Skip to main content

View Diary: To solve the climate change problem, end the class divide (50 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Simply, No (0+ / 0-)

    Usually I complain about the "plant more trees" types of comments, but this time I get to complain about a "don't plant more trees" comment:

    At some point, when the tree is burnt, or its wood decays, the carbon will be released back into the atmosphere. Dr. Kevin Andersen from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research raises a critical question: "Even if the trees do survive, if we have climate change and a 2° C or 3° C temperature rise, then how do we know those trees are not going to die early and break down into methane and actually make the situation worse?"

    This is entirely as silly as thinking that just planting lots and lots of trees will sequester more carbon.

    Unfortunately, forests (that's what large collections of trees are called) don't respond to ideology - they respond to forest ecology. Yes, if you just plant more trees, you'll end up with over-dense forests that sequester less than the optimal amount of carbon and are more susceptible to forest-destroying high-intensity fires, disease and insects.

    But the opposite conclusion, as stated above isn't true either. The trees will survive, and can even survive in the face of temperature increases, and not break down into methane making the situation worse, if you maintain the conditions that make forests sustainable. This does require human intervention - it almost always has, as most contemporary forest ecosystems are human mediated and have been for thousands of years.

    That's not to say anything about the desireablility of cap-and-trade, which I mostly think is a bad idea. But it does point out that distorting or ignoring science for ideological purposes is just as distasteful from the left as from the right. Ideology, whether right-wing or left-wing, is in fact the Anti-Science.

    Maybe the easiest way to see this is to look at class vs. carbon emissions another way: simply keep everyone except the millionaires and billionaires freezing in the dark with subsistence diets and no consumer goods, and you should be able reach 350ppm in short order.

    The reason is simple: class has essentially nothing to do causally with climate change and science and technology have everything to do with it.

    Bitte sag mir wer das Märchen vom Erwachsen sein erfand

    by badger on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 10:47:40 AM PST

    •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

         

      At some point, when the tree is burnt, or its wood decays, the carbon will be released back into the atmosphere. Dr. Kevin Andersen from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research raises a critical question: "Even if the trees do survive, if we have climate change and a 2° C or 3° C temperature rise, then how do we know those trees are not going to die early and break down into methane and actually make the situation worse?"

      This is entirely as silly as thinking that just planting lots and lots of trees will sequester more carbon.

      Interesting.  From what scientific background do you dismiss Dr. Anderson's opinion so easily?

      "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Cassiodorus on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:26:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site