New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, in his May 20 op-ed, discusses climate change with the emphasis on carbon dioxide capture and sulfur dioxide reflection of heat. After a quarter of a page of discussion we are no further along in our knowledge of a simple and cost-effective method to reduce CO2.
Let’s propose a simple plan that would be difficult to object to, no matter which side the debate you choose.
Individuals, groups and government agencies start by planting relatively fast growing trees such as pines and poplar, followed by medium growth rate trees and then slow growing oaks and elms.
This would mean tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands — as many as available land would allow. Offer tax credits and other incentives to make the program popular. Even fund the program on government lands.
As a tree grows it absorbs CO2 that it uses with the aid of sunlight to produce cellulose, the structural body of plants that makes all plants a carbon “sink.” The more unburned plants, the greater the amount of CO2 absorbed.
This is a simple method of geoengineering that Mr. Nocera fails to mention. There is no profit in the plan. Nor is there any grant money available. But if we really care, what could be better than the greening of America?
Robert Savin, M.D.
Privateer Creek Road