The Washington Post   By Chelsea Harvey May 22, 2017



“But for years, scientists have discussed the idea of going further by using large plantations full of fast-growing, carbon-storing trees to pull extra carbon emissions out of the atmosphere, a strategy sometimes called “afforestation.” But the amount of land and other resources this strategy would require to actually help us meet our global climate goals — namely, keeping global temperatures within at least two degrees of their pre-industrial levels — is completely impractical, according to Boysen’s new study in the journal Earth’s Future, and would require the destruction of huge amounts of natural ecosystems or productive agricultural land.”


“Every year an area of rainforest the size of New Jersey is cut down and destroyed.”  Rainforest Information for Kids


In the first place, there are very few, maybe none at all, of Earth’s ecosystems that could be called “natural.” The human footprint is vast and indelible.  Of course planting trees will not reverse or “fix” the problem because, obviously, forest destruction has been in progress for a few thousand years. Today, we are just finishing it off.  However, mitigating efforts of this kind are sorely needed.

God forbid that we should reforest marginal agricultural land and limit our numbers! We have accepted our need for financial budgets, why not a population budget?  Why does the US need to plough up wilderness areas, parks and arid lands for exports? The US exported 5.4 billion dollars’ worth of wheat in 2016. In the US the major food supply channels are entirely under the control of multinationals now and they export the same item with one hand and import it with the other depending on where the greatest profits lie.  Forbes reports that the US crude oil exports hit record levels in 2016, despite a decline in U.S. oil production.  No wonder the number of billionaires in the world increased by 13% in 2017 and the US is home to most of them.



“Boysen and her colleagues find the land space that would be required for the amount of trees necessary to keep temperatures within a 2-degree threshold under our current climate trajectory could have “dire consequences for food production or the biosphere.” And even under more optimistic scenarios, where future carbon emissions are lower and fewer trees would be necessary, they conclude that “’high inputs of managed water and fertilizers would be needed in order to avoid fierce competition for land — with potentially negative side-effects for climate and society.’”



Obviously human food is limited in a forest.  But, where and what is “dire” for the biosphere about substituting a largely mono-cropped and ploughed up ecosystem which favours more humans and almost eliminates other animals with trees?  After all, life here on Earth is NOT all about humans, is it? For me, this article suggests that keeping supermarkets in the western world fully stocked is more important than keeping the planet healthy.




“Converting land on this staggering scale would pit climate change responses against food security and biodiversity protection,” they write. “Massively expanding managed land for CDR [carbon dioxide removal] could crash through the planetary boundary for sustainable land use.”



“There are other options,” she said, such as more sustainable agriculture techniques, that can help make a dent in global carbon emissions. “But the most important option is, of course, not to release the CO2 into the atmosphere.”


No, the best option is to cut down on population.