Op-ed: Saving Humanity with Trees and Natural Gas

It is time to rethink our climate strategy, argues veteran energy attorney Poe Leggette, by focusing on a nature-based remedy to reducing carbon emissions: reforestation. 

Vastly expanded reforestation can alter the dynamic in the atmosphere sooner, even as emissions rise in the near-term, writes Leggette. (Source: Hart Energy)

[Editor’s note: Opinions expressed by the author are their own.]

Last year, in the name of climate change, the federal government and some state governments did much to impede American natural gas production.

They blocked pipelines, delayed exports, canceled lease sales, and slowed permits. Yet global emissions of CO₂ reached an all-time high: 36.3 gigatons (Gt). The world is showing no stomach for dramatic reductions in the use of oil and natural gas. Rising prices prove it.

The problem is population. Since 1960, while the concentration of CO₂ in the air has increased from 310 parts per million (ppm) to 410 ppm, the world population has increased from 3 billion to 8 billion people. Five billion additional people have been sustained directly and indirectly by using fossil fuels for energy, medication, clothing, shelter, and dramatically increased agricultural productivity.

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