Saturday, September 19, 2009
The reason I ask this question is because I did the calculations for an oil company the other day. It takes about 2,750 hectares or 7,200 acres of land to plant that many trees. That is a lot of land, so what impact would planting that many tropical trees have on global warming and climate change? Assuming the tropical trees in question were fast growing species like Acacia mangium, Caraipa llanorum and Eucalyptus pellita, to name just a few, then there should be a significant carbon offset thanks to the ability of tropical trees to sequester CO2. Since 50% or more of the woody biomass of a tropical tree is carbon, so it seems to me that anyone who is serious about reducing atmospheric carbon needs to take action and start planting.
Since the average tropical tree absorbs about 50 lbs or 22.6 kg of CO2 per year, the number would have to be enormous. Assunming the trees take a full year after planting to start sequestering that much carbon, then 3.25 million tropical trees should sequester 162.5 million lbs or 73.45 million kilograms of CO2 every year. Since tropical trees are most effective at sequestering carbon during their first 10 to 12 years of life, that means that if the trees were cared for and maintained for 10 years after becoming CO2 effective, 3.25 million trees would sequester 1.625 billion lbs or 734.5 million kilograms of CO2 during that 10 year period. That is 734,500 metric tons or 809,648 imperial tons of carbon. Clearly, this makes a lot of sense for industries like oil and gas that need to offset their CO2 emissions.
It would cost approximately $6 million dollars (including land, equipment, materials, labour and more) to plant 3.25 million trees.If one starts to factor in the other benefits, like oxygen for all of us to breathe, the removal of a large number of pollutants other than CO2 from the atmosphere by tropical trees, expanded habitat for endangered wildlife, socio-economic benefits to communities in developing countries, and the conservation of native tree species for better bio-diversity, then the price tag becomes ridiculously low. So why don't you call up your local oil and gas company or petro-chemical industry and ask them why they are not actively funding the planting of tropical trees? Send them to http://www.co2tropicaltrees.com.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
An investment in fast growing tropical trees can return between 30% to 40% per cent non-compounded per year over a 10 year period. Can you say the same thing for your portfolio? The problem with many investors is that they think short term is one week and long term is two weeks. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that is an unlikely formula for success. What investors with that mindset are really doing is gambling with their money in hopes of some sort of a quick return. Let's call it the Vegas syndrome.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the people who buy government savings bonds and treasury bills, earning between 2% to 4.5% per year, a return on investment which rarely exceeds the inflation rate. Let's call it the Clueless syndrome. In the middle are the people who buy stocks, shares and mutual funds and then get defrauded by Wall Street, Bay Street and Fleet Street, while company CEO's get multi-million dollar compensation cheques for putting their company into the red. Let's call this the Mainstream syndrome.
With all the raped and pillaged IRA's, RRSP's and Pensions out there, one would think that people would be flocking to low risk high return opportunities like tropical trees. I used to be a victim of the Mainstream syndrome. I would deposit $200 a month to my RRSP and get a monthly statement from my mutual fund showing plus $200 for the deposit and minus $300 thanks to their investment savvy. Sound familiar? I first started investing in tropical trees in 1995, and I haven't looked back since then.