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JZinCO370 karma

Hi. Forest scientist here. And I used to do greenhouse gas accounting.

Proper forest management--e.g. removing trees in overstocked forests can increase avoided emissions from drought/fire/beetles etc.

Planting trees in agroforestry uses can increase soil organic carbon. Thus net carbon over time is actually higher than zero. Plus other benefits.

Last, wood products have a long life span and can lead to net positive carbon sequestered. Support your local timber mill. Some of these products, like black carbon (biochar), are inert and can last many centuries.

JZinCO20 karma

TLDR: we gotta cut trees to save the forest. Instead of letting that wood decay, how about we make some biochar, a forest product which holds onto carbon for 100s of years and put it in your hemp soil to mitigate drought and improve soil nutrition

The long of it:

I'll point out a little hole in your reasoning. It may sound counterintuitive but a forest industry provides the funds to manage forests (really when I say mange the forest I mean a) adapt to changing climates and b) mitigate the harmful effects of over a century of fire suppression). I work with private landowners on the side, mostly ranchers. When a rancher with 2000 acres of unhealthy forest has to pay $3000 per acre, it doesn't get done. Except for federal grants, your tax money. That's because there is no market infrastructure here for forest products. If there was, the rancher would actually be paid to have their forests responsibly managed.

Soooo there are three choices. 1) do nothing. Keep suppressing fires. Allow forests to build up with fuel. A fire comes and is uncharacteristically severe because of the buildup. The forest is now ruderal or a grassland (because of species life history traits). Now, all the carbon isn't coming back for a millennium or so. 2) cut the trees and dispose of them instead of them going to mills. Now the taxpayer paid for it and has nothing but spent cash to show for it (boo). A fire comes through and carbon loss is avoided (residual trees love, yay). 3) cut the trees and send em to the mill. Fire comes through and carbon loss is avoided.

So 3 is a win win.

JZinCO10 karma

You didn't ask me but.. I used to build decision making web apps for ag producers to lower their ghg emissions. "Tech" solutions are huge in the greenhouse gas management industry.

This is especially true in the carbon market. There's a huge financial incentive to identify where on the earth the most can be gained at the fastest rate (the fastest caron accumulation). This makes a lot of money for investors. I have friends that work for these types of firms. If you have skills in data science that would benefit you greatly too. But even with programming or UI experience, your skill sets are heavily in demand because the work involves automation and data processing, as well as the tools to do execute that work.

If you're interested in this career path, don't give up.