Monday, April 21, 2008

Doing my part to combat Global Warming

Oh well, I am taking a small break from my usual tech-rants to rant about something else today. Today's blog is about doing my part to combat global warming. Last Thursday night, I picked up a box full of tree saplings that I had ordered about 2 weeks ago. I had ordered about 80 saplings of various tree types. They range in variety from dogwoods, oak, lilacs and some evergreens. I am doing this as part of my contribution to Earth Day (4/22/08) and “Arbor Day” (4/25/08). My goal with this sapling planting project is to drive carbon sequestration. I sincerely believe that many of the existing methods to fight “global warming” do not really address how to increase the utilization of Carbon-dioxide (CO2). Excessive CO2 levels in the atmosphere is one of the reasons often cited for global warming.

Yes, there are actually 80 saplings in this picture.
Each little stick will grow up to be a tree (aided by some serious TLC)

Let’s face it. We are massively dependent on oil as our main energy source. The alternate fuels market (ethanol etc) currently requires the use of precious resources such as clean water and arable land and therefore is not a truly viable substitute for oil. Wind and Solar are the main source of renewable energy which do not have substantial natural resources requirements. However, the input materials cost and maintenance costs for these energy sources are still high and these power sources are still out of the reach of most people as the end product is expensive. Many local zoning requirements (U.S) also prohibit or have controls on these installations as some people view them as an eyesore. Moreover, all of these alternate energy sources put together do not even come close to meeting our future requirements for energy.

As for me, I believe that it would not be prudent to suddenly change all our daily activities to accommodate a reduction in consumption of energy. Any temporary band-aid solution only goes so far and may in fact harm the environment in the long term while seemingly providing a short term remedy. I will try to reduce my carbon footprint, but however that will require a lot more thought than some random action that results in other kinds of environmental issues.

So, I have decided that from this year on, I will plant as many tree saplings as I can, so that in very near future, they will help in the generation of O
2 and utilization of CO2. My aim at a minimum is to somehow balance my carbon output by planting enough trees that create oxygen. I truly believe that, by doing so I have acted in a way that provides a solution for the long term. So with this in mind, over the next week or two I will be planting these saplings. While we cannot change our methods in one day, we can certainly take small steps toward doing our part for the environment and for the future of our planet. I hope you do your part. Go plant a tree.

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