Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trees as carbon sinks from UNEP

This might be useful for the chapter 6 discussion question.

Note the point about "proper market signals".

7 comments:

Kendyll Goeman said...

It is so interesting that every proposed plan seems to have many pros, as well as a major con. Carbon tax systems are proposed to be the most simplistic and fastest to implement, but are not accepted by the whole of society. Permit systems seem to be an honest way to monitor and penalize carbon emitters while striving to reduce carbon emissions. However, as Edward stated in the lecture 6 discussion question, “hotspots” of permit hoarders may arise. Carbon storage promises to eliminate the release of carbon by recycling it back into the soil, yet billions must be spent on initial research and crops and trees cannot be “grown as intensely.” Ultimately, isn’t society cutting down trees (destroying the environment) in order to store carbon- in order to save the environment that was just reduced? The costs and benefits in each case are interesting, and I’m excited to see how the United States will progress.

Andrew McGlashan said...

Well this is definitely interesting. Although I'm gonna go with the companies on this one. I think technology would be a better approach to trapping Carbon. We should invent a law that makes companies research this kind of stuff. If you think about it, it's amazing what humans have invented or discovered in the last 100 years. I almost believe that resource scarcity might be a thing of the past. I'll see if I can find the link but recently they have figured out mathematically how to send a small elevator to outer space (of course it isnt operational) They did this by manipulating the bonds in carbon, making it 100 times stonger than steel. I mean who knows what will happen in the next 100 years? We might even be getting resources from other planets. I mean sure its great we are finding natural ways to preserve out planet. But when we invest in tech we have always found better and more efficient ways of understand things. So lets get our scientists out there and create better technology that reduces carbon emissions.

James Marshall said...

I do agree that carbon capturing technology should be developed further, but if society wants to move away from nonrenewable resources then it doesn't help. Coal and oil will still run out regardless of burying the CO2 or not. Should we not be more concerned with dedicating funds towards developing renewable resources and determining how to best use forestry, fisheries, etc. Also if society reduced the us of coal, oil, and other high carbon emmitors, then wouldn't forests begin to clean up the carbon anyway?

MSchaefer said...

In order for this to happen the government is going to have to subsidized the land owners to keep the trees on the land. The trees are still needed for timber and other uses. In order for the land owner to make a profit it needs to be subsidized to keep trees on the land. Trapping the Carbon under ground or under the sea is just a temporary solution and we really don't know what are the long run problems are for that and need to invest better technology.

ChrisSeitz said...

I agree with what has been said and obviously something needs to done in order to "avoid the worst effects of climate change." I would imagine that the potential costs of developing the technology is far less than the costs that can be imagined with more climate change. However convincing the public that allocating millions of dollars to research and development will be very difficult. Since budgets are becoming tighter and tighter, freeing up the necessary and continuous funds will be the biggest roadblock.

Abby Werling said...

With the economy in the state that it is in I do not think the research money would ever get approved. I think that it is a great idea and could absolutly work but i don't think it would ever get funded. However, it is a very interesting idea and I would love to find out more about it.I just think that techonology will win this battle because there is already research in this area. We already have equipment that reduces carbon emissions and more efficient systems are probably already in the process of development and soon to come. Although I like the idea of trees and soil reducing the carbon the expense on research alone makes the idea less attractive.

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