Saturday, July 8, 2017

There's so much CO2 in the atmosphere that planting trees can no longer save us

Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative
for climate change affairs delivers a speech.
 Photograph: Abdeljalil Bounhar/INBAR/AP

By Rob Ludacer and Jessica Orwig

“Humans emit roughly 30 to 40 billion tons of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere each year. If we keep it up, Earth will continue to heat up and ultimately devastate our way of life.

“So what can we do about it?

“Most scientists agree that we need a way to capture some of that CO2 out of the atmosphere. One idea is to plant lots of trees. Trees use CO2 in order to grow. They also release oxygen, so it's a win-win.

“But recent reports indicate that we simply can't grow enough trees to capture the necessary amount of CO2 that would help us meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement.”

So, planting trees is not a viable solution. But it can certainly be a significant contributor to solving the problem. It in conjunction with a meaningful green energy policy that continues to move the country toward reducing CO2 admissions, as it did under the leadership of President Obama, we could provide necessary world leadership on climate change issues.

But not under the leadership of President Trump and the Republican Party. They claim climate change is a hoax.
After years of environmental neglect, China realizes that climate change is real and an existential threat. China is now moving in the right direction. China’s National Energy Administration has announced it will spend more than $360 billion on renewable energy.

China is taking climate change leadership while Donald Trump and the Republican Party are moving in the wrong direction, to what the rest of the world deems irresponsible policy, fossil fuel dependence.