Climate Change

Republican Lawmakers Introduce Trillion Trees Act To Combat Climate Change

A real plan or just a "climate messaging exercise"?

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At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, President Donald Trump declared that "the United States will join One Trillion Trees Initiative." He reaffirmed this commitment during the State of the Union address, calling the initiative "an ambitious effort to bring together government and private sector to plant new trees in America and all around the world."

The people behind the initiative argue that planting vast numbers of trees is "an important part of solving the global climate crisis." By absorbing globe-warming carbon dioxide from the air, these trees will help slow down man-made climate change. This is the chief rationale for pursuing the initiative, yet the president has so far failed to acknowledge it. There's a puzzle for you.

At any rate, this week Rep. Bruce Westerman (R–Ark.) introduced the Trillion Trees Act. This legislation forthrightly notes that "one trillion new trees globally would sequester a significant amount of atmospheric carbon and constitute a pragmatic step towards addressing global carbon emissions." In the press release promoting the bill, Westerman states, "I challenge anyone to find a better climate solution than taking care of our forests." Bill co-sponsor Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) hailed the Act as offering "a powerful solution to combat our changing climate."

The inspiration for the initiative was a July 2019 study in Science by a team of Swiss researchers. They calculated that there is enough land in the world to accommodate 1.2 trillion more trees. (The current total is about 3 trillion.) Planting that many new trees would significantly cool the earth by taking about 25 percent of the carbon dioxide that is currently in the atmosphere and sequestering it in growing trees.

How much would Westerman's bill actually contribute to the global initiative? Not much. Notably, Westerman's bill sets no time limit on achieving the trillion-tree goal, but the press release describes the act as "legislation would plant 1 trillion trees globally by 2050."

The act explicitly incorporates carbon sequestration goals into several existing federal forest management programs, such as the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 and the National Forest Foundation. The only funding explicitly mentioned in the bill is a boost to the annual appropriations for the Reforestation Trust Fund (moving it from $30 million to $60 million) and an extra $25 million for carbon sequestration activities under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act. The bill also offers an unspecified tax credit as an incentive to sequester carbon by using wood as a building material.

With respect to meeting global goals, the bill urges the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to consider creating an International Forest Foundation. This nonprofit would accept and administer private donations for reforestation and forest preservation efforts that seek to sequester carbon dioxide emissions. Just why the federal government should be involved in creating such a nonprofit when scores of private organizations are already working on international forestry projects is not immediately evident. Basically, the idea amounts to a bit of handwaving toward what the bill refers to as "international engagement."

If we charitably assume that our representatives are serious about meeting the trillion-tree goal, what amount of land and funding would be necessary? A January report from the World Resources Institute (WRI) calculates that as many as 330 million acres of American land (an area roughly three times the size of California) could be devoted to planting 60 billion additional trees over the next 20 years or so. That would involve reforesting 53 million acres by planting 21 billion trees; increasing tree density in existing forests with 24 billion new trees on 165 million acres; and integrating 16 billion trees into croplands, pastures, and urban areas comprising 113 million acres. By 2050, these renewed forests would be sequestering about 540 megatons of carbon dioxide annually, which is a bit more than a tenth of current U.S. emissions.

The WRI analysts estimate that the cost (in tax credits or direct payments) of planting 60 billion trees in the U.S. over the next 20 years would amount to $4 to $4.5 billion per year. Reforestation costs by one estimate range between $100 to $450 per acre, which would yield annual costs of $1.5 to $6.75 billion for planting trees on 15 million acres, so WRI's figures are in the ballpark. In comparison, the total funding of $55 million mentioned in the Trillion Trees Act would be enough to plant between 125,000 to 555,000 acres annually. Assuming 400 trees per acre, the level of funding contemplated in the Trillion Trees Act would, at maximum, be enough to plant 220 million trees each year. That sounds like a lot, but at that rate it would take more than 250 years to plant 60 billion trees.

The American Energy Alliance, a pro-market energy advocacy group, has dismissed Westerman's proposal as a Republican "climate messaging exercise." That sounds about right. As written, the bill certainly does not amount to a "powerful solution to combat our changing climate."

