Opinion: ‘Forest for the trees…’

September 18, 2019

I think that I shall never see a global cooler as good as a tree

 

Researchers in Switzerland have determined that there is an easier way to get rid of carbon in the atmosphere than trying to convince people to invest trillions in high-end autos and solar energy.

 

The way to stop global warming, the Swiss researchers say, is to plant a trillion trees.

 

This would be a big job, the researchers say, but it would do away with enough carbon dioxide to reverse the trend toward global warming, and could even cool the earth by some 21 percent.

 

Of course, that wouldn’t happen overnight.

 

But there’s plenty of room on our planet, the Swiss researchers say, to plant enough trees to get this job done.

 

They say Russia and the United States alone have  enough land to plant a trillion trees and still have enough arable land to grow enough crops to feed the world.

 

The big tree-growing lumber companies, such as Weyerhaueser and Plum Creek Timber already have figured out how to farm massive stands of timber that absorb the excess carbon dioxide in the air and replace it with oxygen.

 

Canada is a huge producer of trees.

 

The tree plantations of the southeast United States alone grow enough timber to feed the lumber and paper mills of that region.

 

Where trees are grown like crops, you will find fewer forest fires because those timberlands are cared for like any other commercial crop.

 

People are kept out of such forests unless they have permission to be there. People start a lot of the fires that destroy great forests just because those people are idiots.

 

However, far-thinking timber producers do provide areas where people can hunt and fish — but with permission, and as long as they stay in areas where the companies say they can go. 

 

Of course, the trees have to be started in nurseries, and they planted, and then fertilized, just like any crop.

 

We do a lot of tree-growing here, capturing carbon while producing fruits and nuts. 

 

Yes, the objective of such tree-growing is to grow a crop to sell, while timber companies grow their crops to cut down and saw into lumber — and then sell.

 

But both crops capture carbon as a side job, while producing food, shelter, and a living for those who tend them.

 

The value of trees, it would seem, is greater than a lot of us would give them credit.

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