Forestry, Global Warming, and the Multi-Billion-Dollar Carbon-Credit Grab

| 7/9/2016 12:18:00 PM

Tags: sustainable forestry, woodworking, climate change, environmental policy, California, Raul D Hernandez,

Yosemite National Park Sequoia Trees

Tall forest of sequoias in Yosemite National Park. Photo by Stephen Moehle

In November, almost all the countries of the world agreed to what seems like an ambitious plan — to slow the global warming juggernaut. I have been practicing forestry for more than 20 years, and it is clear to me that a critical piece of the global-cooling equation is not being addressed and will not be addressed unless the public is educated.

Global Warming, Then and Now

Al Gore's film in 2006 rang the alarm bells loudest about the threat. In February, he updated his message with a 20-minute Ted Talk that covered the same scary ground but ended on a positive note.

Mr. Gore highlighted the exponential growth of solar and wind energy and how they are now close to matching traditional energy sources in cost. He believes the continuing drop in cost will accelerate the conversion away from fossil fuels and be a major part of the solution.

Mr. Gore focuses on human technology and does not address the two largest natural carbon sink technologies: the oceans and forests.

7/18/2016 5:50:34 PM

No amount of live trees will work (long-term) as a carbon-sink. The forests eventually burn, individual trees fail and rot, and these processes release all the carbon, and other greenhouse gasses, too. The best way to sequester carbon is the modern lumber industry, which grows trees, then cuts them down, and stores them for centuries as homes and other long-term structures protected from fire and rot. If you've got a way to densify the fast-growing lumber fields, you don't need to appeal here, you can make huge amounts of money off the lumber industry, who would love the innovation.

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