When I read the article “Industry Awakens to Threat of Climate Change,” it made me think about a Facebook post (I know, not exactly a credible source, but give me a moment and it should make sense I hope) that I had seen earlier in the week that argued that a new Era in history had started in 1610 due to the mass deaths that occurred on the American continent, which enabled large amounts of forest to creep back into farm land, which had actually changed the CO2 levels by a relatively substantial amount. In reading this article, I had followed another, more substantiated link that led to the Scientific American journal, which discussed a new project at Columbia University that created a resin capable of pulling carbon out of both the air and out of objects with heavy carbon concentrations.
In reading more about this new discovery, and how effective it was at sucking carbon out of the air and turning it into bicarbonate (more or less baking soda if sodium atoms are added in), I began drawing lines between this and the potential for carbon taxes. It occurred to me that much like low-income housing companies that make their entire living off of working within the framework of the LIHTAC system to provide housing to people that need it, while selling tax credits off to people/companies that need them, this technology would provide the same possibility with carbon tax credits. By utilizing this resinous material, a company could effectively become a negative carbon producing company that in effect makes its profit by selling its “tax credits” to those companies that have heavier carbon foot prints. While doing so, it could also employ its carbon soaking resins at the point of carbon output for most of these companies, which would increase the amount of tax credits gained by the carbon negative company, thus increasing their ability to sell off these credits to offending companies, while also effectively reducing the other companies carbon output (in realistic terms, not in taxable terms) by capturing much of the offending companies carbon output.
In essence, this company could capture an offending companies carbon output and then sell them the tax credits necessary to enable them to continue to output carbon despite a carbon tax. I suppose its a kind of hybrid between a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade system, that seeks to benefit both companies maximally in that the carbon offender can still afford to output the necessary levels of carbon to be competitive in the market, while also decreasing their effective carbon footprint (in realistic terms, not in taxable terms) by working with this carbon negative company.
To my mind, the uses of this resin are nearly unlimited in their ability to soak up carbon, from being implemented on factory smoke stacks, to airplanes, to road ways, to being sent up into the sky on hot air balloons to capture the large amounts already in the upper reaches of our atmosphere. To tie this all back into the idea of a new era being caused by humanities effect, it occurred to me that we as humans have had a massive impact on the climate of our planet, and if we can do so much damage in such a short period of time, we can surely reverse course at a similar rate if properly incentivized. This could be the shortest geological “era” in the Earth’s history if we implemented carbon taxes and enabled carbon negative companies to compete effectively in the global economy to begin profitably back peddling on the damage that has been done.
A link to the carbon reducing resin page is attached below: