Branson Offers $25 Million to Remove Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Sir Richard Branson is at it again. After making headlines last year for pledging to invest $3 billion in renewable energy technologies, he's upped the ante on curbing climate change by offering a $25 million prize to whoever comes up with the best way of removing significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Announced in London alongside former US Vice President and climate campaigner Al Gore, the Earth Challenge Prize will be overseen by a panel of judges, including James Lovelock and NASA scientist James Hansen (whom we mentioned here), who will be looking for a method that will remove at least one billion tons of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere. Carbon capture and storage (pictured above at right) is a possibility, though this method have raised concerns, notably because of the possibility of leakage from the storage sites and fears that C02 dissolved in large quantities in the ocean might harm marine ecosystems. Other scientists are also looking at schemes that might "scrub" the air of CO2, collecting the gas for safe storage; but many critics say the energy required to achieve this would make such an approach self-defeating. Sir Richard said humankind must realize the scale of the crisis it is facing. "The Earth cannot wait 60 years," he said at the news conference. "I want a future for my children and my children's children. The clock is ticking." We wonder if Sir Richard has seen the Convenient Truths contest...via ::BBC
Update: Get more info at the Virgin Earth Challenge website.

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