Global Thermostat’s technology, being tested at a demonstration site in Silicon Valley, can remove carbon dioxide from the air, potentially undoing decades of damage to the planet’s climate.
Speaker 1: 00:00 The atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide ...
Speaker 2: 00:02 Scientist expect CO2 levels to continue to go up ...
Speaker 3: 00:05 To levels not seen for two to three million years.
Leonard Brody: 00:08 The last time there was this much CO2 in the atmosphere, there were alligators in the arctic.
Leonard Brody: 00:15 Imagine taking one of the largest problems that's gonna face our species in the next coming decade, and completely reverse engineering it. Reverse it backwards, and suck it out of the environment.
Graciela Chichi: 00:36 My name is Graciela Chichilnisky. I am the CEO of lower Global Thermostat, a new company that started in 2010 that takes CO2 directly from the atmosphere, and makes it into useful products while cleaning the atmosphere.
Leonard Brody: 00:53 So the companies come out with the idea to pull carbon out of the atmosphere to literally vacuum out and reverse the damage that we've already done.
Graciela Chichi: 01:00 If you think of a dehumidifier, it takes the water molecules from air. Our product does the same. But instead of taking water, you're taking CO2.
Graciela Chichi: 01:11 The easiest way of describing it, is that it is a power plant that cleans the atmosphere. We call it Carbon Negative, because you are decreasing the CO2 in the atmosphere which acts as a blanket, it doesn't let the heat go out.
Graciela Chichi: 01:27 We are turning the bad into the good. By creating a market for carbon, make it useful. We take the CO2 and we make it into materials for plastics, for synthetic fuels, for beverages. As you drink, you will be cleaning atmosphere.
Graciela Chichi: 01:48 Same thing that when you eat a hamburger, that has been frozen with dry ice, because CO2 is dry ice.
Leonard Brody: 01:56 They are taking one of the most ambitious approaches to handling reversal of climate change in the planet. I think that's gonna be really important. It's very rare to be in a position, from a scientific perspective, that you can actually reverse damage.
Graciela Chichi: 02:10 So this is a major change. Our technology is very, very, very low cost. And that's key. We don't use electricity, we use low temperature heat. We can produce CO2 in any amount practically, whatever you need it. And example, companies that using CO2. The CO2 has to be trucked, and in some parts of the US is brought through pipelines. So, we can bring here one Global Thermostat plant, we can put it next to a bottler.
Graciela Chichi: 02:43 So, they will be using the CO2 from air. You don't need to transport it. You save a lot of money. At Global Thermostat we are writing the future because we are changing the use of energy.
Graciela Chichi: 02:56 And we can do it all while making profits, creating jobs. It's a win, win, win.
Leonard Brody: 03:05 And even thought they're dealing with one isolated gas, which is CO2, the mentality and the thought process is gonna have deep impact on all of the other breeches of the environment that we're dealing with, and energy, that just speaks of a rewrite in and of itself.