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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Carbon Dioxide: Part 17

Kill the beetles. Plant a tree—no, many trees.

The forests of British Columbia are being attacked by the mountain pine beetle. This catastrophe creates a double whammy. The trees that die can no longer extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the decaying trees release CO2. The release over a 21 year period is so large, the Canadian Forest Service estimates it is equivalent to 5 years of emissions from all forms of Canadian transportation.

The annual production of CO2 by the beetles is almost as much as that caused by Canadian forest fires each year.

So now we have something more to worry about. The kids in school back in the ’50s and ’60s had only a nuclear attack to fret about. Now they have the BEETLES that affect CO2. That puts things in perspective!

Expect some massive government program to help, all in the name of CO2. Assuredly, this and similar problems have been attacking the forests since time began and we have somehow survived. Even Gaia survived! Amazing! Back then, no one cared about the impact of carbon dioxide, but now it is cast in terms of CO2 and sounds so much worse.

Previously, such devastation would have been measured in terms of lost lumber and logs and its effect on construction costs. The new fad is carbon dioxide and nothing is said about the lost lumber and logs. Under this new rubric, government will intervene to stop this non-human cause of CO2, the production of which is probably inconsequential.

One gets the impression these global warming adherents are like kindergartners making new discoveries and letting their minds run wild. True science demands much more sober observation and much less alarmist speculation.

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