Tropical trees cool earth most effectively. NASA estimates that there are currently 400 billion trees globally. Every newly planted tree seedling in the tropics removes an average of 50 kilograms of CO2 from the atmosphere each year during its growth period of 20–50 years, compared with 13 kilograms of CO2 per year for a tree in the temperate regions. Remember that tropical trees work 12 months of the year sequestering carbon because there is no dormant winter season. We need more Billions of Trees .
The addition of just 7 billion trees (one for every person on Earth) would therefore give us a further 16 years of safe climate at our current rate of emissions. During this time one would hope we will be able to increase renewable energy use, energy efficiency etc so as to reduce our current emissions to sustainable levels.
An average of $6 billion per year plus $1 billion for incentives for ten years could pay for the reforestation program. The total cost of $7 billion per year for ten years is about 1% of the world’s total annual military expenditures.
Most tropical hardwoods grow to maturity quickly (10 to 20 years) Compare a 5 year old tropical tree to a five year old northern counterpart, and you can easily see the difference in size: half of wood weight is carbon.
Tropical trees take up water from rainfall and evaporate it through their leaves, and create cloud cover. These clouds reflect even more sunlight than grasslands or bare earth, thus cooling the earth more. By contrast, trees in snowy places like Canada, Scandinavia and Siberia absorb sunlight that would otherwise be reflected back to space by the bright white snow. But in the tropics forests helped cool the planet by an average of 0.7C, according to one study.
Forests act as a carbon sink by taking carbon dioxide out of atmosphere, but the more the climate is warming, the slower the trees are growing, the less carbon they suck up. These acclimated trees release far less CO2 at night, which are trees suddenly exposed to hot temperatures. This hints that future CO2 emissions from Northern Hemisphere forests won’t be as large as scientists thought, even though they would still be on the rise.
It seems like simple arithmetic: a tree can absorb up to a ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime (25 years), so planting one should be an easy way to mitigate climate change.
Over time they deplete their resources and are much more susceptible to additional stressors, such as damage by fire or a big drought or insect outbreaks.
The Perfect Storm
When escalating global warming crosses one or more of the important climate tipping points you create the perfect storm of perfect storms: irreversible global warming. This will destabilize the global; it will then destabilize the global political landscape of functioning nations. As the climate, the global economy, and the political landscape of functioning nations destabilize, it will soon destabilize all of the normal social aspects of our individual lives, businesses, and organizations.
Once a tipping point is crossed, what was previously progressing in a steady and linear way (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) becomes exponentially (1, 2, 4, 8, 16…256, 512, and 1,024.)
Notably, one of the hardest things for individuals to do is visualize real-life scenarios of the difference between a linear and an exponential progression. Using the example above, in just the 10 linear steps, the last linear progression number of 10 is about 100 times less than the last and 10th step in the exponential progression.
The window for action is closing. We have just 10-15 years left to fix this emergency before we could go over the climate cliff.
A climate tipping point can cause sudden and unpredictable severe changes or complete system collapses. A positive feedback loop triggers a tipping point and the process goes from a linear progression into an exponential progression.
Tree Planting: A Key Weapon for Global Warming
The Billion Tree Campaign was inspired by Kenyan Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, who had earlier organized women in Kenya and several nearby countries to plant 30 million trees. The United Nations Environment Programme, which is administering the Billion Tree Campaign, reported as of October 2007 that it had received pledges to plant a total of 1.2 billion trees by year end. Of that total, 431 million already had been planted. Among the leaders are Mexico, which pledged to plant 250 million trees, and Ethiopia, which promised to plant 60 million trees to commemorate its millennium celebration. Senegal signed up for 20 million trees.
Because trees release the carbon when they die, the relevant figure is not a number of trees, but a rate of planting – How many trees per year. Or, perhaps better, what area of new forest per year
Over a 20-year lifecycle, a plantation of 1,000,000 ha can absorb 4 million tonnes of CO2 over 20 years. (10,000 ha = 1 km2) (One hectare comprises 1.2 football pitches)
By planting 150 million hectares of trees over the course of a decade (600 million tons of CO2), enough trees for sustaining ecological, fuel wood and wood products needs can be achieved.
In the Meantime
Ultimately, trees of any shape, size or genetic origin help absorb CO2. Most scientists agree that the least expensive and perhaps easiest way for individuals to help offset the CO2 that they generate in their everyday lives is to plant a tree … any tree, as long as it is appropriate for the given region and climate.
Each tree absorbs approximately 25 kg of carbon emissions each year meaning 1 ton is removed from the atmosphere over a 40 year lifetime. In the long-term individual and corporate behavior and the energy basis of the entire global economy must change. In the short-term it is better to act now than to do nothing at all.
A new study shows that human beings are too selfish to endure present pain to avert future climate change.
People would generally prefer to keep their money to themselves while hoping the rest of the world would pay enough to solve the problem of global warming. (That’s the so-called free-rider phenomenon, and it’s a major challenge for climate policy.)
Few of us will be willing to endure present pain so that our grandchildren won’t have to endure an unlivable climate. We’re likely better off tailoring solutions that work with our selfishness and brief attention span, rather than hoping we suddenly become better, more farsighted people. Let’s think ahead!
