Now the second richest person in the world, Pretoria-born Elon Musk is at a loss to find worthy causes in which to channel his fortune. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has so far managed to identify only one when last month he launched a competition with a $100m reward — the largest incentive prize in history — to anyone who can find a way to capture carbon directly from the atmosphere or oceans on a huge scale and lock it away safely.

The world’s leading scientists estimate as much as 6-gigatons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year must be removed by 2030, and 10-gigatons a year by 2050 if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, Musk notes on the competition website. Never mind limiting carbon emissions, he is looking for innovation that will remove it from the atmosphere, ultimately saving all of humanity from the effects of climate change...

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