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Pine Beetle and Biochar

zogger (617870) writes | more than 4 years ago

Earth 1

OK, here's a situation where market forces are going to ignore a tremendous source of wealth, wealth that could be taken from what is now a huge environmental disaster, the pine beetle infestations.

OK, here's a situation where market forces are going to ignore a tremendous source of wealth, wealth that could be taken from what is now a huge environmental disaster, the pine beetle infestations.

  The pine beetle basically kills off entire huge forests. It is unstoppable. Hundreds of millions of pines in western north America are dead. The deal is, this wealth wouldn't show up for years and years..so..it probably won't happen, there are no short term profits, just huge short term expense, but long range it *would* pay off. The "snatch wealth from the jaws of disaster" involves converting all this loose carbon into biochar, before we have regional sized forest fires or it just rots and still releases the carbon. There's enough potential there to improve the soils in millions of acres and provide a ton of really useful rural work. but..that no short term profit catch 22. So, how to do it?

My idea is to stop this carbon credits nonsense, take that same theoretical money and do it. Trading credits on the market just skims that investment potential away from the taxpayer consumers. All I can think of is direct multigovernmental efforts with something this scale, in part because so much of this now standing dead timber is on public lands. Print the loot up (no taxes, I mean print it up and start paying a lot of unemployed people with it), spend it, get it done. Get huge biochar facilities up and running and get that stuff to farmers all over to plow into their soil, the soil where our food comes from. National security, heck, global security.

  Or watch it rot away, or someday with a dry summer, areas like small European nations in size will burn up. That's the choices. Millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere, or deep down in the soil where it acts wonderfully to help regulate subsurface soil moisture and help plants grow, and keeps that carbon sequestered for decades to centuries.

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1 comment

I know one company in central Oregon (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#32176766)

That is doing something similar. They're preventing the infestation in the first place by *thinning the forest* and removing underbrush. Get it down to 5 trees per acre, and you don't have a beetle problem anymore.

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