As the planet warms, economic, technological, and political obstacles hinder our chances of reducing the carbon released into the atmosphere—but impressive efforts are underway to catch emissions before they get there, writes Laura H. Kahn.
Plant biologist and geneticist Joanne Chory is developing an edible, hardy “super plant” that can store large amounts of carbon dioxide. CRISPR technology could expedite the process. But anti-GMO opposition could slow it back down—so Chory is relying on cross-breeding that could take a decade. That’s equivalent to “trying to win a high-speed car race with a horse and buggy,” Kahn writes. To expedite breakthroughs, “Regaining the public’s trust in science is essential.”