In a conversation sure to fire controversy, author and Foundation for Climate Restoration founder Peter Feikowsky expresses optimism that the world could reach net-zero emissions and begin to draw down atmospheric CO2 and methane levels within a decade. In a wide-ranging discussion with host Mitch Ratcliffe, Peter introduces several carbon capture technologies, low-carbon concrete, and natural carbon sinks that can contribute to removing anthropogenic CO2. He explains them in a new book, Climate Restoration: The Only Future That Will Sustain the Human Race. For example, using an inexpensive approach to remove methane, which warms the planet almost 28 times faster than CO2, called Enhanced Atmospheric Methane Oxidation (EAMO), he argues we can reduce warming to 2005 levels. Ocean iron fertilization (OIF), which stimulates phytoplankton growth, could be harnessed to pull much of the excess CO2 from the atmosphere, but faces extensive criticism from environmentalists. These approaches require billions, not trillions of dollars, he argues.
His optimism extends to the energy industry, which he says could turn over and adopt renewable fuels by 2030 based on the adoption of electric vehicles and urgent public concern about extreme weather, drought, and sea level rise. The job of reversing climate change begins when society achieves net-zero emissions; at that point, we will have only stopped fueling the fire. We need to remove a trillion tons of CO2 emitted by humans over the past 240 years in order to cool the planet. Peter shares suggestions about what each of us can do to contribute to lower emissions. Having smaller families is key, but even writing letters to the editor, voting, and sharing information and ideas with family and friends can make a difference. We also discuss how climate pessimism shares some features of the pre-Y2K doomsaying. This interview has something for everyone and probably will elicit a strong reaction. You can learn more about Peter at peterfiekowsky.com. His book, Climate Restoration: The Only Future That Will Sustain The Human Race, is available on Amazon and at Powell’s Books.
This podcast originally aired on July 25, 2022.