During his second inaugural address yesterday, President Obama vowed to address climate change, insisting that "the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations." This isn't the first time Obama has issued a rousing environmental battle cry. But the president's urgency--as the New York Times points out, he devoted eight sentences to the subject, more than he gave to any other single issue--suggests that climate change will indeed top his agenda over the next four years. So we asked our Facebook fans: How should the Obama administration go about tackling climate change? Some excerpts, herewith:
Education of the masses on the reality of it and how it affects us personally.
Stop driving the car or mini-van 6 blocks to the store and 8 blocks to the gym. It's not that hard to walk a little, and might help your health conditions.
The solution is very very simple, or at least obvious: Encourage through any channels available a massive decrease in fossil fuel consumption/emissions. This should include encouraging at LEAST as much funding for alternative energy as the fossil fuel industry receives from the government. This should also include a decrease in the amount of government money/tax-breaks the fossil fuel industry receives. Both actually/symbolically, Obama needs to push as hard as Al Gore does on this issue and allow SCIENCE to inform his position instead of politics. ...
Quit farming cattle, as their flatulence causes global warming...
Challenge individual rights and freedoms for the greater good. This is something that needs enforcement because people are lazy, and they just want convenience and ease, but there are going to be changes within our lifetime that are going to make people wish they had a strict environmental policy.
Restrict gas powered vehicles. Restrict making cars that travel over the speed limit. Start weaning the U.S. off of oil made products, limit the use of coal burning.(maybe) that may be hard to do though.
--Steven W Chambers
Any way possible!!
Read more at https://www.facebook.com/PopSci.
I agree that weaning the US off oil/coal/etc.. will need to happen. It is hard to abruptly change people's lifestyles though. I think it would take a lot longer to change peoples habits than to change the technology (hybrid/electric vehicles).
I think an investment in the research/technology to remove pollutants already in the atmosphere would be important as well. Being that plants already do this, reforestation/wetland restoration/etc... could be an initial step.
He could lead by example. The beast he drives around in gets 8 MPG. He flies a nearly-empty jumbo jet around the world and lives in a gigantic house heated and air-conditioned house.
Tell us again, Mr. President, how important is it that every individual make sacrifices to save the planet?
Christina B is right, though. If we are causing global warming, it's not our cars that are the problem, it's our cattle and our landfills. But we need to investigate the suggestion by more than a few scientists that we are on the verge of an ice age (due to carbon sequestration by peatland) and only our CO2, particulate and methane outputs are staving it off.
Still, why should I sacrifice if the leaders of the climate change movement refuse to?
Lots of money to be made selling the idea of man made climate change. Money can be made by giving lectures or getting grants to study it. Then more money to be made by taxing and trying to manage that which MIGHT be causing it. Yes "global warming" or what is now called "climate change" because the data stopped supporting global warming is going to make a few certain people a lot of money. That is the only certainty about man made climate change.
Besides doing things to slow the emissions of CO2 and other warming\polluting gases, he or delegated scientist could plan in a positive way (since climate change is going to continue warming anyways) for a warming changing environment, and plant trees, make more water reservoirs or other good things that will bring a profit in a warmer dryer climate.
Of course, the kind of positive economics science engineered environmental result am talking about, might take 30\50 to 100 years to reap a positive result, but everyone wants a quick and easy positive dollar result, which simple cannot happen.
In looking at our crystal ball, we know things will warm and get dryer. We can if we want plan our environment for it. It will just take long term planning and dedication. Does our government have the bal#s to make a plan for something like this and the tenacity to complete the task, who knows?
Another example of how a "belief" tries to override facts. Yes, cows produce a lot of methane. Yes, CH4 is more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. What you guys seem to always leave out is that 85% of greenhouse gases are CO2, while only 8% are CH4. Also, since you would rather opine than research, you don't know that CH4 emissions have been relatively unchanged in the last several decades, while CO2 has skyrocketed. Also, it is not cows and landfills that account for the greatest amount of CH4, it is the natural gas and petroleum industries. So no, cows and landfills don't make significant contributions to climate change compared to the burning of fossil fuels. It's not even in the same ballpark.
