flyers and those who pay top dollar to sit in the premium cabins of an airliner.

One of the most famous debates in climate politics is about the efficacy of individual versus collective action: Should you never fly again, or should society raise the cost of a gallon of gas by, say, 40 cents? I find this debate tiresome. Most people are not going to give up flying, nor should they, necessarily; flying is amazing. Meanwhile the government, at least in the U.S., is not close to imposing a carbon tax.

But the Stripe initiative tries to move beyond that. It says, Okay, given the government’s lack of initiative here, what most demands our attention?

The answer is clearly carbon removal. The earlier that someone makes a large purchase of carbon removal, the faster it will become relatively cheap. So Stripe is deploying a small version of what we would call, in a government setting, a procurement strategy.

It’s a classic way to spur innovation. You can see it in Operation Warp Speed, the American effort to develop and secure COVID-19 vaccines. One of the ways that the government encouraged drug companies to make vaccines quickly was to promise that it would buy the final product.

“When investors go to decide whether they’re going to give any of these companies money, they’re going to ask, Is there a customer?” Ransohoff said. “Right now, in carbon removal, the answer is mostly no.”

So Stripe’s job is to be the buyer of first resort: the “demand-side signal” that a market exists for carbon removal. It is guaranteeing, in some ways, the existence of a future market for direct carbon removal. Now that it allows other businesses to contribute to its climate fund, it is expanding the size of that purchase pool. Stripe currently does not take a cut of other companies’ contributions to its climate fund. But it has a clear information advantage. If this positions Stripe to be the world’s first and best carbon bank—well, that’s just good business.

The Weekly Planet: The Best Way to Donate to Fight Climate Change (Probably)

  The Weekly Planet: The Best Way to Donate to Fight Climate Change (Probably) These are the most effective carbon offsets and climate-advocacy groups, according to a new evidence-based group.Let’s say you want to donate $25 to fighting climate change.

I find Stripe Climate to be unusually admirable, a pragmatic and imaginative new approach to corporate climate action. It is honest, in a sort of structural way, about what companies, even large ones, can do about climate change. For instance: When other businesses buy carbon removal through Stripe Climate, Stripe won’t tell them exactly how many tons of carbon they’ve offset. The point here isn’t for companies to balance their lifetime carbon debt on some imaginary ledger. The goal is for businesses to do something that benefits the world more broadly, to the extent that they can afford to.

Someone Else’s Weather

a bridge over a body of water: N. Wolf-Camplin © Provided by The Atlantic N. Wolf-Camplin

The reader N. Wolf-Camplin sent in this picture of fog covering the Intracoastal Waterway in North Carolina, near Masonboro Island.

Every week, I hope to feature a weather photo from a reader or professional in this part of the newsletter, because the climate is someone else’s weather. If you would like to submit one, please email weeklyplanet@theatlantic.com.

3 Transforming Things

  1. Elon Musk is now the second-richest man on Earth, eclipsing Bill Gates. Many climate-tech companies and electric-car makers have outperformed the broader market in the past year, but I’m not sure people understand how much better Tesla has done, even compared with companies like it. As Tesla’s share price has surged this year, Musk’s wealth has quintupled, rising to $127.9 billion.
  2. President-elect Joe Biden has named John Kerry as his special climate envoy. Kerry, a former secretary of state, will also sit on the White House National Security Council, making him the first member of that group with a full-time climate mandate. It’s still unclear whether Kerry or some other administration official will handle domestic climate policy. At an event today, Kerry announced that rejoining the Paris Agreement—a first-day goal of Biden’s—is “not enough.”
  3. General Motors has switched sides in the fight over electric cars. As of last week, the automaker was part of the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California, arguing that the Golden State had no authority under the Clean Air Act to mandate carbon-pollution rules on its own. But this week—et voilà!—GM announced that, in fact, California did have that authority, and furthermore, that GM would enthusiastically support Joe Biden’s plan to accelerate the transition to electric cars.

    I wonder what changed the company’s mind? Maybe it decided its earlier good-faith interpretation of the Clean Air Act was in error.

Thanks for reading. Did someone forward you this newsletter? Sign up here.

The Weekly Planet: The Best Way to Donate to Fight Climate Change (Probably) .
These are the most effective carbon offsets and climate-advocacy groups, according to a new evidence-based group.Let’s say you want to donate $25 to fighting climate change.

usr: 2
This is interesting!