Planting a Tree Will Not Reduce Global Warming

If death is part of life, than 1 of the 10 things to do to reduce global warming (ironically, in pdf format so you can print it), from the Inconvenient Truth movie web site , is blatantly false.

"A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime". Um, no, sorry.

A young tree will absorb more carbon dioxide than it releases. As the tree gets older, it breaks about even. When it dies, it releases all the carbon via decomposition. If you use the wood to build a house or make furniture, you will get close to that one ton objective. If you let it die a natural death, you are totally screwed. That 1 ton will go back into the atmosphere. Sorry. Trees are not the answer.  

The solution to global warming is to use less fossil fuel. Period. Less coal, less oil. Than ain't easy. Try building a nuclear power plant, a dam or a wind farm without fossil fuel.

A young forest will certainly suck up some carbon, and when it matures, if you harvest the wood (clear cut please), you will have a net reduction in released carbon. You could also argue that heating with wood is also positive if it replaces the use of fossil fuels. As an added bonus, you will be reducing the life expectancy of the neighborhood children because of the respiratory diseases caused by the all the particle rich smoke you are releasing in a densely populated area, day after day, all winter long.

Al Gore's movie is quite convincing, and hopefully convinced many that global warming is a problem. Unfortunately, the artificial torch will have to be passed to others for the solution. First class globe trotting, mansion living, Nobel Peace prize winning, and perhaps tree planting, Al Gore, is not part of the solution. 

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