"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Carbon Balancing?

Am thinking of paying to plant some trees, in order to 'carbon balance' my forthcoming air trip to Melbourne.

However, not actually sure if it's worth doing or not. Interesting science/public policy discussion on the subject here: http://www.rockfax.com/forums/t.php?t=114895 seems to suggest that it might not be worth it.

All Fitzrovian views welcome...


3 comments:

john said...

From my extensive reading on the subject (The Science of Discworld) I understand that the following quote from the thread is basically accurate:

"Consider where the carbon in the jet fuel comes from, it's from oil/coal reserves locked away beneath the earth. Carbon locked into biomass is there only temporarily until the tree dies and rots. It is then oxidised to CO2 as the wood rots similarly to burning the tree but slightly slower. As such the carbon budget of a tree is precisely nil."

Colin said...

But surely as long as you keep planting to ensure that the living tree biomass exceeds dying trees, you'd keep the carbon locked up?

There's a minor character in The Corrections who reckons we should bury all our empty plastic rubbish in disused coal mines to help redress the balance.

The oil and coal industry talk vaguely about capturing carbon emissions, concentrating them, and putting them under ground too. Except the technology doesn't exist, and even if it did, if it went wrong the escaping co2 would suffocate everyone at ground level.

john said...

ok so you need to ensure the X number of trees you plant to neutralise your long haul flight are replenished indefinitely...