Saturday, May 05, 2007

Price per Ton of Carbon Dioxide vs Pulp Wood

Marc Kaufman reports in the Washington Post

An international panel of scientists for the first time today put a price tag on what it would take to avoid the worst effects of global warming, concluding that the effort would be affordable and would be partially offset by both economic and other benefits.

The most ambitious effort, one aimed at stabilizing the level of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels by 2030, would require measures that would add $100 to the costs associated with each ton of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere, said the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

That is, they think it would be necessary to implement abatement efforts including those that cost $100/ton. That is a high number.

I have another proposal. Pile up pulp wood in the desert (where I assume it won't rot for centuries). In Mississipp hardwood pulpwood costs $8/ton. I assume it is mostly cellulose which weighs less than 30 grams per mole of carbon (I forget how much else I am assuming that it is literally hydro-carbon with 2 hydrogens and one oxygen for each carbon). C02 weighs about 44 grams per mole of carbon so I need to multiply by 30/44 or so to get the weight of C02 fixed in a ton of wood. I'll just round up to 1.

It costs some to haul the stuff and we don't really like our deserts full of pulp wood (we can put it in the holes where the coal used to be) but hey it's still a deal.

Now I have not listed the real main cost of such an approach. I assume that the alternative to putting wood in the desert is to let forests reach their natural steady state where as much wood rots as grows. That is, I propose that natural forests be replaced with tree farms. I would, of course, rather that farm farms which only operate due to subsidies be replaced with tree farms.

Also I still support clamshell alliance II which aims to build giant sculptures made of Clam shells in the desert.

This reminds me that I complained that biosequestration of carbon in absurdly large houses made of wood is not counted when contributions to global warming are considered. If I am right about the benefits for the climate of repeated clear cutting for lumber for McMansions, the US huge house addiction helps balance the US huge car and SUV addiction.

I don't know where to find estimates of the net increase in recently fixed carbon in housing. I would guess that this is a very large number.

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