The average emissions per person in the United States is 20,750 pounds: 10 tons
Most tropical hardwoods grow to maturity quickly: some in 10 years. Based on annual emissions of 10 tons for the average person and its usage, you are morally responsible for at least 10 tropical trees for a 10 years growth and unselfishly support for the nine other family members or free-riders who don’t know the importance of acting now.
One can sponsor a tree and plant trees in Africa, as a business or individual, and help offset carbon emissions and reduce global warming: $10 will plant a 100 trees. The best time to plant a tree was 40 years ago; the second best time to plant a tree in NOW!
Trees Do Not Grow at a Constant Rate
We need to cut your forest on time to optimize: its growth rate is optimum when cut in 25-26 years. The rate of tree growth isn’t important. It’s the carbon storage that’s important. Younger trees absorb carbon dioxide quickly while they are growing, but as a tree ages a steady state is eventually reached, and at this point the amount of carbon absorbed through photosynthesis is similar to that lost through respiration and decay.
The volume MAI (Mean Annual Increment) curves for eucalyptus in Brazil and South Africa: cubic meters of growth at Age 26 is just over 5 tons/acre/year.
Harvesting the stand at that age would yield 5.16 tons/acre/year X 26 years = 134 tons/acre. Harvesting the stand at Age 15 would not yield 77 tons/acre (5.16 tons/acre/year X 15 years), because the MAI at Age 15 is only 4.15 tons/acre/year. Hence the comparative yield would be (4.15 tons/acre/year X 15 years)= 62 tons/acre.
The carbon has to go somewhere in the long term. It is only in balance as long as the carbon doesn’t get back to the atmosphere.
We know that harvesting should take place at peak times. If the carbon is to be captured, it must be converted into lumber or into Biochar, a charcoal fertilizer. Replanting must then begin after the peak time.
There is an exception: in the case of productive trees like the cacao tree or fruit trees, production can continue to its full maturity of 26 years, while investments will concentrate on new groves of similar trees.
Forests contribute to Food Security
We need win-win solutions now…
An independent non-profit body like Living Water MicroFinance Inc. would be set up to administer, fund, and monitor the beginning of the vast tree planting initiative. Some tree-planting projects are bound to fail: the potential CO2 absorption becomes nonviable due to the cost of acquiring inputs or protecting young trees from fire, drought, pests or diseases. The cost of land is another barrier to widespread tree-planting, especially where there is competition with other land uses such as grain or biofuel production.
Planted by local villagers, costs would be $240 per 1.5 acres, including seedling costs. However, if these renewable and sustainable resources (nuts, fruits and essential oils) are harvested, the land will yield the landowner $3,600 per 1.5 acres. The primary product will be the cacao tree, whose beans generate chocolate. By creating a new source of income harvesting the medicinal plants, fruits nuts, oil and other sustainable resources, the rain forests is be more valuable alive than cut and burned.
Living Water MicroFinance Inc. can arrange your partnership with an African landlord (who provides a long term lease) and a woman farmer and her family who will manage the 1.5 acre farm, which produces 340 fruitful trees and 340 tons of CO2 emissions, which is sequestered over 25 years.
Your share in this enterprise is a return of your equity ($240) at anytime that you need it. If you choose to donate your equity for more than 5 years, you will receive an immediate charitable tax deduction (around 30%) from your personal taxes or your corporate taxes. A third party, Living Water MicroFinance Inc. , feels morally obliged to share in the profits of this 1.5 acre farm. At the end of the five years,Living Water MicroFinance Inc. will reimburse you for the entire $240.
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Your investment will also relieve possibilities of famine in a new world of climate change.
That’s why we call this a win-win solution now…
Large-scale finance for forests generated by a global agreement on climate change will not likely be available until 2020 at the earliest. We cannot rely on big government support until they see the merit in our work.
Our efforts must be at the grass roots. With success, world governments will climb aboard and your donation (correction: investment) will multiply three-fold, because governments provide an additional $3 support for a $1 initiative ($720).
The tree farm is supported by a tree nursery managed by Living Water MicroFinance Inc. in order to reduce the cost of tree seedlings. Additional funding will come from the Carbon Tax Fund for the building of tree nurseries throughout the regions of an African country. Their large funds are empowered to support the production of trees as the only realistic way to absorb carbon dioxide emissions.
Each tree with a life span of 25 years has a net present value of $1.49/tree. The farm that you support will have 340 productive trees for a total carbon tax fund support of $500.
Please Note: another calculation of NPV of fruit trees living for 25 years = $0.49/tree plus $1.00/tree for maintenance: $1.49/tree. (Fruit trees are productive for 25 years and then are replaced.)
In the final analysis, your $240 “investment”, which earns you $72 in tax refunds, and is eventually returned to you, has created an additional $720 in government support and $500 in carbon tax support. This additional support will allow Living Water MicroFinance Inc. to build new tree nurseries modeled on the first successful nursery throughout Africa.
