When I got interested in carbon management in the early 1990s, what drove me was the observation that carbon piles up in the environment. It takes nature thousands of years to remove that CO2, and we’re on a trajectory toward much higher CO2 concentrations, well beyond anything humans have experienced.
Humanity can’t afford to have increasing amounts of excess carbon floating around in the environment, so we have to get it back out.
Not all emissions are from large sources, like power plants or factories, where we can capture CO2 as it comes out. So we need to deal with the other half of emissions – from cars, planes, taking a hot shower while your gas furnace is putting out CO2. That means pulling CO2 out of the air.