And the idea that we are heading for a new ice age has been consistently debunked for decades. In the 70's, they had inadequate and flawed data, and a FEW (very few) scientists concluded a new ice age was coming. They were wrong. They admitted they were wrong. But every other year or so someone drudges up that old research and tries to make it look new again.
Wow imekeh, that's the most retarded excuse for climate change I've ever heard. So you're saying that 97% of the world's scientists invented a climate change conspiracy so they could make money from lectures?!?! Hahahahaha! You're so silly. How bout this, use a little bit of that conspiranoia you have, and imagine that possibly, just maybe, big oil and gas are DENYING climate change because they make billions by continuing to do so. Hmmm...billions vs. a couple hundred per lecture...seems like a no-brainer to most.
Do nothing. So far the United States has done closer to nothing than a lot of European states, and it is closer to reaching the 2020 and 2050 goals than anyone that actually signed the Kyoto Protocals.
Leave it untouched. Let business and technology flourish here. We have enough recoverable reserves of oil to last us over a century, and that isn't counting the mountains of natural gas that are starting to be recoverable thanks to fracking.
Wind and Solar are niche, and will only be useful in certain areas of the country. But they are not usable as a main power source until energy storage improves. That will best be accomplished by letting businesses alone to design better batteries (and not just pretending battery markets exist right now, wasting billions in bankrupt subsidized battery factories.)
Over time Nuclear will become the predominant energy provider, likely with a more modular, dispersed approach; which is less efficient, but makes better business sense. Again as energy storage capability increases with technology, nuclear will be able to handle the larger power fluctuations of the general power grid. Petroleum products will be undercut for energy use, and be shifted mostly to material use, or to transportation (still likely to remain among the most energy-dense materials).
Don't do anything, give it 100 years, our primary energy consumption will have little or no Carbon emissions. And that is presupposing carbon emissions are actually a problem, which is dubious.
And for anyone that says: "by 100 years it will be too late." Consider what the "carbon reduction plans" proposed would actually do. Your patron saint Al Gore's plan would double energy costs (a major drain on the economy that adds cost at every level) in exchange for delaying "global warming" by ~4 years, 100 years from now. I'd rather have that huge amount of money go towards R&D than a 4 year jump on a slowly increasing temperature.
Do nothing. An unfettered economy can devote more resources to R&D. Energy storage capacity will increase, which will improve nuclear, wind, and solar energy, and reduce the need for carbon-based transportation (energy density of gasoline is obscene, and necessary to the economy). Nuclear will continue slowly plodding towards dominance (if politicians and public hysteria don't keep stopping it). Fabled wind and solar will never be dominant, but they are cost-effective in certain areas, so they will be used there.
It might be helpful to imagine a world where we get all of our power from a single source, and imagine the consequences of that decision on the environment.
This helps us understand where our energy comes from. When we first started burning coal it might have seemed impossible that we could actually affect our world in any way.
For example Imagine we got all of our energy from the wind, using existing technology. Forget for now how many turbines it would require, Imagine we were able to store 50% of the energy that is currently kinetic wind energy. We would have much less wind. What does wind do? Wind cools our earth right? When wind goes across damp wet areas it cools those areas.
Sure we will never really be able to convert 50% of the energy in the wind using turbines but what if we converted 5% of the energy? Wouldn't wind energy actually CONTRIBUTE to global warming?
This is why Solar and Nuclear might be out best options. If we drew all of our energy from Solar, it would actually help COOL the earth because less of the sun's rays are striking the earth, That EMF is converted to Electricity rather than Heat.
Nuclear is such an obvious solution with waste disposal being the largest challenge. However since Nuclear is slow to turn on and off, it could be wasteful to have Peak Energy production during Off Peak Times. Something that could help that is charging electric cars during off peak times. If we all used Electric cars, we would flatten the Peak vs Off Peak energy consumptions from our grid allowing us to use Nuclear for more of our Grid's power.
I think any solution we create needs to have BIG PICTURE balances that help us understand the impact BEFORE the investments. Something like Wind might be "Renewable" but in our current predicaments, "Renewable" might not be the only thing to consider.
