Why we need carbon capture technologies

It’s not just Republicans who ignore or deny the reality of climate change. Earlier this week in Cushing, Okla., President Obama spoke about an oil pipeline and said, according to The Times:

As long as I’m president, we’re going to keep on encouraging oil development and infrastructure, and we’re going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the American people.

Uh, no. There’s no way to safely burn coal, oil and natural gas -- unless we find a way to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

That’s why I wrote my ebook, Suck It Up: How capturing carbon from the air can help solve the climate crisis. Eventually, we need to stop burning fossil fuels. But there’s no evidence that we’re going to do so anytime soon. So we need to think differently about the climate crisis and explore alternative solutions. Part of the answer will be to find ways to capture, recycle and reuse CO2.

In Suck It Up, you’ll meet the pioneering scientist-entrepreneurs and the well-to-do investors, including Bill Gates, who are developing technology to capture CO2 from the air. Published as an Amazon Kindle Single, the book takes about an hour to read and costs $1.99. It’s free if you are an Amazon Prime member and you own a Kindle.

Some people have asked whether they can read the book if they don’t own a Kindle. The answer? Yes! Suck It Up can be read on a variety of platforms, including on a PC, on a Mac, on an Android phone, on a Windows phone, on a BlackBerry or even on the Web. If you can read this blog you can read the book.

As for my claim about attaining best-seller status, it’s true, although misleading. Here’s the proof:



The “trick” here is that Amazon publishes dozens, if not hundreds, of best-seller lists. This one lists best-sellers in Environmental Economics. The truth is, sales of the book have been disappointing, perhaps because the climate issue is so far from the center of the political agenda. Fortunately, I didn’t write this book to make money. I wrote it to spread an idea that matters and to provoke conversation.

That conversation has begun. Matt Wald, the veteran energy reporter at The New York Times, wrote about the book on the paper’s Green blog. It was excerpted by YaleEnvironment360, by GE’s Ecomagination website and on Grist. In a blogpost at Forbes, writer Greg Unruh called it “a must-read for sustainability professionals.” Other reviews have been good.

But like most authors, I’m not satisfied. I’d like more readers and more conversation. So please check out the book, tell me what you think and help spread the word. Are you listening, Planet Money or Ira Flatow?