|Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as measured by the NOAA, increasing steadily for the last 50 years with the sawtoothed shape because of absorption by plants.|
Say that everyone in the village realized the problem and came to an agreement - you can only graze your livestock one day a month on the unfenced, unguarded commons. Some villagers would be responsible and abide by the agreement, but some would invariably cheat - perhaps taking their livestock to graze at night or when others were away. The result would be the same - a muddy, ruined commons. The only way to stop the cheating would a large wall around the commons (not practical) or an incredible police state monitoring the villages and their flocks at all time.
The utility of this parable to greenhouse emissions is obvious. The Earth's atmosphere is in every sense a 'commons' - every nation and every person has access to it. We cannot restrict a country from it for abuse or deceit. Eventually, regardless of how little in greenhouse gases we emit as individuals or even as a nation, our work can be completely undone by others. What good would it have done in the above parable for one landowner, seeing the ultimate fate of the commons, to only graze his animals there once a month? None - his sacrifice would have been meaningless in the context of everyone else's abuse.
So, what can be done? Is the world doomed to much higher greenhouse gas concentrations because the atmosphere is a common area, with no real restrictions or controls? No! While the atmosphere is a commons, land is not and is frequently privately owned. Is there anything that can be done on land to pull carbon out of the air? Yes - we can plant giant, long lived trees - we can plant sequoias..
Giant sequoias, Sequoiadendron giganteum, the largest tree and the largest living thing on earth, once covered much of the world. They thrived on the higher carbon dioxide concentrations available then as well as warmer temperatures, two conditions we are likely to see replicated soon.. These trees are very fast growing and can still, if planted correctly, be grown in almost all temperate areas.
What is more, the largest of these trees, called General Sherman, is so large that is has sequestered over an average American's lifetime of carbon emissions - over 2.2 million pounds of carbon. Sequoias also live for thousands of years, with many now alive growing at the time of Christ. This longevity means they will to continue to store as well as continuously sequester carbon for centuries.
We tried to plant these trees many times here in the Midwest without success before discovering a device that could water, nurture, and protect the tree without our intervention. This device, the Groasis Waterboxx PlantCocoon, is shown with a sequoia tree below.
|Two years' growth of a sequoia with the Groasis Waterboxx PlantCocoon. No water was manually added to the Waterboxx or the tree after planting - not once - and the tree has thrived after the Waterboxx was removed.|
Companies, countries, and even continents will continue to lie and mislead about their carbon emissions. Future "climate agreements" will just make this mendacity more likely as the incentive to cheat increases. As this happens, a person's individual carbon emissions will become meaningless in the face of widespread cheating. We can decrease total carbon dioxide in the atmosphere only by removing it from the atmosphere - and the best way to do this is by planting long lived and massive trees like sequoias.
If you want to buy a small sequoia tree, we recommend Giant-Sequoia.com. If you want to take the effort and try to plant from seed, we recommend this site. To purchase a Waterboxx to grow a sequoia here in the United States, visit Dew Harvest at www.dewharvest.com.
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