Stop humans from making babies (limit reproduction to one per person), sentence the people who chop down trees to death, and kill those who are fishing our oceans empty with supervising drones. It's that simple. You can only win the war for a greener and livelier planet when you weed out those who are ruing it. Most people on this planet are of absolutely no use at all, we are a disease that's out of control.
Then do a little research on a thing we had when I was a kid called "acid rain". Read about how at first Reagan and the GOP said it didn't exist. Then, they said it did exist, but man isn't the cause. Even though a CONSENSUS of scientists said that the tall flare stacks that coal plants use was causing acid rain, the GOP continued to deny deny deny. It wasn't until Canada threatened us because we were destroying their wildlife that the GOP finally conceded. This is absolutely no different than climate change, and the rest of the world is wondering how we could be so stupid, just as they did in the 80's.
The south east aquifer is drying up, due to lack of many years of rain.
The Midwest aquifer is drying up, do too much farming.
Most areas of the USA will become dryer with global warming.
If more trees and general wild life is develop across the USA, would create jobs, lower the cost of construction and help the environment to have more moisture and rain the building of more lakes.
Use the additional lakes too for energy production, fresh water needs.
If we planned for a warming environment, we could actually come out for the better. It just takes a long term plan with dedication.
All these things will bring more jobs and people working helps faster to provide for homes, health care and retirement,
More taxes will not help the USA people, when it is proven the government cannot manage money.
People helping themselves is the immediate solution for the present and a healthy economic future.
If we planned for a warming environment, we could actually come out for the better. It just takes a long term plan with dedication.
All these things will bring more jobs and people working helps faster to provide for homes, health care and retirement,
More taxes will not help the USA people, when it is proven the governement can not manage money.
People helping themselves is the immediate solution.
If we planned for a warming enviroment, we could actually come out for the better. It just takes a long term plan with dedication.
lol, my posting stuttered, sort of....
I agree with seanreynoldscs.
Build more reactors and stop pretending we don't already have the answers.
Also Michelle's dress is so scifi, don't you think.
More reactors = larger segments of people dependent upon one business and government to support their lives...
Can everyone say, "Baaaa, Baaaa or Moooo Moooo", lol.
We have NSA monitoring all communications in the world in real time.
We have a government current wanting us to give up our weapons.
And for our medical benefit, they will to put chips inside us all. You know, for our benefit..... ROFL...
Definitely more reactors. We are on the verge of much safer storage techniques and even better long-term solutions. As solar cells improve solar energy will be extremely lucrative, as long as we keep pouring money into research. Wind has its uses in certain places, but I think R&D on it should grow at a slower pace.
That's an awfully cynical outlook Robot. Everyone help themselves and just plan for a crappier planet? Unfortunately, it may be too late, and that may be all we have left, but there has to be hope that we can do something to stave it off a little longer until our technology advances...if we can get the idiots who deny on board and do something! When humanity works together, we can accomplish great things. Who would have thought a card-carrying Nazi would be the guy who put us on the moon?!
I did not suggest, everyone help themselves, as in a selfish attitude...
I did suggest develop more individual independence and jobs, with a healthy environment.
A more independent individual is a free-er individual and FREEDOM is what USA is about!
Chelle12, you're either a troll or a fool (or both). How much do you contribute to the problem? The computer you're using to post this almost certainly using coal power. The computer itself contains non-biodegradable petroleum products and a huge amount (relatively speaking) of lead and other heavy metals. The producing the CPU and memory required toxic chemicals. Every second of every day, you pump out carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor, all of which are greenhouse gasses. You should simply off yourself. But even then, you'd create problems for the environment as your body decays and releases more climate-changing methane. The only hope for the world is if you encase yourself in concrete while you're still breathing and have a friend drag you (sarcophagus and all) to the ocean so you can become a habitat for the sea creatures you love so much. Turn off your computer and lights immediately and get to work saving the planet!
Oh... or are you just like every other climate change proponent that insist that everyone else make the changes to save the planet? When you stop 'killing the planet', you can start telling me how to live. But then you wouldn't have the ability to since I can just drive away from your crazy face and you wouldn't be able to catch me.
I've heard misinformation, blatant lies, and ignorance to oppose climate change, but I'm really not sure what it is people are really denying. It's pretty much common sense, but I'll simplify it even farther.
