- - Monday, September 30, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As the Senate again begins deliberations over the Keystone XL pipeline, one of the expected arguments against building it is that it will contribute to “carbon pollution” in the atmosphere. Those opposing the pipeline generally identify carbon dioxide as one of the main culprits in atmospheric pollution.

The opposers’ argument is that humans cause significant damage to the atmosphere when we conduct processes that include chemical reactions that generate carbon dioxide. This puts the blame on industry and the public. Why not increase the amount of carbon dioxide we remove? At the very least, do not reduce the mechanisms that do remove it.

Photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide back into oxygen. Plants are a prime source of photosynthesis. It would seem that increasing the number of plants would be a way to approach a solution to the carbon dioxide problem. At least limiting the destruction of plants would seem to be a reasonable solution, but some estimate that more than 200,000 acres of rain forest are burned every day, and 1 acres of rain forest are lost each second. Why not seek international limits on the amount of rain forest destroyed?

The administrations of many countries are behind the destruction. Thus, international agreements limiting the amount of rain forest destroyed each year would seem to be an easier solution than limiting industrial growth.

TERRY GERNSTEIN

McLean

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