According to the UK Independent, we no longer have to fear global warming….we’ve found a solution! All we have to do is 1. Grow a bunch of trees, 2. burn them without releasing the CO2 they’ve absorbed, 3. Burn them without using more energy than they create in the burning process and 4. Bury the ashes in the soil.
Sounds simple; well, except that whole burning them without releasing the C02 and not using more energy than they create part! But, hey, let’s not be negative. After all, as Big G points out regularly to me, no one thought we could go to the moon but we did! It does sound simple except for a minor detail. In order to do this, we would need to grow and burn forests that are the equivalent of 2.5% of our productive land.
2.5%, doesn’t sound like much does it?
The World has approximately 33 Million sq. Mi. of productive land. 2.5 % of that would be approximately 835,600 sq. miles that would be needed for our carbon tree farm. So far so good.
I think it’s safe to assume that planing our Carbon tree farm willy nilly around the world isn’t what these folks have in mind. I think it would be safe to assume that they would determine that the tree farms should be where the carbon dioxide is. After all, you’ll want to soak it up right after it gets produced so that the carbon dioxide doesn’t get a chance to further warm the world right?
According to this chart by the World Bank, the US, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Australia have the highest carbon dioxide per capita. It would seem to make sense to plant the bulk of the trees in those countries.
The US has about 1.5 million sq. mi. of productive land, Canada has a little over 100,000 sq. mi. and Australia has about 138,000 sq. mi. That’s a total of about 1.74 million sq. Mi. of productive land in the most offensive (carbon dioxide wise) countries. If I take it one step further, of the US’ productive land, only 58% of it is in crop or forest land. I suspect a similar number would be found in Canada and Australia, the balance of the land is pasture.
The reason that I raise the US, Canada and Australia is that with their productive lands account for over 70% of the world’s wheat exports, over 60% of the world’s corn exports and even 13% of the world’s rice exports.
Remember what was happening to the price of corn this past spring as energy prices were rising and the US was forcing more production into creation of ethanol? Just to remind you, corn went from a recent average of less than $3/bushel to nearly $8 bushel. Do your remember the stories about how the increased price of corn was increasing the cost of tortillas in Mexico? Do you remember how the increased price of corn was being blamed for people starving in developing countries?
The additional corn production required to make our expected ethanol mandate this year amounted to less than .75% of our total productive acres. Only .75% yet, it over doubled our price of corn. The Carbon Tree Farms are expected to need 2.5% of all our productive acres.
Does anyone else see a problem?