AuthorHarrington, Bob
PositionFROM READERS - Letter to the editor

Re "Meltdown or Green Deal?" (January/February 2009), an interesting possibility is that today's stricken economy could be vastly relieved by an Earth Restoration program that could employ many people and pay for itself. According to one calculation, a typical tree that lives 50 years provides, free, US$ 196,250 of ecological benefits, including $31,250 of oxygen, $62,500 in air pollution control, $31,250 in soil fertility and erosion control, $37,500 in recycling water and controlling humidity, $31,250 in shelter for wildlife, and $2,500 of protein. Left uncut, many species will produce natural services of increasing value for centuries. Roughly this means that a single tree averages $4,000 worth of benefits every year of its life. As dead wood it will produce revenue that is only 0.3 percent of its value if left as a live standing tree. The Pembina Institute in Canada places the value of the current total carbon stored in Canada's boreal "carbon bank account" at $3.7 trillion. Inasmuch as standing trees are major carbon storage entities, massive reforestation...

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