George Monbiot is wrong to dismiss the Science Museum’s new exhibition on carbon capture, on which I was an adviser, as “greenwash” (Why is the Science Museum still being contaminated by Shell’s dirty money?, 21 April). The museum is performing a vital public service by laying out clearly and instructively the details of this potentially critical technology, because citizens and consumers need to be fully engaged in the discussion about its risks and benefits. If this exhibition becomes collateral damage in the proxy war by activists against the oil industry, it could ultimately undermine the battle against climate change.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide is already at a concentration that last occurred on Earth about 3 million years ago during the Pliocene epoch, when the polar ice caps were much smaller and the global sea level was 10 to 20 metres higher than today. Climate models suggest that it will be very difficult to limit global warming to well below 2C this century without significant amounts of carbon dioxide removal. It would be irresponsible and reckless not to accelerate efforts to develop technologies that could help us to capture and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while also cutting emissions as quickly as possible, in order to avoid dangerous climate change.
Policy and communications director, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
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