First, we know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and that greenhouse gases warm the planet. We know there are natural scrubbers for CO2 (plants, etc.). We know that global warming is a natural effect. So let's take some round numbers and say 100 units of CO2 = 2 degrees warming. In a natural setting (without man), compared to our 100 units figure, we know that after all the scrubbing, there is a net gain each year of .3 units of CO2. Now, put man into the picture. After measuring CO2, we now have a net gain of 1 per year. So basically, instead of taking 300 years to gain 2 degrees, it only takes 100.
So, we know CO2 warms the planet. We know we are producing more CO2 than nature intended. What exactly is there to deny? Is it that you don't believe we are increasing CO2 farther than the Earth can recycle it? Because there are mountains of evidence for that. Is it that you don't believe that CO2 warms the planet? Once again, ridiculous amounts of evidence.
Maybe the better question is: why do you so vehemently not WANT to believe? It's interesting how climate change falls almost right down party lines, just as acid rain did. We Dems were right about that even though the GOP denied it to death. Gone are the days when Republicans actually believed what they wanted. Now they have to believe what the rest of the GOP says, even if they know it's crap. Oh, how the rest of the world has been making fun of those idiots!
Overpopulation is the real problem:
Obama should do nothing. Climate change is not a problem, that's what climate does, change. People need to grow up and stop believing everything they are spoon fed and do some real research.
Manatee, tell that to an overwhelming scientific body of climatologists. "Hey you experts at studying this field; why don't y'all start studying this field?" Yeah... That's right, you're smarter than they are and the scientific method.
Of course fossil fuels increase the level of CO2, thus global warming- simple and proven. Just ignore the ignorant or corrupt. Also focus on all the other damage caused, i.e, water pollution, mass desertification, mass extinctions (lost habitat), ocean dead zones, the list goes on and on. Diversification is always a good idea especially when we will always be partially dependent on foreign countries. Invest in alternative energy, international currency is a joke anyway - debt mean nothing when you have the resources of the US, and all countries (even China) has a debt.
I am not a President Obama fan, but I am extremely happy that he becoming president opens the door in choosing our future leader.
Our optical view is much wider now! Yes, it still needs further widening, but progress is happening and that is very nice!
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Q: "How should Obama go about combating climate change?"
A: Show naysayers current pics of Shanghai and Beijing.
Humanity is so... entertaining. This topic provides such s grand show.
Sufyguy -- "Maybe the better question is: why do you so vehemently not WANT to believe?"
Who is it that is irrational here? Those that challenge unsubstantiated "belief" or the one that accepts it as unchallengeable fact?
One bases beliefs upon folklore, legends, religion, politics, what one hears repeatedly, what is seen on TV, experiences, by using seemingly related occurrences as proof of cause and effect, and even the religion of politics (replacing religion with political orthodoxy and ritual). Your ipso facto "proof" that CO2 increases cause Global Warming, is as anecdotal, and logically flawed as primitive man’s assertion that the cock's crow causes the Sun to rise.
You very glibly discount the validity of anyone else's ability to perceive fact and cause and effect, without questioning your own. You even assume that it is due to irrationality, denial, political beliefs, and worse, yet never consider the way you clearly use your political affiliation to somehow claim your "enlightened" and non-"idiot" position through your ad hominem attacks:
"It's interesting how climate change falls almost right down party lines, just as acid rain did. We Dems were right about that even though the GOP denied it to death. Gone are the days when Republicans actually believed what they wanted. Now they have to believe what the rest of the GOP says, even if they know it's crap. Oh, how the rest of the world has been making fun of those idiots!"
So, just because people should deign to disagree with you on what you accept as fact. And, because these others, that share your political beliefs/goals in other countries, think those holding opposing views are idiots, then it must be accepted? Talk about circular logic. It is quite comforting to seek validation only from those that believe the exactly the same as you. Take a logic course. Learn rhetoric.
There are many reasons people could & will, quite correctly, disagree with your CO2 assertion:
Leading CO2 (as Global Warming agent proponent) Dr. Richard Evans (rocket scientist and carbon accounting expert) – completely reversed his position in 2008.
Evans was a consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005 and he wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol.
