The New Climate Tech – The New York Times

Ambitious projects are trying to engineer the atmosphere.

Lead author of the Climate Forward newsletter.
Infusing clouds with sulfur dioxide to block the sun. Vacuuming carbon dioxide out of thin air. Adding iron to the ocean to draw greenhouse gases down to the sea floor. As recently as a few years ago, technologies designed to change Earth’s atmosphere — what is broadly known as geoengineering — were considered too impractical, too expensive and too outlandish to be taken seriously.
But, as I write in a new article, some of these technologies are being deployed. One is already in place.
The effects of climate change are becoming worse. And nations aren’t meeting their collective goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions. The stakes are very real: Last year was the hottest in modern history. Oceans around the world are shockingly warm. Floods, fires and droughts are growing more intense.
So investors and entrepreneurs are trying — sometimes unilaterally — to fix that. In today’s newsletter, I’ll explain some of those efforts.
Many scientists and environmentalists worry about the safety and efficacy of geoengineering. And some of the best-funded projects are bankrolled by the very oil and gas companies most responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions. Still, plans to intentionally tinker with the planet’s atmosphere are racing ahead.
On a warm winter day last month, I traveled to a massive construction site outside Odessa, Texas. There, Occidental Petroleum is building the world’s largest direct air-capture plant. The company plans to turn it on next year.
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