Tag Archives: biochar

CARBON EMISSIONS 2

Not Lower Present Carbon Emissions

A carbon tax is a great idea, if we had a government honest enough to implement it properly. We should all be concerned with carbon emissions that will be present in our atmosphere for 200 years. Surveys have found high majorities of economists (more than 80 per cent) also support carbon pricing. Justin Trudeau announced a carbon price for all of Canada, starting at a modest $10/ton of CO2 ($0.025/liter of fuel) in 2018 and rising over five years to $50 ($0.125/liter of fuel). The carbon tax would cost the average family about $1,250- $1,500 a year. So it means that we will be paying more for everything. That’s because almost all goods and services consume fossil fuel energy. This is a form of paying a sin tax for using energy, which may not lower emissions. (The $10/ton is equivalent to $0.09/US gal.)

British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax on fuel is equivalent to $30 per ton of emissions. In Alberta, a carbon levy will be applied to fuels at a rate of $20 per ton, starting Jan. 1, 2017, increasing to $30 per ton a year later.

Anyone familiar with carbon pricing knows Trudeau’s minimum price, even at $50 per ton, is far too low to significantly cut emissions. If Canada has any chance of meeting its target, which used to be reducing our emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 30% by 2030, he would need to set a carbon price of about $150 per ton, starting immediately.

Some pricing experts like Simon Fraser University’s Mark Jaccard estimated that the floor price should be $30/ton increasing every year until 2030 to $200/ton.  This would be an equivalent of $0.47/liter of gasoline or $1.77/US gal.  (1 liter = .264 US gal). Obviously, there would have to be an offsetting general tax reduction so as not to act as an extra burden to the average tax payer.

The Norwegian carbon taxes started in 1991 and were among the highest in the world ($44 US/ton of CO2). Despite significant price increases for some fuel types (13% for gasoline), the carbon tax effect on emissions was modest (a 16 % reduction in emissions). This implies a high cost of reducing emissions from sources on which the tax is levied.

The real enemy is heat and us.

Continue reading CARBON EMISSIONS 2

BILLIONS OF TREES 2

7 BILLION TREES
0changehands
But Only in the Tropics

 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.
Continue reading BILLIONS OF TREES 2