Okay, so maybe not entirely. But it's something!

  • flickr.com
  • Mmmm...carbon

Climate scientists from University of Southern California developed a kind of material — polyethylenimine, or PEI — that virtually acts as flypaper for carbon dioxide emissions. PEI essentially pulls these greenhouse gas molecules out of the air and holds onto them, preventing their proliferation into the atmosphere.

This PEI material is currently designed to snag carbon dioxide molecules from small, indoor spaces, such as chemistry labs, spacecrafts or submarines. But, these scientists believe that in the near future, this small-scale solution can be used to tackler larger enemies, ie: smokestacks and major industrial plants.

Bonus! The carbon that the PEI material catches can be reused to create more useful energy, such as fuel. According to USC chemist G.K. Surya Prakash, widespread use of PEI, could provide an environment where "we wouldn't need to drill or dig for fossil fuels anymore."

Maybe they're counting their molecules before they're caught (prepare to hear this idiom everywhere), but it's definitely an interesting idea in the right direction.