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Eco-warriors rally against trees

June 23rd, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized by

ecoSworn enemies they might be, but I can’t help but deem the reaction of environmentalist groups to news that BP has been planting trees to be somewhat unreasonable.

A little context first: BP has funded a £10m project to plants trees in Scotland. According to the scheme, it has already planted 3.5 million trees, which apparently suck up 377,000 tonnes of carbon over a century. By Jove.

Yet the response from Friends of the Earth and the WWF is hardly welcoming. They both condemn the announcement as a “greenwash,” with the latter unable to resist referring to BP’s “dirty oil money”. Such groups have condemnded tree-planting schemes in the past for being “a dangerous distraction.”

With a more positive spin on things, groups such as the Forest Alliance and Forestry Commission have highlighted how these plantings aid valuable research into carbon sequestration.

Such valuable research is also being carried out by scientists examining the potential for safe use of genetically modified trees. However, another report explains how such research is itself being blocked by anti-GM NGOs.

“GM technology could significantly improve trees and there is great need for innovation in the face of climate change” says the report on SciDev.net. Yet heavy lobbying is stifling research into this area, with groups looking to “regulate GM trees out of existence.”

All a bit crazy, no? Almost makes me wonder if Prince Charles is behind it.

4 Responses to “Eco-warriors rally against trees”

  1. Charlie Says:

    Perhaps if those organisations which condemned the oil companies came up with an alternative source of energy we would be better off. Is it not time all these ” environmentalists ” actually came up with cost effective aand practical solutions rather than just carping on the sidelines?


  2. Rob Stradling Says:

    Of course, tree-planting is – at least in part – a cynical PR exercise: Of course, companies like BP are part of the problem, and thus cannot be trusted to form part of the solution: No-one expects the tree-huggers to suddenly start eulogizing petroleum multi-nationals.

    But a qualified, cautious welcome for something so obviously eco-beneficial wouldn’t kill them, would it? Their reaction simply reinforces the impression that their agenda is political first, and environmental very much second.


  3. Ziggy Encaoua Says:

    More proof of my suspicion that environmentalists might very well have a hidden agenda of anti-capitalism & eco-primitivism.

    However when it comes to environmental issues there is a debate to be as too what the classic liberal/libertarian approach should be, I’m sure geolibertarians have a few ideas.


  4. tim leunig Says:

    Anyone know how many cubic cc of wood equates to a litre of petrol in terms of carbon sequestration? The trees in my garden are doing well, and I wondered how much of my driving I had compensated for. Eucalyptus grow quickly!