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  1. The climate is always in flux. Saying we are going to combat it is about as sensible as claiming we are going to combat our shifting tectonic plates or constantly violent volcanoes. It is little wonder this bullshit appeals so much to humanists. Is there anything that could possibly appeal to man’s ego more than the prospect of controlling nature itself?

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      1. Before toting trillions of trees as workaround for CO2 driven climate change, Ron should do the math-, lest Reason mirror one of The Guardian‘s worst recent mistakes- here’s what I wrote there last summer :

        [Guardian writer] Damian Carrington hails new research revealing that “a worldwide planting programme could remove two-thirds of all the emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by human activities”. The analysis found there are 1.7billion hectares of treeless land on which 1.2 trillionn native tree saplings would naturally grow. That area is about 11% of all land and equivalent to the size of the US and China combined.”

        Unfortunately that area also rivals the extent of the bright polar sea ice, whose loss to global warming threatens to amplify climate change by decreasing the Earth’s “albedo” – its average capacity to reflect solar energy back into space.

        Just as the deep blue sea is darker than polar ice, green forests tend to absorb roughly twice as much solar heat as the generally paler ground they overshadow. Geoengineering is where you find it, and humanity’s impact on albedo – we have already physically altered half of the land surface of the Earth – deserves as much thought as managing our carbon footprint.
        Russell Seitz
        Senior research fellow, The Climate Institute

    2. “It is little wonder this bullshit appeals so much to humanists.”

      You prefer the superstition-based approach, such as that of the United States senator who once told me he couldn’t get ‘worked up’ over pollution or climate change debates because ‘in the end, the Rapture is going to take care of everything.’

      1. Not that it is particularly relevant to the discussion at hand, but religion isn’t just “superstition.” Not all knowledge is discoverable empirically; indeed, the decision to engage in science itself is a pre-empirical philosophical one. Now, this doesn’t necessarily make any religion correct, but it does mean that offhanded dismissal of religious knowledge and thought as “superstition” is just as stupid as dismissal of science on the grounds of religious empiricism.

        1. Not all knowledge is discoverable empirically

          If it’s not discoverable or empirically, can it be called actual knowledge? I’d say that it can’t.

          the decision to engage in science itself is a pre-empirical philosophical one

          So? The process is inherently empirical in nature, so the decision to use it to discover empirical facts is obvious.

          religious knowledge

          What is this exactly?

          1. “discoverable empirically” (take out the or)

          2. If it’s not discoverable or empirically, can it be called actual knowledge?

            What is it about empirical “discovery” that makes an “empirical discovery” = “knowledge?”

            Empiricism is much better at doing away with ‘knowledge’ than it is at producing ‘knowledge.’

            religious knowledge

            What is this exactly?

            That would certainly need to be clarified prior to any meaningful discussion of the distinction.

            But insomuch as your comment trends toward Logical Positivism, I would caution you against it, as that worldview has largely been discredited.

          3. the decision to engage in science itself is a pre-empirical philosophical one

            So?

            And he already answered that:

            “Now, this doesn’t necessarily make any religion correct, but it does mean that offhanded dismissal of religious knowledge and thought as “superstition” is just as stupid as dismissal of science on the grounds of religious empiricism.”

          4. Juice, are you personally self-aware? Are you happy right now or sad? Do you love your mother or hate her? Is murder bad? None of those answers can be discovered empirically yet I am confident that you can answer those questions to your own satisfaction. Internal knowledge is still knowledge.

            1. Damn it, Rossami, you beat me to it!
              (And phrased it much more effectively)

          5. “If it’s not discoverable or empirically, can it be called actual knowledge? I’d say that it can’t.”

            So… you have no knowledge of your emotional state?

            1. Your emotional state is a result of your brain’s state. It is a physical phenomenon. It is only understood at a very rudimentary level, but it is certainly understood well enough to state that every iota of your emotional state is contained within your body.

              We even know a good deal about the genetics that drive your emotional states – and how those genetics relate to other animals.

