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Congressman: Cut Trees to Reduce Global Warming

Congressman: Cut Trees to Reduce Global Warming

You may not believe this, but Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from Orange County, CA has suggested that cutting down trees in the Amazon rainforest could be a good way to reduce climate change. In a Congressional hearing, Mr. Rohrabacher said, “Is there some thought being given to subsidizing the clearing of rain forests in order for some countries to eliminate that production of greenhouse gases? Or would people be supportive of cutting down older trees in order to plant younger trees as a means to prevent this disaster from happening?” (Source: New York Times)

Trees convert CO2 into oxygen during photosynthesis. Doesn’t everyone who made it past ninth grade know this now? The naturally occurring carbon is part of the carbon cycle which exists as a balanced system, but all the human-made CO2 and methane are not part of that balanced system. They are additional carbon, which is upsetting the balance and trapping heat within the atmosphere causing it to increase in warmth. (A very basic explanation, but why does someone like a Congressman not understand this?) It should be pointed out that this is the same Congressman who said a period of climate change over fifty million years ago, might have been related to dinosaur flatulence. Tropical forests actually absorb about 18% of all CO2 created by fossil fuels and human activity according to a University of Leeds study.

Mr. Rohrabacher gave a typical politician’s response to the news articles about his profound misunderstanding, saying his view was misrepresented by the media, “I do not believe that CO2 is a cause of global warming, nor have I ever advocated the reduction of CO2 through the clearing of rainforests or cutting down older trees to prevent global warming”, and goes on to say he was asking “…if he (Todd Stern, climate change advisor) was considering a policy that would address naturally emitted carbon dioxide, which makes up over 90% of emissions.” (Source: Rohrabacher.gov) Even in his attempt at a rebuttal, he shows a shocking lack of awareness.

Naturally-emitted carbon dioxide is part of the carbon cycle that is within the balance of the whole system. It is human-generated carbon that is the problem. Deforestation contributes to climate change; it definitely would not be considered a solution because forests hold carbon within them and take it out of the air. Also peat bogs naturally hold about one quarter of the carbon stored in land plants and soils. Oceans also naturally absorb carbon, and are the largest carbon sink in the world. It is thought they absorb about one quarter to one third of all the human-made carbon. Don’t tell Rohrabacher about all the free natural carbon sequestration provided by forests, peat bogs and the oceans though, as he might recommend getting rid of them all.

Image Credit: Public Domain

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Read more: Environment, Green, Nature, Nature & Wildlife

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122 comments

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6:28AM PDT on May 15, 2013

Republican. This explains everything.

5:32AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Ridiculous. And this woman was elected???

6:21AM PST on Nov 24, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

8:44AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

stupid is as stupid does and remember there are people dumber than him. The ones who elected him into office. LOL

12:54AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

Thanks for the information.

12:39PM PDT on Jun 20, 2012

Idiotic!

12:55AM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

How utterly STUPID. Can only be a republican!

7:09PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Slowly, but surely, common sense and lack of education are evaporating into the thin air of the atmosphere to join in the affect we are experiencing of global warming.
How on earth do we allow people with this degree of stupidity to be part of our government, who are in charge of running our country?
Have we too become infected with the ever spreading disease of "moronitise" by voting for these imbeciles? Next time you vote make sure that you vote for someone that has some degree in common sense and at least a grade 8 degree in education!

5:56AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

How about cutting down some politicians to help reduce global warming.

2:06PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

There are NO vaccines against STUPIDITY.

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