CDR as the “bathtub” drain

National Geographic has a great visualization of how humans are causing climate change, here and below (similar to the ship analogy for climate change):

Carbon Bath

The field of CDR targets the “drain” in the bottom left corner of the diagram — the theory goes that, by making this drain larger/more effective, we have another tool to help remain below the “spill line” of the proverbial bathtub.

That said, no one is arguing that deploying CDR (and thus expanding the “drain”) should be done instead of reducing emissions (i.e. reducing the flow from the “faucet”). Rather, CDR should be employed in parallel to GHG emission mitigation strategies in situations where either a) such emission mitigation techniques are more expensive than CDR techniques and/or b) we don’t stop emitting soon enough to go past the “spill line” in the proverbial bathtub, and we need to both reduce emissions and employ CDR to take enough carbon out of the atmosphere to prevent climate change.


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