              One study shows that a rare genetic disorder in humans that causes them to be super-trusting and loving (and causes other developmental problems) is the same mutation that allowed wolves to become domesticated and become man’s best friend.

              Your thoughts are running on a biological computer in your head. This is well established, regardless of how differently your experience leads you to feel about it. The fact that we do not have the capability to download and examine those thoughts at this time is not a disproof of this observation.

              1. Thanks for the link. Very interesting.

              2. Nicely said… er, coded.

          6. “I’d say that it can’t.”

            And you know this precisely how?

            Juice, before you go any further please plug these terms into your favorite search engine:

            Epistemology

            Ontology

      2. In your world, climate alarmism and christian extremism are literally the only two options? This explains a lot.

        1. I was thinking the same thing. The Rev assumes anyone who doesn’t agree with him must be very religious. (Ironic in itself, coming from a Reverend.)

          At least in my experience, most libertarians are not particularly religious. I’d guess the majority or at least a sizeable minority may are agnostics or atheists. So he really is barking up the wrong tree.

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      3. “You prefer the superstition-based approach”

        Taxing everyone and giving the money to Al Gore’s church while handing out indulgences to ultrawealthy yacht-dwellers like Leonardo Dicaprio?

    3. It is hubris to believe that there can be no measurable consequences to the collective actions of mankind.

      1. Measurable to the extent of our instrumentation, or one vibration of a cesium atom. So even the flap of a fly’s wing could be the scale of the consequences.

        You’ve said nothing that could make anyone care about human impacts.

        But you didn’t know that.

        1. Poor Little Jeffy thinks The Butterfly Effect is just a movie.

      2. It is hubris for Pedo Jeffy to the hunk his opinions have any value. Or his life for that matter

      3. You mean like handicapping all of civilization based on the lie that the sky is gonna fall by the year 2000?

    4. What’s wrong with controlling nature if it’s within our power and seems beneficial?

      I think we CAN pull it off if we want, the question is if it’s worth the trouble.

      1. Unintended consequences

      2. Sell your souls to the [WE] foundation; because you don’t own you [WE] own you.

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  2. Sure Bad Orange Man wants to plant a lot of trees, but he’s not using the approved talking points, so Orange Man Bad!

    1. How do you know he “wants to?” Because he said so?

      1. Fuck off Rev.

      2. Since when did heard from someone who heard it from someone not good enough? It was the gold standard in the impeachment hearings.

        1. Accidental flag announced

    2. It would be funny if Trump said he was for the Green New Deal.

      This way Lefties would have to be against it…cause TDS.

      1. love this comment, keep it up! You understand you would then support the green new deal? Would love to see your rational.

        1. I’m open to bulldozing San Angeles and exiling the residents to China if it will reduce America’s carbon footprint.

        2. Planting trees is a great green new deal.

          1. So go plant some trees. Heck, Trump can plant some trees too if he so desire.. BUT passing communistic legislation in the name of “climate change” (i.e. ECO-SCAM) goes in complete opposition to the regulation-cutting Trump has previously had my support for.

  3. Dig up Johnny Appleseed, zombify him, and set him to work.

    1. (I’m talking about making him a Haitian-style voodoo zombie, not a flesh-eating George Romero zombie)

      1. Oops, a potential flaw in my plan: “The actual grave has been lost through development and natural recycling.”

        https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/1848/john-chapman

        Find a Grave – they should live up to their name and find his grave. Assuming they care about the environment, of course.

        1. If you are going to Haitian-voodoo zombie him then he loses all will of his own and is subject to the will of the Bokor of who raised him up. In such case there is no need for the actual Johnny Appleseed, as any rotting corpse can be set to our will

          As for Appleseed himself, we should be able to summon his ghost without needing the body, and he can coordinate or serve as moral support for the army of zombies who will do the actual planting

          1. Also, apple trees are terrible at sequestering carbon.

            Not that your Johnny Appleseed-led zombie army need plant apple trees, but if you’re going to accept just any old zombie you should probably plant better trees too.

