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Climate Justice Now!
| Why Tree Planting is Not the Answer to Climate Change |

Fossil Carbon vs. Forest Carbon:
Two Environmental Historians Speak

"Carbon cannot be sequestered like bullion. Biological preserves are not a kind of Fort Knox for carbon. Living systems store that carbon, and those terrestrial biotas demand a fire tithe. That tithe can be given voluntarily or it will be extracted by force. Taking the carbon exhumed by industrial combustion from the geologic past and stacking it into overripe living woodpiles is an approach of questionable wisdom . . .

"Eliminate fire and you can build up, for a while, carbon stocks, but at probable damage to the ecosystem upon the health of which the future regulation of carbon in the biosphere depends. Stockpile biomass carbon, whether in Yellowstone National Park or in a Chilean eucalyptus plantation, and you also stockpile fuel, the combustion equivalent of burying toxic waste. Refuse to tend the domestic fire and the feral fire will return -- as it recently did in Yellowstone and Brazil's Parc Nacional das Emas, where years of fire exclusion ended with a lightning strike that seared 85 per cent of the park in one fiery flash."

--Stephen J. Pyne, Arizona State University, author of Vestal Fire

"Undeniably, having more trees will work in the right direction but to a minute degree. For its practical effect, telling people to plant trees is like telling them to drink more water to keep down rising sea-levels."

--Oliver Rackham, Cambridge University, author of A History of the Countryside


by: ProfMKD @ 11:05 PM

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