Smoke from a California wildfire [image credit: BBC]

Factors such as poor forest management policies, as mentioned by the previous US President, and arson don’t get a look in here, as it’s all about ‘fighting climate change’ and ‘the climate crisis’ and suchlike pop slogans. Nevertheless the author makes a good point about some of the hazards of so-called carbon offsets. Quote: “We’ve bought forest offsets that are now burning” – Microsoft’s carbon program manager at a carbon removal panel earlier this month.
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California’s emissions reduction program is going up in smoke because regulators severely underestimated the impact of climate change–fueled wildfires, claims Jacobin mag.

In 2013, California passed a landmark law that capped greenhouse gas emissions, but let companies offset their pollution overages by investing in forest preservation throughout the country — the idea being that trees absorb excess carbon from the atmosphere.

The statute was considered a model initiative to combat climate change, while providing businesses some flexibility in reducing their pollution.

Eight years later, though, there is a big problem: As of last week, there were more than forty-one thousand wildfires across the country, torching more than 4.6 million acres — a swath nearly the size of New Jersey.

And more than a hundred fifty thousand of those acres have been in West Coast forests that were supposed to be offsetting corporations’ carbon emissions.

When the original program was conceived, California presumed that some forests would naturally burn — and therefore the law required polluters to buy slightly more woodland as an insurance mechanism to account for such losses.

But experts say the amount of woodland set aside in these so-called “buffer pools” wildly underestimated the amount of trees that are now burning in the era of climate change.

And companies that invested in forestland to counter their greenhouse gas pollution and look responsible are not obligated to invest more when wildfires subsequently incinerate those offsets.

The result: The fires are now burning up the much-touted emissions reduction projects that are necessary [Talkshop comment – allegedly] to combat the climate crisis.

Continued here.

SLY PARK, CA – AUGUST 27: Firefighters work through the night to protect homes on Meadowlark Way off of Sly Park Road in Sly Park, California, United States on August 27, 2021. . A dozer line had been placed around the neighborhood and a controlled burn was started to remove all the fuel from the dozer line to the active fire. Engine teams were placed all along the road at houses and used water to control the burn as it got close to the homes. (Photo by Neal Waters/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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August 30, 2021