            I’m beginning to think the whole zombie tree planting army to combat climate change idea isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

            1. Science denier!

  4. Of course, since this is Trump, it will be reported as him trying to take away prime solar power locations – – – – –

    1. It’s Republicans – they’re obviously planting lynching trees.

      1. No longer any need for that, we can use the power transmission towers – – – – – –

  5. “I challenge anyone to find a better climate solution than taking care of our forests.”

    Taking care of our forests *and* our oceans! What do I win?

    1. Taking care of our forests *and* our oceans! What do I win?

      A plastic straw ban numbnuts! Now shut the hell up!

    2. Take care of our forests and oceans and a singular world wide socialist government where the non woke clingers are not allowed to reproduce, and are only given the resources that will keep them carbon negative so us woke betters can be carbon positive.

      1. Better to address the gravest polluters. Get back to me when you whip the Chinese and Indians in line.

    3. Taking care of our forests *and* our oceans!

      Taking care of our forests, and our oceans, and using more nuclear power.

      1. x1000

        The anti-nuclear power folks are science deniers, too.

        Anyone that’s serious about reducing emissions would at least be educating themselves about modern, non-waste-producing fission. If they are instead touting a “one world socialist government” they are clearly not serious. Some of the most extreme ecological disasters have been perpetrated by governments—particularly socialist governments.

        A one world government, which would be even less beholden to people directly affected by pollution than historical governments, could be reasonably expected to do even worse than say, the Soviets’ treatment of the Aral Sea or modern China’s treatment of its air quality.

        Let’s face it, a powerful government can get away with a response of FYTW in the face of people challenging its actions when it comes to environmental degradation far more than a corporation can. And, unlike even the largest corporations, governments even have the legal power to throw you in prison if you complain too loudly.

        1. But let’s put them in charge of our healthcare!! It’ll be great!!!

        2. Lets get “serious” about the ECO-SCAM!!! LOL….

  6. It’s “messaging,” but not at its worst. Planting a couple of hundred billion trees, combined with predicted decreases in the world population over the next many years, and coupled with lower-carbon-use power sources, should certainly be figured in the long-term plan. But, in reality, for right now, it’s little more than a “feel good” solution.

    1. As far as stupid, feel good projects to combat imagined problems, I can think of many far worse ideas.

      1. Yeah, at least we’ll get some trees out of it. Land with trees is usually worth more than nothing. Can’t say the same for carbon credits or mines filled with CO2.

      2. As a wannabe ludite (I’m too addicted to tech, and too dependent on modern medicine to go full ludite), I agree. This meets the hypacratic injunction (“do no harm”) and might even do a bit of good. Besides, if it doesn’t work, we can always cut them down and use them for firewood.

  7. Planting trees is harmless but pure symbolism in this case which i don’t like because it is also claiming that there is something that can be done about climate change which you can’t but that acceptance of the idea opens pandoras box for any and all solutions to fix an unfixable non problem

    1. That’s not true. We CAN change the earths climate if we want. I don’t think we are effecting it much now with CO2, but we could tweak things if we feel so inclined. It’s just a question of if it’s worth the effort.

      1. Sell your souls to the [WE] foundation; because you don’t own you [WE] own you.

  8. The Dems will vote no on this. Can’t let Reps get credit for anything climate related.

    1. I hope they do!!! As much as I hate Democrats – if they use their stupidity to combat their very own ideology out of partisan politics then HURRAY for them!

  9. If we plant 1 billion trees every day it would take us roughly 2.7 years to plant a trillion. 1 billion trees a day is just shy of 700,000 every minute.

    As a policy goal is it moronic. And spare me the lame excuse that this is merely aspirational.

    1. put another way: every living soul in the U.S. would have to plant over 3000 trees to get to a trillion

      1. It’s one trillion worldwide, not one trillion in the US.

        1. And it’s over the next 30 years. It might not be realistic, but it’s hardly as absurd as OldGuy is trying to make it appear.

      2. I threw an apple core out the window this morning on my way to work, that’s like 20 trees right there. God knows how many tobacco trees and Miller Lite trees I planted in my younger years.

