Going carbon negative

Check this link for information on how much emissions you are personally responsible for. The average figure for Americans is 7.5 tons every year. Now if you want to offset this by some carbon absorbing activity, pretty much the only thing you can do is to plant more trees. Unfortunately, the average tree can absorb only one ton of emissions in its lifetime (and that lifetime is usually very long, which means the offset is not done in the present time but in the future).

This leaves really leaves us in a corner as far as turning carbon neutral goes, leave alone the dreams of carbon negative. One has to plant something like 10 trees every year one is alive to offset our present modern lifestyle! This is too much to ask for, considering the fact that most people don’t have enough land to plant that many trees for even couple of years. Besides, ensuring that those trees grow correctly for the next 5-10 years is probably too paintstaking a task.

The other option is to drastically reduce our travels & power consumption patterns. However, even if we were to do that I doubt whether the 7.5 ton figure will more than halve, which leaves us with the same problem.

So the only way out appears to be in the use of clean energy like from wind turbines (nuclear as well?) and in the development of vehicles with hybrid fuels or biofuel. Indian market is not yet giving people these options, unlike in US where both these options are already being marketed. Let’s hope we catch up soon. 

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Posted by on Oct 18 2007 Filed under Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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