You win $72 and the women farmer and her family wins (enough money to properly feed and educate her children) and the world wins 340 new absorbing trees plus $1,220 ($720 + $500) support from a developed government and a carbon tax fund , which is the only solution to absorb carbon dioxide emissions.
The carbon tax fund support will continue to provide funds for
which will grow over 10,000 trees per month or $5,000/month /nursery: exponentially (1, 2, 4, 8, 16… 256, 512, and 1,024.). That is how we will begin to grow 7 billion trees in the tropics. At the rate of 300 seedlings daily over a 2 to 4 year span, 100,000 tree seedlings/year from one nursery will grow over a 25 month span exponentially. This type of growth can be calculated to increase every month for two years or bimonthly for four years.
It will take another four years before the world governments realize the importance of proper management of forest regeneration, so in the meantime this accomplishment will have taken place.
The Ex Pat
Here is the kicker: a successful ex-patriot living in a developed country can now pay back and help his or her own African or underdeveloped village in the tropics. A $50,000 investment will build Today’s Tall Trees in that village located near a water source and near a school, which will also teach the technicalities of a tree nursery. That investment or charity will be matched from governments of developed countries and carbon tax fund sources with another $200,000. This amount will be used to multiply this successful model using fertilizer in a nearby region. The successful ex-pat will leave his or her legacy on that village and will be well thought of, because we don’t want to keep this good work a secret.
Carbon Emission to be Solved
The world leaders must find a way to absorb carbon dioxide emissions that is in our atmosphere now. Trees and soils are the only way to absorb the present glut of CO2 in your world.
Presently these funds are improperly managed because they attempt to make the tax neutral by redirecting the fund for tax rebates to working families, cutting sales tax and reducing the tax on manufacturing. All this is very admirable but it doesn’t solve the high concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, which is presently causing global warming.
The Funds to Finance Rehabilitation
There are two sources of funds based on two different methods of absorbing carbon emissions: one from biochar in soils and the other from planting of trees.
On one hectare of farm land of 500 trees:
- Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund for BIOCHAR IN SOILS
LND Fund seeks to mobilize US$2 billion annually; they estimate that the average cost of land rehabilitation is $100- $150/ha. In Africa, five countries have voluntary committed to LND including Algeria, Chad, Ethiopia, Namibia and Senegal.
- 500 trees/hectare will yield 50 tons of Carbon from branches and weeds or (50 tons x ⅓) 16.7 tons of CO2 emission absorption from the production of
- The value of the capture of carbon in the form of Biochar is $250/year at the tax rate of $15/ton. (The LDN Fund offers $150/year based on $10/ton of carbon emissions.)
- The Carbon Tax Fund for TREES: the fund can support 500 trees for a total cost of $200/year for a period of 25 years plus an initial $750:
- There will be 500 trees with a NPV of $0.50/tree: at the rate of $15/ton, the Net Present Value (NPV) is $200/year.
- Add $1.00/tree for reporting and auditing for 25 years (that’s a one-off total – not per year): $500 to be monitored by Living Water MicroFinance Inc. for 25 years.
This part of the fund will support each 1.5 acre farm that will have access to $150/year n the form of micro finance assistance complements of the Carbon Tax Fund. Each $150 will be recycled nine times for a total of $1,350.
This micro finance will be made available to women farmers and their families who need support before the orchards become productive after 18 months: they will maintain this agroforest farms by planting vegetable like yam in between the new tree seedlings. The micro finance loan will be due after the harvest.
The tree farm is supported by a Today’s Tall Tree Nursery managed by Living Water MicroFinance Inc. in order to reduce the cost of tree seedlings. The fruit and nut tree seedlings along with nitrogen fixing trees are supplied by Today’s Tall Tree Nursery.
The reporting and auditing of trees for 25 years at the rate of $1.00/tree will help finance a Today’s Tall Tree Nursery to service over 100 hectare (beginning with 50,000 tree seedlings). The estimated fixed cost is $80,000. This decentralized system is preferable to the present centralized nurseries that have costly transportation costs for very vulnerable tree seedlings.
This calculation does NOT include income streams from the fruit and nut produce, which are reserved for the women farmers and their families. Later, irrigation can be added for a remunerative 275% crop improvement.
There will be a stipulation that all biomass on the 1.5 acre farm will be converted to Biochar every year. Creating Biochar on a farm involves incentives: the women farmer and her family will receive $150 based on the carbon tax rate of $15/ton for a total of 34 tons/year of carbon sequestered.
Living Water MicroFinance Inc. will arrange partnerships with African landlords (who provide a long term lease) for woman farmers and their families.
Agroforestry could help solve Climate Change.
HELPING SOLVE WORLD’S CARBON POLLUTION
New Trees are the only solution to soaking up Carbon Dioxide:
A Full Scale Aquaponic Tree Nursery in Africa supported by:
- A Micro Hydro Electric System: no dams: HugENERGY.us
- An Irrigation System: NORTHydro.com
- A Rabbit and Fish Farm: AfriCAPITALISM.us
- An Agroforestry Intercrop System: LivingWaterIs.com
- The Charitable Arm: SunnyUp.net
- God’s Loveletters: Godloveletters.com