In an article for The Australian newspaper, Evans highlights why he was so keen to jump on board the man-made explanation without there being any clear conclusion as to what was driving temperature increases in the period from the end of the 70’s to 1998.
“The evidence was not conclusive, but why wait until we were certain when it appeared we needed to act quickly?” writes Evans. “Soon government and the scientific community were working together and lots of science research jobs were created. We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.”
“But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of the recent global warming,” he concludes.
Evans points out that the “greenhouse signature” that would indicate CO2 emissions are driving temperature increases – “a hot spot about 10km up in the atmosphere over the tropics” – which would be evident if climate change was man-made, is simply non-existent.
“If there is no hot spot then an increased greenhouse effect is not the cause of global warming. So we know for sure that carbon emissions are not a significant cause of the global warming,” he writes.
Here are my reasons:
There is little doubt the air's CO2 concentration has risen significantly since the inception of the Industrial Revolution; and there are few who do not attribute the CO2 increase to the increase in humanity's use of fossil fuels. There is also little doubt the earth has warmed slightly over the same period; but there is no compelling reason to believe that the rise in temperature was caused by the rise in CO2. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that future increases in the air's CO2 content will produce any global warming; for there are numerous problems with the popular hypothesis that links the two phenomena.
A weak short-term correlation between CO2 and temperature proves nothing about causation. Proponents of the notion that increases in the air's CO2 content lead to global warming point to the past century's weak correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global air temperature as proof of their contention. However, they typically gloss over the fact that correlation does not imply causation, and that a hundred years is not enough time to establish the validity of such a relationship when it comes to earth's temperature history.
The observation that two things have risen together for a period of time says nothing about one trend being the cause of the other. To establish a causal relationship it must be demonstrated that the presumed cause precedes the presumed effect. Furthermore, this relationship should be demonstrable over several cycles of increases and decreases in both parameters. And even when these criteria are met, as in the case of solar/climate relationships, many people are unwilling to acknowledge that variations in the presumed cause truly produced the observed analogous variations in the presumed effect.
In thus considering the seven greatest temperature transitions of the past half-million years - three glacial terminations and four glacial inceptions - we note that increases and decreases in atmospheric CO2 concentration not only did not precede the changes in air temperature, they followed them, and by hundreds to thousands of years! There were also long periods of time when atmospheric CO2 remained unchanged, while air temperature dropped, as well as times when the air's CO2 content dropped, while air temperature remained unchanged or actually rose. Hence, the climate history of the past half-million years provides absolutely no evidence to suggest that the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 concentration will lead to significant global warming.
Strong negative climatic feedbacks prohibit catastrophic warming. Strong negative feedbacks play major roles in earth's climate system. If they did not, no life would exist on the planet, for some perturbation would long ago have sent the world careening into a state of cosmic cold or horrendous heat; and we know from the fossil record that neither of these extremes has ever occurred, even over billions of years, and in spite of a large increase in the luminosity of the sun throughout geologic time.
Consider, in this regard, the water vapor that would be added to the atmosphere by enhanced evaporation in a warmer world. The extra moisture would likely lead to the production of more and higher-water-content clouds, both of which consequences would tend to cool the planet by reflecting more solar radiation back to space.
A warmer world would also mean a warmer ocean, which would likely lead to an increase in the productivity of marine algae or phytoplankton. This phenomenon, in turn, would enhance the biotic production of certain sulfur-based substances that diffuse into the air, where they are oxidized and converted into particles that function as cloud condensation nuclei. The resulting increase in the number of cloud-forming particles would thus produce more and smaller cloud droplets, which are more reflective of incoming solar radiation; and this phenomenon would also tend to cool the planet.
All of these warming-induced cloud-related cooling effects are very powerful. It has been shown, for example, that the warming predicted to result from a doubling of the air's CO2 content may be totally countered by: (1) a mere 1% increase in the reflectivity of the planet, or (2) a 10% increase in the amount of the world's low-level clouds, or (3) a 15 to 20% reduction in the mean droplet radius of earth's boundary-layer clouds, or (4) a 20 to 25% increase in cloud liquid water content. In addition, it has been demonstrated that the warming-induced production of high-level clouds over the equatorial oceans almost totally nullifies that region's powerful water vapor greenhouse effect, which supplies much of the temperature increase in the CO2-induced global warming scenario.
