Carbon Removal and the Dangers of Extractivism
DOI link for Carbon Removal and the Dangers of Extractivism
Carbon Removal and the Dangers of Extractivism book
Carbon removal options could cleanse the air of some portion of a dangerous byproduct of fossil fuel extraction and combustion. In this way, carbon removal technologies and practices might be thought to represent a kind of “de-extraction” of atmospheric carbon. Yet carbon removal schemes deployed at the kinds of scales required to make a real difference to the problem of climate change would almost certainly operate according to a dangerous “extractavist” logic. Leading proposals like Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage could entail, depending on the type and scale of activity, massive land-use change, with commensurate potential for violence against places and peoples. The storage of vast amounts of carbon in the rock formations and reservoirs from which fossil fuels have been drawn would itself require a new, massive industrial infrastructure, the creation of which would produce vast expenditures of mineral and energy wealth. This chapter shows how the concept of hyper-extractivism can help us understand and guard against the troublesome potentials in large-scale carbon removal activities and in the policy consideration of carbon removal options, and in turn will shed light on the kinds of thorny choices that are forced on humanity at the height of the hyper-extractivist age.