Dr. Lesser’s op-ed piece in your Sept. 20, 2017, issue was timely and thought-provoking. The task of reducing Vermont’s CO2 emissions is costly, both in dollars and in the effects on our lifestyle, our landscape and future tax burdens on our citizens. A main driver of solar and wind power projects is that there is a great deal of money to be made from them (partly via government subsidies.)
A quick internet search showed that the amount of CO2 absorbed annually by Vermont’s forests is about 69 million tons. This is over eight times the amount of our annual greenhouse gas emissions. An internet search I did a few years ago was based on Canadian estimates of that country’s amount of CO2 absorbed annually by their forests, which turned out to be 29 times Canada’s annual CO2 emissions. When I extrapolated that to Vermont (comparing acres of forest and population) it appeared that Vermont’s forests absorbed over 20 times our annual emissions.
At any rate, it seems that well-managed forests and fields are the real key to controlling our CO2. And why this need for control? Increased levels of CO2 have led to much greater crop yields (plants eat CO2 – remember elementary school science?) and have been credited by some scientists to reducing levels of hunger on a world-wide basis.
So – reduce our CO2 emissions and starve the world. Great.