        1. Don’t that cocaine tree look fine.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN_SzObr1Ug

      3. Not as unrealistic as you think. They would not be large trees (when planted), and automation is already there: get seedlings going in pointy ended tubes that are dropped in massive numbers from overhead. The tech is already there. It’s more about do we really want to do this.

    2. Arbor Day Foundation

      Arbor Day Foundation encourages people to plant trees and they are relatively good at it.

      The Georgia Forestry Commission gave me and ten other people 1,000 to plant in Georgia state forests after the fires. Good workout and you help get the forests back up going again.

      1. And actually, because of capitalism, there are more forested acres in the US now than there was 100 years ago. Because Georgia Pacific and other timber companies need wood… people plant tree farms.

        Also, people like trees in their homes and parks. So newer areas are demanding that they be planted. Newer cities like Atlanta are full of trees. Much of the suburban Atlanta area is invisible from the air because of all of the trees. Unlike, say, The Bronx or Trenton.

    3. The trick is to get the trees to do most of the planting. They’re pretty good at it if you give them half a chance.

      1. Gotta thin ’em from ’em to time, never forget that. Makes suitable home building material and entry level jobs too, so I’m told.

      2. Would that “Environmentalists” would finally discover that trees grow on trees.

  10. If we charitably assume that our representatives are serious about meeting the trillion-tree goal, what amount of land and funding would be necessary?

    More importantly, what is the carbon footprint of meeting that goal? Transporting workers throughout an area (1000/60)*3 times the size of CA and having them use power equipment for clearing and planting should provide quite an environmental impact!

  11. This is only to make Democrats say they are against planting trees.

    1. +100000

      Trump owns Lefties and they hate it.

    2. I sure hope that’s all it is.

  12. And we want it cooler, why?

    So that more water is rendered useless?

    So that more things can die in the cold?

    Oooh! Maybe we can subject more of the planet to CO2 starvation! wouldn’t that be great! We can get to 100ppm if we try, right?

    1. And we want it cooler, why?

      To keep female office workers uncomfortable.

      1. Nothing wrong with girls having perky nipples. And if they’re cold, it just encourages them to get a man’s warm hands on them. Like in the old days.

    2. As I said elsewhere, Canada and Russia will be the main places that might benefit from a warmer planet… Fuck them!

      It’s not that things might not be okay with a hotter planet, but we’ll have a ton of disruptions adjusting to it. So if we can keep it more status quo that might be easiest… Provided the effort required to do so is less than the effort to adjust to it.

      1. Canada and Russia?

        What about the Sahara? The Mojave? The Gobi?

        All starved for the water locked in ice.

        And there are places under the ice in Antarctica that I’m sure everyone would enjoy.

        Sometimes I really wish you’d get over this ephemeral phase.

        1. Well, do’t forget about Alaska. I mean, it’s like only the biggest state in the union.

  13. Send me $20 million in unmarked, non-sequential bills or I’ll chop down every tree on my property.

    1. Isn’t that pretty much how selling carbon offsets work?

    2. The past couple years The Prairie State has been effectively clear cutting forest preserves to turn them into “prairie preserves” because apparently all the arboreal forests are actually exceeding the forest cover of its native state.

      It’s notable that at least a couple were, and some still are, forest preserves because deforesting them turns them into marsh or wetland preserves which aren’t as usable by the public.

  14. “A real plan or just a “climate messaging exercise”?”

    Who cares. The Democrats don’t have anything on the table that amounts to more than a “climate messaging exercise”.

    1. “”“climate messaging exercise”.”‘

      Wouldn’t that be more like shouting “How dare you” at people?

  15. A large part of the forest fire problem is caused by too damned many trees. I remember a photo of the Tahoe forests after being clearcut for the Nevada silver mines, and the stumps were three times as far apart (I do not remember if this is linear or stumps per acre) as the same forests now. We either have three times or nine times as many trees crowding together for the same water, which means dry and combustible.

    The greenies already throw temper tantrums when anyone suggests this is not healthy. Does anybody doubt how much more infantile they’ll get if anybody suggests even more crowding is not healthy?

    1. It’s more about not letting fires burn through naturally when they do happen. Also not putting in fire breaks.

      The density will work itself out automatically if you let nature take its course.

