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Pitch

Worldwide it is easy to find 10 million acres that could be planted in trees to sequester carbon. No new science required, just work.


Description

Summary

In the US alone it is easy to find a million acres of land that could be planted.  Open space that it being mowed along interstates and interchanges could provide at least 25% of that number and possible as much as half.  Other federal and state roadsides, median strips and interchanges likely could provide the rest.  There are lots of other sources of plantable lands - both public and private.  It is all politics and funding.  Some will argue that trees growing along the roads are a hazard.  Well, we have lots of trees growing alongside all these kinds of roads all over the US.  We know how to manage it.  And it doesn't cost more to manage the forest than it does to mow and manage the grassy areas.  This should be a no-brainer!

There are similar opportunities in other countries all over the world.


Category of the action

Geoengineering


What actions do you propose?

Planting 10 million acres in relatively fast-growing, long-lived trees will offset a huge amount of carbon emissions.


Who will take these actions?

The state and federal highway authorities need to agree to do this and then start work on it.  The state and federal tree nurseries can ramp up production to meet the demand.  And with a real commitment, commercial nurseries would also participate.


Where will these actions be taken?

Start in the US on the interstates, other federal highways and the state highways.  Then move to other classes of roads and open spaces.  Then move the program to other countries all over the world.


What are other key benefits?

Treed roads look good.  Planted median strips will help with oncoming headlight glare at night.


What are the proposal’s costs?

In the scheme of things the costs of planting are quite modest and the ongoing maintenance costs are roughly a wash with the costs being incurred today.


Time line

It can be done as quickly as the feds and states decide to move.  It is feasible to plant a million acres in the US in 5 years if all the decisions were made today.  The driver of the timeline is lining up support and getting commitments and money.


Related proposals

Unknown


References

Shouldn't need any.  It's pretty obvious that it can be done.