Jump to content
BANGKOK
webfact

Plant a trillion trees: U.S. Republicans offer fossil fuel-friendly climate fix

Recommended Posts

Plant a trillion trees: U.S. Republicans offer fossil fuel-friendly climate fix

By Valerie Volcovici

 

2020-02-12T145350Z_4_LYNXMPEG1B0Z3_RTROPTP_4_CLIMATECHANGE-USA-TREES.JPG

FILE PHOTO: People plant trees on a sand mine on the dried lake bed of Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake, in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers on Wednesday proposed legislation setting a goal for the United States to plant a trillion trees by 2050 to fight global warming, a plan intended to address climate change by sucking carbon out of the air instead of by cutting emissions.

 

The proposed legislation reflects an acknowledgement by some in the Republican Party of rising voter demand for action on climate change, even as it seeks to preserve the economic benefits of a historic drilling boom that has made the United States the world’s biggest oil and gas producer.

 

Republican President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change, had expressed support for the idea of a massive tree-planting campaign during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month.

 

"Our part at home is a lot more than just planting trees. It's utilizing the full abilities of sustainable forestry," said congressman Bruce Westerman of Arkansas, a member of the House of Representatives' Natural Resources Committee who introduced the tree planting bill.

 

The bill was one of several elements of a broader proposal on climate change introduced by a half dozen House lawmakers on Wednesday.

 

Additional bills will be released over the coming weeks, focusing on expanding a tax credit to bolster carbon capture technology from power plants and directly from the air, creating a research hub to advance those technologies, and boosting "clean" energy, including natural gas and nuclear.

 

The bills focus on technology "innovation" and avoid setting a price for carbon pollution and setting or enforcing emission reduction mandates.

 

Democrats, including all the top presidential hopefuls in this year’s election, have made proposals for a rapid shift away from fossil fuels to help the United States and other countries avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

 

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Wednesday their approach stands in contrast to "command-and-control" policy approaches introduced by some Democrats such as the Green New Deal, which calls for massive government investment in nationwide emissions-free infrastructure.

 

He and other lawmakers said they do not believe carbon taxes were needed to spur innovation.

 

Environmentalists argue that focusing on planting trees or investing in carbon sequestration technology while ignoring emission cuts from fossil fuel use is counterproductive. An overwhelming majority of scientists believe emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels are the main driver of climate change.

 

“Planting trees is good, of course, but it is nowhere near enough of what is needed, and it cannot replace real mitigation and rewilding nature,” Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg said in Davos last month.

 

Nature-based carbon removal measures like tree planting have gained traction globally. Last July, for example, Ethiopia set a world record by planting over 350 million trees in 12 hours as part of a green campaign by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

 

James Mulligan, a senior associate at the World Resources Institute research organization, said mass tree planting could reduce between 180 million and 360 million tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2040 if implemented correctly.

 

"Funding is key," he said, adding that the program needs a "smart governance system."

 

U.S. Representative Garret Graves, a Louisiana Republican who serves on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, said focusing on natural and technological sequestration would enable the United States to reduce emissions without shutting down the energy industry.

 

"Those who have labeled fossil fuels the enemy have misidentified the enemy," he told reporters, saying emissions were the true enemy.

 

The American Energy Alliance, a free-market energy industry group, panned Wednesday's Republican proposal as a "climate messaging exercise" that mimics Democratic proposals.

 

"His (McCarthy's) costly proposal is a slippery slope to a slightly less intrusive Green New Deal,” said AEA President Thomas Pyle.

 

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Dan Grebler and Jonathan Oatis)

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-13
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Idea is good, but trees need water to grow. Meaning they compete with farmlands for fertile ground. If they are willing to commit to reducing farmed area and/or building large scale irrigation systems, cool. Just remember you need a smaller population if you got less food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Planting trees is good, of course, but it is nowhere near enough of what is needed, and it cannot replace real mitigation and rewilding nature,” Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg said in Davos last month.

 

Ah, such mature wisdom out of the mouths of babes.....let's hear it for "mitigation" and "rewilding".....

  • Like 1
  • Sad 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a much better plan than anything Greta has come up with. 

 

MAGA 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Sad 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All <deleted> as usual from money grabbing corporations.

 

The Chinese actually came up with this Idea 10 years ago to reduce their pollution..

Did it work? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The locals can burn more as a way to offset US efforts. Maybe Greta could sail over and give them a good scolding. That'll fix it!

  • Haha 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, webfact said:

"Our part at home is a lot more than just planting trees. It's utilizing the full abilities of sustainable forestry,"

The cheat behind  words :
it means :
"expropriating all resources they have, automatically destroying the forest." 

Indeed :

Each forest its fully sustainable until humans start to utilize them without respect for their own greed.

Election time, lies to be said in a kind of language that majority of their voters can not even understand.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, JCauto said:

As someone working in this field (forest conservation), allow me to provide my input.

 

Yes, Greta is correct. We are facing several crises with respect to the environment, one of which is carbon sequestration. Another, which receives far less attention, is biodiversity conservation. I would expect that they would address the carbon issue through a technological fix - think drones dropping tree seedlings rather than people with feet on the ground. And indeed, this would be a pretty good idea as trees don't require a lot of maintenance and this would be far more efficient in terms of costs and in terms of reaching remote and difficult areas to access. 

 

 

Just to take up one of your points, about "tree maintenance".  I have not myself been a planter of trees, but many of my students in British Columbia spent long summers earning good money planting seedlings of pine, spruce, fir and hemlock in areas that had been clear-cut.  A year later, maybe the same student would go out and inspect the condition of last year's planting.  (Seedlings would, left unattended, be threatened by weeds.)

I remember one student describing his second summer's work checking for the seedling's health.  He said he had to fill in his map of the planted hectares as 80% NFG.  Puzzled, I had to ask him, NFG???? 
No fking good. 

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Boon Mee said:

Sounds like a much better plan than anything Greta has come up with. 

 

MAGA 

It’s not actually.

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/14/2020 at 3:55 AM, blazes said:

 

Just to take up one of your points, about "tree maintenance".  I have not myself been a planter of trees, but many of my students in British Columbia spent long summers earning good money planting seedlings of pine, spruce, fir and hemlock in areas that had been clear-cut.  A year later, maybe the same student would go out and inspect the condition of last year's planting.  (Seedlings would, left unattended, be threatened by weeds.)

I remember one student describing his second summer's work checking for the seedling's health.  He said he had to fill in his map of the planted hectares as 80% NFG.  Puzzled, I had to ask him, NFG???? 
No fking good. 

  

Okay...so there is a certain survival rate among replanted trees, something you would expect. As I don't work in replanting, I don't know what the typical survival rates are, but I'm quite sure they're well known - this is why they were going back and measuring the survival rates. This is normal.

Do you have any other minor quibbles with my points?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...