      1. or we could again allow logging so the trees aren’t burned which puts C02 back into the atmosphere

    2. No, it’s too many dead trees and too much scrub under the canopy, combined with decades of zero burn policy.

      A ground fire won’t kill healthy mature trees.

      For that the fire has to spread to the canopy. For that to happen there has to be a lot of fuel built up at ground level.

  16. Planting tree to replace denuded areas is certainly a worthy goal and so I don’t want to criticize this idea. Let be clear it is not enough to combat the coming effects of man influenced climate change. Also as noted in the article, this effort is likely better addressed by private entities. Government funds would be better used in area where the government is likely the sole funder. I am thinking of things where a high initial capital investment is necessary, like infrastructure.

    1. “” like infrastructure.””

      What’s the carbon footprint on that?

      1. What’s the ECO-SCAM bill on that? Who gives a crap; it’s a blatant scam to begin with and is why nothing is predictable about it.

    2. Of course. For only surrendering to the communist call will stop AGW. Eh, comrade?

  17. But I thought climate change was a hoax. So why plant the trees?

    1. Green trees bad!

    2. One can think the planet is warming to some degree without believing it is:

      1. Entirely mans fault.
      2. Going to LITERALLY be the end of the world.
      3. That the UN and other morons are giving an accurate portrayal of any info.

      I think we’re heating up a lot less than the commies say, because lots of evidence supports that. I think we’re not the main driver. And I think the commies lie about it all endlessly. So does that make “climate change” a hoax? According to some they would say so.

      1. Or even beyond those reasons… that the solution is to give unlimited power and money to the government. Which oddly seems to be these people’s conclusion no mater what the problem is purported to be.

        1. Weird how that works out.

    3. Exactly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Global greening is already in full swing. There’s no need to plant these trees the globe has a full continent’s worth of greenery added to it in the past 10 years.

  19. YEAH! Paper grocery bags again!

    1. Honestly, hippies should be pushing to make a TON of stuff out of wood that’s currently usually plastic or metal if they believe this shit. Trees are renewable, and a carbon sync! And nice types of woods are pretty and durable too.

      1. Honestly, hippies should be pushing to make a TON of stuff out of wood that’s currently usually plastic or metal if they believe this shit.

        Plastic is more carbon dense, more durable, and less degradable. The only advantage to wood is it’s strength-to-weight ratio and, even then, things like fiberglass are better carbon sinks with a superior strength-to-weight ratio. The main advantage to making stuff out of wood is that the energy to produce wood effectively falls from the sky instead of having to be dug out of the ground *and* the wood largely manufactures itself.

  20. It’s dumb social signaling but I have to say I’m going to enjoy the Democrats railing against planting trees, because…

    A. It doesn’t punish businesses enough
    B. Orange man bad

  21. The most efficient and practical way to sequester carbon is to bulldoze forests and bury them. Just saying…

    1. I’ve said the same thing when discussing it with hippies! LOL They freak.

      1. This has been my suggestion as well.
        Grow the fastest growing plants possible and chuck them down old coal mines.

        Presto! Two problems solved.

    2. Yeah, but then grow the forests again. Rinse and repeat.

  22. Our evil plan is to pay farmers to plant trees and set aside land for environmental considerations.

    1. Socialism is evil.

    2. Why would a farmer want to reduce the acreage that produces money ?

      1. Lots of people have fluff land they don’t farm, but do own. Say too hilly or whatever. Also, I don’t think anybody is saying “Hey farmer, stop planting corn and fill up all your fields with trees!”

        Also trees ARE money. In most of the western, southern, and upper midwest most property owners that hold lots of rural land sell timber on the regular. It can be very profitable depending on how you manage it.

      2. AND………………………………….. The EXACT same “green plants” that eat CO2 and emit O2 as Tree’s do but since they’re well-maintained actually do better than a bunch of non-farmed Tree’s would.

        It’s all just an ECO-SCAM. Nothing they predict happens, nothing they narrate is truth and even their own “ideas” compulsively contradict each other.

