Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It it too late to stop climate change?

CO2 in the atmosphere is widely regarded to be the primary cause of climate change.

Thus far, the international focus has been on trying to reduce CO2 emissions. I've never been convinced that this is the right strategy.

I'd be curious to know how much more humanity adds to the CO2 equation vs how much it takes away from CO2 recycling through deforestation?

How much less CO2 would the normal cycle of the earth emit if humans didn't exist at all? I don't think it's very much.

Now before you get angry at me and call me a Republican, or worse, let me clarify my position. I think the more important factor in the CO2 equations is deforestation. Specifically, how much CO2 recycling ability are we taking out of the atmosphere when we cut down a billion trees a year?

The lungs of the world are being purged, like a cancer, and no matter how green we get with our mechanical, solar, wind powered, and battery technologies, the real key might just lie in replacing the earth's lungs - our forests.

What is the most efficient CO2 absorbing plant? I don't know! But, if we could figure this out and plant it on a mass scale, we might have a better chance at balancing the CO2 equation.

Furthermore, the answer might lie in finding as many viable replacements for wood as we can. Metal, concrete, hemp for paper, bricks. Do we need to use a lot of wood to frame a house? I don't think so.

Deforestation has been brought up time and time again, but it now seems overshadowed by our carbon footprints. If we take the total human carbon footprint out of the equation while keeping the deforestation problem, I think we're still on a crash course to disaster.

What do you think?

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