Global warming (was: leps-list sleeping)

John Shuey jshuey at TNC.ORG
Wed Jul 9 18:02:55 EDT 2003

Perhaps the best evidence of the acceptance of the reality of global warming
among industry types is how badly they want to acquire "carbon credits" on
the assumption that t some future date, these credits will become a valued
commodity.  In the Midwest, where forest fragmentation, patch size and edge
effect are huge conservation issues, we have been swamped with power company
funding for reforestation.  Over the last 6-7 years, we have literally
planted every old field at TNC and partner conservation sites available. I
think we passed the 2M trees planted mark on TNC land last year.  And we
scaled back an offer of more funding over the next three years by 75% - we
simply don't have any land that needs to be planted anymore. (although every
time you buy a forest in Indiana, it likely comes with a field of some

So while we get buffers to our preserves reforested for free and some staff
time covered as part of the deal - what may you ask are the power companies
getting?  They get a speculatively low price on carbon sequestration credits
for the next 40 years on the site (they cover all of our costs - about
$550/acre).  If carbon credit trading becomes a reality (as outlined in the
Kyoto protocol), they will "own X-number of credits for tons of carbon (by
the way - the utilities are responsible for the monitoring of carbon
sequestration during the 40 years - all we do is document baseline
conditions at the time of initial planting).  Once carbon trading becomes a
reality (and the credits actually have "value") - the utilities expect to
pay a premium to acquire the credits (and as a non-profit, we would have to
charge full market value for the credits by law - what ever the going rate
for a carbon credit might be at that time).

So, utilities are paying fro the cost of reforestation now, speculating that
at some point in the future, their investment will be worth quite a bit
more.  Given the amount of money that they are paying (at our little program
we planted about $700K worth of trees over the last few years), my guess is
that they are betting that the recommendations of the Kyoto summit will
become accepted in the US.

As an aside, one of the utilities has upped the ante, and is willing to pay
a few hundred dollars per acre to help TNC acquire a conservation easement
on lands within our preserve designs (in addition to the costs of
reforestation).  They hope that this would help us to convince private
landowners adjacent to our holdings to participate in the program.   You -
the landowner get your land reforested for free, plus $2-3 hundred bucks and
acre in your pocket - and the credits of course go to ....

If Ohio River Valley power companies (coal burning by the way) think that
Kyoto will be adapted in the good 'ole USA, then there must be something to
all this global warming stuff.
John Shuey
Director of Conservation Science
Indiana Office of The Nature Conservancy

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-leps-l at [mailto:owner-leps-l at]On
Behalf Of Stanley A. Gorodenski
Sent: Wednesday, July 9, 2003 1:30 PM
To: Leps List
Subject: Re: leps-list not dead, but sleeping

Mark Walker wrote:

> That's very interesting - because "global warming" has indeed been
> propagated by the media AND various lobbyists as a "global trend" - that

I disagree. I have read Science (published by the American Association for
Advancement of Science) for over 10 years. _Numerous_ research results have
presented related to global warming and climate change during this time.
were by researchers, not media and lobbyists. The common lay person does not
read Science and other scientific journals to get information on global
The media fills this gap, but because it is fulfilling a function for which
was designed, it would be inappropriate to therefore say that the media is
responsible for 'crying wolf' or spreading hysteria, so to speak. With
to lobbyists, what sort of lobbyists are you referring to? I am sure the
are not lobbying to reduce the consumption of oil because of global warming


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