  23. I’m no dirty hippie, and I don’t buy the UN IPCC’s BS… But the planet does seem to be slowly heating (probably mostly not because of people of course), which will change the status quo. So if we as humans have the power to make that not happen, might it not be worth it?

    Frankly Canada and the Russians are about the only ones will will benefit from a hotter world, the northern USA maybe a little bit. But on the whole, it will tweak things out too just because it’s changing up established patterns.

    I have wondered about the real math behind planting stuff to accomplish this for a long time. Seems they’ve not done it for regular trees. Trees are also a valuable resource, cuz wood yo! It’s useful stuff. So I don’t think this NEED be a truly massive net negative enterprise if done right. Maybe just stupid tax credits for planting trees that grow to maturity, instead of the government doing it directly? Allow those trees to be harvested too of course. I dunno.

    Much of the great plains used to have forests, I imagine if we replanted en masse there it would be kinda cool. The locals would probably like more trees around so it would look less boring, they could build up a lumber industry which is good for the economy, and it may slow the rate of heat increase. I don’t see why any of that is a bad thing. The USA is already one of the biggest countries in wood related stuff economically anyway, expanding that lead might be doable and a good thing.

    Also, other plants. Like bamboo. How does the math on that shit work since it grows so fast? Some of those huge bamboo plants in Asia are nuts. Seems like the rapid grow time might make it even better for maximum carbon sucking in the shortest period of time. Bamboo is very useful stuff for making things too. Maybe we should turn Kansas into a bamboo forest? LOL

    1. How does the math on that shit work since it grows so fast?

      It doesn’t because growing fast is only part of the equation. Decaying slowly is the other part. You’ll note that you can readily find centuries-old timbers and even trees all over the northern hemisphere but you’d be hard pressed to find a bamboo *grove* let alone a single plant or a hut that’s older than a couple decades.

      Just like the idiocy with avoiding nuclear power as the best non-carbon source of power, plastic is without peer (except maybe petroleum itself) when it comes to useful or even passive carbon sequestration and storage and environmentalist whackos work to avoid it like the plague.

      The fence-sitting equivocation isn’t fooling anyone. You at least partially buy into the mysticism of their bullshit. They aren’t in favor of the environment as much as they oppose humanity and technology and even to a degree fundamental science and reasoning.

    2. I’m no dirty hippie, and I don’t buy the UN IPCC’s BS… But the planet does seem to be slowly heating

      Yes. This is what happens as a planet leaves an ice age.

      Earth is at the edge of an ice age, in the period when temperature and climate are volatile. The warm periods are slowly becoming more frequent.

      If we are fortunate, it’ll be a nice interglacial– sunny and warm without any ice except at elevation. The last one was a bit on the cooler side. It’s why those damned ice caps hung around.

    3. NASA has been recording “cooling” over the last 5-years. Just an FYI.

  24. My guess is that the President didn’t acknowledge the CO2/climate change connection because, contrary to the Swiss study’s claims, planting “vast numbers of trees” will not actually have any significant effect. While trees can sequester some CO2, the vast majority of CO2 is cycled through plankton in the oceans. By comparison, trees are a very small component of the carbon cycle.

    Second, the majority of carbon “sequestered” by trees is only taken out of the atmosphere for a relatively brief period. Most of a tree’s biomass is in the twigs and leaves – and all that carbon returns to the atmosphere as the leaves rot. (A small amount each year gets sequestered in soil but that amount is trivial on anything like human timescales.) The carbon sequestered in trunkwood stays out of the atmosphere only if/when that lumber is put to use and stored in dry conditions. Using housing as an example, that means pulling the carbon out of circulation for 50 to 100 years – which sounds like a lot but it not actually that long. The carbon in the lumber returns to the atmosphere when the wood is burned or allowed to rot.

    Third, sequestration in forests is basically a one-time event (again, ignoring the tiny bit that builds up in soil over millenia). You use up carbon as the new trees grow but reach steady state when the forest is mature. So unless their talking about taking out 540 megatons of lumber every year, the estimates above are hooey.

