The moral hazard argument has come up over the past 20+ years as we've moved to accepting that some efforts at Climate Resilience and Adaptation are required... and the worry that this diminishes the call to action is malarky. In fact, what that led to is a more full accounting of the cost of inaction. With direct air capture (DAC), if the cost of removing carbon is eventually $300/tonne, then the economics of preventing the emissions of that tonne just got a lot more crystal clear, like the atmosphere we hope to have. The cost of replacement tech, given the trajectory of clean energy tech and batteries is actually trending to zero, or even negative compared to older tech. I agree that DAC should be regulated and made scalable but the narrative should, for now, be "see how hard and expensive it is to remove carbon from the atmosphere once you've released it?" I don't ever see DAC being economical enough to make continued burning of fossil fuels sensible in the long run. The social cost of carbon is only going up and up. Only when we are back to 360ppm could we even consider this as a valid argument. Also, I'm all for the fossil fuel industry paying $300/ tonne X 40 X10^9 tonnes per year. Let's get that in writing and priced into valuations.

(I believe ~$300/tonne is where DAC will end up... despite some claims to the contrary... but my argument is probably still valid to $50/tonne which is highly imaginative in my view.)

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I love the narrative about it being expensive and hard in addition to doable and necessary -- and yes, the fossil fuel industry should 100% pay for it. A friend also sent me this interesting piece from a player in DAC calling for regulation AND saying they won't take money from oil companies who want to re-inject captured C02 into wells to boost output:


And: https://www.axios.com/2023/10/02/carbon-removal-climate-change

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