I would never try to discourage anyone from planting an native tree in an appropriate location. In fact, go do one now, I’ll wait…

You done? Ok, trees are great. But they are not plant and go. Young trees need care for up to five years. Particularly in urban plantings trees routinely die after only a few years. If you do not provide the follow up care no tree planting is any carbon sink.

But more problematic, 23% of Canada’s “renewable” energy is solid (wood) biomass. For trees to be a sink, you have to leave them be. You cannot cut them down and cook them to make fuel. This is just so stupid that I cannot stand it.

And then there is the orders-of-magnitude problem that so often undermines silly environmental wishful thinking. Trees sink carbon, sure, but even reforesting as much of the planet as at all possible would still be orders of magnitude too little carbon sequestration to offset the shit show we are manufacturing.

By all means, plant trees for all the reasons trees should be planted. But tree planting cannot be a way of offsetting enough carbon to make a meaningful difference to climate change.

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I am an experienced freelance graphic artist and sometime canoeist. I feel strongly about the quality of professional work and like sitting by a remote lake on a sun-warmed rock.

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