Republican representative Dana Rohrabacher has a novel solution for reducing greenhouse gases: Destroy the rainforest! While we’re at it, we should probably get rid of the ozone layer and those pesky whales, as well.
Rohrabacher argues that since 80 percent of carbon emissions come from decaying plant matter, we should clear-cut rainforests in order to reduce carbon. This is basically like saying that because your body turns food into blood sugar, the best cure for diabetes is to keep on drinking soda but drain all your blood.
The staggering stupidity of this statement is causing respectable academics to make Sesame Street-style statements like “natural things decay, of course, but they also grow” (Oliver Phillips, professor of geology at the University of Leeds, carbon storage expert, and way too educated for this sh*t). When you need to be told that natural things grow, it may be time to sit down with a book or at very least the Discovery channel.
Scientists point out that natural-world carbon emissions aren’t the problem; the problem is the excess carbon emissions created by humans. You know, the ones that haven’t been around since the beginning of life on Earth. Scientists also point out that razing forests might have some negative impact on the trees’ ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the climate (which helps to mitigate that man-made overage). But, you know, scientists say a lot of things. Next they’ll be telling us global warming doesn’t come from dinosaur farts!