Most of these important negative feedbacks are not adequately represented in state-of-the-art climate models. What is more, many related (and totally ignored!) phenomena are set in motion when the land surfaces of the globe warm. In response to the increase in temperature between 25°N latitude and the equator, for example, the soil-to-air flux of various sulfur gases rises by a factor of 25, as a consequence of warmth-induced increases in soil microbial activity; and this phenomenon can lead to the production of more cloud condensation nuclei just as biological processes over the sea do. Clearly, therefore, any number of combinations of these several negative feedbacks could easily thwart the impetus for warming provided by future increases in the air's CO2 content.
Growth-enhancing effects of CO2 create an impetus for cooling. Carbon dioxide is a powerful aerial fertilizer, directly enhancing the growth of almost all terrestrial plants and many aquatic plants as its atmospheric concentration rises. And just as increased algal productivity at sea increases the emission of sulfur gases to the atmosphere, ultimately leading to more and brighter clouds over the world's oceans, so too do CO2-induced increases in terrestrial plant productivity lead to enhanced emissions of various sulfur gases over land, where they likewise ultimately cool the planet. In addition, many non-sulfur-based biogenic materials of the terrestrial environment play major roles as water- and ice-nucleating aerosols; and the airborne presence of these materials should also be enhanced by rising levels of atmospheric CO2. Hence, it is possible that incorporation of this multifaceted CO2-induced cooling effect into the suite of equations that comprise the current generation of global climate models might actually tip the climatic scales in favor of global cooling in the face of continued growth of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
There is no evidence for warming-induced increases in extreme weather. Proponents of the CO2-induced global warming hypothesis often predict that extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and hurricanes will become more numerous and/or extreme in a warmer world; however, there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, many studies have revealed that the numbers and intensities of extreme weather events have remained relatively constant over the last century of modest global warming or have actually declined. Costs of damages from these phenomena, however, have risen dramatically; but this phenomenon has been demonstrated to be the result of evolving societal, demographic and economic factors.
Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 are a boon to the biosphere. In lieu of global warming, a little of which would in all probability be good for the planet, where do the above considerations leave us? Simply with the biospheric benefits that come from the aerial fertilization effect of atmospheric CO2 enrichment: enhanced plant growth, increased plant water use efficiency, greater food production for both people and animals, plus a host of other biological benefits too numerous to describe in this short statement.
And these benefits are not mere predictions. They are real. Already, in fact, they are evident in long-term tree-ring records, which reveal a history of increasing forest growth rates that have closely paralleled the progression of the Industrial Revolution. They can also be seen in the slow but inexorable spreading of woody plants into areas where only grasses grew before. In fact, the atmosphere itself bears witness to the increasing prowess of the entire biosphere in the yearly expanding amplitude of its seasonal CO2 cycle. This oscillatory "breath of the biosphere" - its inhalation of CO2, produced by spring and summer terrestrial plant growth, and its exhalation of CO2, produced by fall and winter biomass decomposition - has been documented to be growing greater and greater each year in response to the ever-increasing growth stimulation provided by the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content.
Atmospheric CO2 enrichment brings growth and prosperity to man and nature alike. This, then, is what we truly believe will be the result of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content: a reinvigorated biosphere characteristic of those prior periods of earth's history when the air's CO2 concentration was much higher than it is today, coupled with a climate not much different from that of the present. Are we right? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain now: there is much more real-world evidence for the encouraging scenario we paint here than for the doom-and-gloom predictions of apocalypse that are preached by those who blindly follow the manifestly less-than-adequate prognostications of imperfect climate models.
Now, whose factual and logical connections are driven by political agenda, anecdotal evidence, irrationality, and even hate? Pretty sure it's not mine.
CORRECTION where I used: ipso facto, I meant to use: post hoc.
While we currently demand many trees planted for each one harvested in larger forestry operations, it's quite common in small operations that nothing is planted, even though there is no specific use for the land that was cleared. Also, in large operations the trees planted will be cut down before their CO2 conversion ability fully matures. Those two facts ensure that we lose ground each year. Much of Brazil is ready for pavement now, so this hemisphere is just plain sequestering less each and every year.