Brett Byers

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Brett Byers
Posted over 1 year ago
Saving rainforest is hugely cost effective to mitigate climate change: prevent 1000 tons of CO2 emissions for cost of coffee
Thanks for your positive thoughts on rainforest preservation and replanting! In terms of carbon footprint reduction, I suggest that we all do what we can as fast as we can. As the effects of global warming become more evident, the pressure will build for more action, and much more intensive efforts should result. While the issue of climate change has been known for about 50 years, and widely known for about 10 years, the grass roots efforts are just now reaching very significant levels. PowerShift, 350.org and Citizens Climate Lobby are evidence of this. I am particularly impressed by the efforts of the Citizens Cliimate Lobby ( http://citizensclimatelobby.org ) via which ordinary folks all over the country are driving an effort to educate politicians and the public. Also, while still a bit small scale, solutions like solar power, hybrid and electric autos, e-bikes, and LED lighting, are growing in usage. We must be optimistic and work hard and fast to address climate change, given the threat to humanity and all other life on our planet.
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Brett Byers
Posted over 1 year ago
Saving rainforest is hugely cost effective to mitigate climate change: prevent 1000 tons of CO2 emissions for cost of coffee
Don, to your profit point, my hope is that for-profit activity can take over from philanthropy at saving rainforest. One way to do this is to save rainforest to create carbon offset credits for sale to corporations. Some corporations are already buying such credits, and others, including governments, have interest. In 2015, California's carbon trading market will permit rainforest credits to trade, and, in 2020, Europe's will too. An acre of rainforest is worth about $10,000 when valued for its carbon credits based on current market prices on the California and European carbon trading markets. This is further illustration of the compelling economics of rainforest preservation as a mechanism for avoiding CO2 emissions, given that these acres sell for about $100 each for exploitative purposes and can be protected for much less (if already owned by a government or indigenous groups, which is true of most remaining rainforest). In my view, the gold standard in the arena of for-profit rainforest preservation for carbon offset credit is Permian Global (see http://permianglobal.com/en ). It is run by folks of very high integrity that are financial experts (having run very successful money management firms in the past) but also life-long devoted conservationists. Permian already has multiple projects in process, and is active around the globe.
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Brett Byers
Posted over 1 year ago
Saving rainforest is hugely cost effective to mitigate climate change: prevent 1000 tons of CO2 emissions for cost of coffee
Nadav, note that Darrel's numbers are based solely on my personal charitable contributions to save 1,000,000 acres rainforest in the last year, and note that my contributions were not colossally massive, as all projects were no more than 50 cents per acre (the lowest was 15 cents per acre). If all folks in the world on my not very extraordinary financial means were to join me, deforestation could be virtually stopped and even reversed. As estimates of the contribution of deforestation to greenhouses emissions vary from 8% to much higher numbers, this would be quite significant as an element in mitigating rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere (and in the ocean, where it creates increasing acidic conditions). Of course, we also need to convert to solar and get off of fossil fuels, but saving rainforest is very low-hanging fruit in the overall effort.
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Brett Byers
Posted over 1 year ago
Saving rainforest is hugely cost effective to mitigate climate change: prevent 1000 tons of CO2 emissions for cost of coffee
The key to rain forests is that they store massive amounts of carbon in tree trunks. At steady-state, a fully mature rainforest does not absorb net carbon unless it is peat forming (which many are). A peat forming rainforest stores carbon in the form of tree trunks that do not decompose because they sink beneath a water barrier (i.e., in a marshy rainforest). Peat storing rain forests can store up to 10x the carbon found above ground. The 366 ton number is the rough amount of CO2 released when an acre of rainforest is cut or burned. Again, other than peatlands, a mature, steady state rainforest is merely a massive store of carbon, not a continual sink. But cutting it releases the carbon, and the typical replacement uses (agriculture and pasture land) store very little carbon as they lack the massive tree trunks were the vast majority of carbon is stored. Preserving rainforest is hugely cost effective and low risk because rainforest has very low value for exploitation and it involves a natural process. Replanting already destroyed rainforest costs about $4,000 per acre, far more than the cost of the land (perhaps $100 per acre) and vastly more than than the cost of protecting land already owned by a government (which includes most of the remaining rainforest). Nadav, If you have an active algae growth project (like the active project above for rainforest), please share the details with us so that we can see its cost effectiveness. Of course, these methods can both be pursued. Multiple methods must be pursued, given the magnitude of the CO2 levels. As to your doubts, I think detailed study of the issue (with an open mind) would put those to rest. Fossil fuels will only last a few hundred more years. As such, we need to find replacements. We have many cost effective replacements now, including nuclear & solar power. The cost of switching to these is tiny compared to the cost of mitigating against the effects of climate change.
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Brett Byers
Posted over 1 year ago
Saving rainforest is hugely cost effective to mitigate climate change: prevent 1000 tons of CO2 emissions for cost of coffee
Yes, those number are correct. Of course, please note that the million acres of rainforest that I am saving would not have all been otherwise cut this year, but more likely over 10 to 20 years. Saving rainforest is a hugely cost effective method of avoiding CO2 emissions. If we could all pitch in, nearly all of the remaining rainforest on earth could be saved. Rainforest once covered almost 4 billion acres of the planet, but now only about 2 billion acres remain. And if deforestation can be stopped, reforestation might then be possible, which not only stops CO2 emissions from rainforest destruction, but would be a huge carbon sink as trees regrow.