Congress apparently plans to save the planet by reforesting the breadbasket of America:
New forests would spread across the American landscape, replacing both pasture and farm fields, under a congressional plan to confront climate change, an Environmental Protection Agency analysis shows.
About 18 million acres of new trees — roughly the size of West Virginia — would be planted by 2020, according to an EPA analysis of a climate bill passed by the House of Representatives in June.
That’s because the House bill gives financial incentives to farmers and ranchers to plant trees, which suck in large amounts of the key global-warming gas: carbon dioxide.
So we’re going to bulldoze blighted urban centers and return them to pasture or farmland, and then plow under pasture or farmland to plant trees. Don’t crops and grasses also suck in carbon dioxide?
According to the Forest Service, America already plants about 2.5 million acres of trees a year, an area roughly the size of Connecticut. In other words, at current rates of planting we’ll already put in about 27.5 million acres of trees by 2020.
So the point of this legislation is not to put trees in the ground, it’s specifically to take farmland out of production.
That seems like a bad idea — at least as bad as government incentives to grow corn for “green” fuel. Leave it to a wealthy, overfed society to devote millions of acres to growing food that we burn up in our vehicles — a crop that requires more energy to produce than it yields, no less.
Are we working at cross purposes here or is the true goal something darker? Either we’re paying farmers to plant AND not to plant, or the ultimate goal of our government is to take tens of millions of acres of farmland offline. Climate change? Or reducing the food supply?