    Planting trees is something we should do for it’s own sake. I support the initiative even if I don’t buy the climate change justification.

    1. Plant oaks and we’ll have more acorns to feed the squirrels.

      1. Needs to mixed growth to reduce the change of massive disease.

    2. Finally someone on this thread with a brain………..Biomass is carbon neutral over the long run just as Rossami said.

    3. speaking of which….
      Whatever came of those pilot programs to seed big chunks of ocean “desert” with iron to allow algae to grow?

  25. As written, the bill certainly does not amount to a “powerful solution to combat our changing climate.”

    Dead wrong. This will shut up the watermelon warmists. So it is a very powerful solution. And who cares how long it takes to teach a zillion trees.

    1. The only environmental plan that ever significantly reduced CO2 emissions was US fracking.

  26. This sounds like a program that could be used to kill two birds with one stone. A program to take at risk youth and give them some guidance and experience while also combating climate change. There could be a small salary to go with the work so when they left these camps they would have some money in their pocket as well.

  27. Planting these trees is a good idea, but it will NOT do a thing to modify climate or even weather.

    It would make more difference if every US Citizen would make an annual pilgrimmage to Lake Mead, walk out on the dam itself, and pee into the lake on the upside of the dam. All that water added up each year would mean more electricity would be generated without having t burn natural gas… thus putting an immeasurably lower amount of the dreaded and deadly Carbon Die Oxide int the air somewhere in the US.

    Average surface temperatures have been steadily dropping this past decade…….. looks ike we’re heading into another “ice age” in the next ten years, so wise and astute people will be selling off their beachfront property before it is left high and dry two miles inland.

  28. There is the technology and certainly the manpower to reach the goal of planting so many trees in a much shorter amount of time.
    It is one step in many that are needed. Moving to clean energy faster is another factor. Right now the difference that an electric car contribution is that it gets 80 mpg using recharging electricity from coal plants. That in itself greatly reduces carbon output from a vehicle that only gets 24 mpg using petrol. Another consideration is slowing the birth rate or all is for not. And in particular, the military contributes to much of the carbon problem. What do you really need, half the size, a tenth of the size… a ninety percent reduction?

  29. What does it cost to grow a sapling and pay someone to plant it? My guess is at least $10. Probably double or triple that if the government does it. We’re really going to spend at least $10,000,000,000,000 planting trees all over the world?

    1. See my comment about about planting seedlings. This is not a high cost jobs project. It’s simple planetary engineering.

      Of course, since it’s not a jobs program, AOC probably won’t go for it.

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  31. “A real plan or just a “climate messaging exercise”? Isn’t messaging about climate to earn political points the idea behind all climate legislation? No “real plan” is not going to change the climate.

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  33. The only constant is change. The warming hysteria is for the woolly mammoths and others that can’t adapt.

  34. What about Fe or PO4 fertilization of the oceans to get more algae to grow? Lots more space, less effort required, and it might help deal with oceanic acidification too!

  35. But let’s get back to point one: for the left, and the greenies, “people are bad!” but “nature” is perfect! So, if we do this, what else can they use to tell us we’re so evil?

    1. Give them time….they’ll come up with stuff.

  36. Bah. If it shuts them up if for one day….

    1. Screw the trees, we’ve got the green new deal people.

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  39. I don’t have room on my house lot for even 1 (one) stinking little tree. I need all the sun for my tomato plants that I grow in the summer.

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  41. Oh Boy!! So much more forested acres for the government to own, mismanage, and subject to potential fire risk, thus increasing the amount of CO2 they need to sequester. Large scale government programs end in failure. We can’t even go to the moon any more.

  42. Yeah, because the Green New Deal and the Paris Accords are TOTALLY not “climate messaging exercises.”

  43. “How much would Westerman’s bill actually contribute to the global initiative?”

    And how much would our contribution to the Paris climate accord help to address the global problem? Not much. So shut up.

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  47. Donald’s “nature trick”. Sounds like a good idea since it takes trees to print dollars. Does anybody know if there is any “shovel ready” stimulus money left over at the National Science foundation? Or did data molester Mikey Mann get it all?

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