Carbon Cutters

Mar 12, 2013

The Power Index: carbon cutters, Andrew Grant at #7

Maybe money does grow on trees. Businessman Andrew Grant is making plenty from forests to reduce CO2, but he's not a typical greenie. He thinks Australia has stuffed up decarbonisation -- and business has to fix it.

Cathy Alexander — Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

Cathy Alexander

Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

“The environmental sector really should hang its head in shame.”

“I don’t have any philosophical objection to coal-fired power.”

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

6 thoughts on “The Power Index: carbon cutters, Andrew Grant at #7

  1. Mark Duffett

    Another potential problem with planting trees on marginal farmland is that it decreases albedo (i.e. trees are darker than grass) which means greater radiation absorption i.e. heating. Though this might be counteracted by greater evapotranspiration resulting in more clouds, which would drive albedo back the other way.

    I raised this question quite a while ago, still not sure what the answer is.

  2. Bo Gainsbourg

    planting trees has its place, I don’t think this guy should love himself up on it too much though. The biggest contribution to reduction in our land sector emissions by an order of magnitude was the curtailing of broadscale landclearing in Queensland. Who did that? Oh yeah…the boring old ‘stuck in the past’ greenies. We know that around 100-200 tonnes of CO2 goes up every time a hectare is cleared up North. And Andy’s tree planting would be stretched to recapture that over a decade. Probably more like two. So while he’s patting himself on the back for his mates that can’t spell environment, I’m glad there are some greenies out there doing the heavy lifting for him…Even if they aren’t making much cash. And I’m kind of glad there is soneone with a beef against burnig fossil fuels.

  3. Roger Clifton

    “Biosequestration is the only way to remove atmospheric emissions” – this is cynical sales talk. Garnaut’s advisors may have been referring to limestone as the only way to permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere and hydrosphere. But the only way to reduce emissions is to stop emitting.

    While sinners want to continue emitting and hide from guilt by paying cynics to plant trees, the soil will benefit, the birds will benefit and salination will be kept underground. And the atmosphere will continue to decay.

  4. AR

    if ever there were an exemplar of what was wrong with Krudd’s CPRS, here it is. This is what is inevitable when bureaucrats & MBAs have to deal with the real world.

  5. Cathy Alexander

    Mark, that’s an interesting issue re albedo and increased forest cover. What I’ve read on the subject indicated that not enough work had been done on it; it was not known whether the net effect of more light being absorbed by forest (which is indeed darker) would be significant, or as you say, may be balanced out by more clouds. Can anyone update us on this issue?

  6. Mark Duffett

    I was a bit cheeky and tweeted the question to Ken Caldeira; he hasn’t responded yet. My understanding from the literature is that reafforestation in cool temperate climates (i.e. extensive persistent snow in winter) definitely means net warming, while planting trees in the tropics gives net cooling. The uncertainty is over the bits in between (i.e. southern Australia).

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details