The election falls even further into farce today. It truly is an election special.
Labour announce they are going to plant 2 billion trees, the Lib Dems 30 million and Tories 20 million.
What is the point of all this and why have none of them thought anything through, I see Guido already had a stab at this but has got a few bits wrong, so here we go:
A) You need 45 trees to store one ton of carbon dioxide, of course this is only store so you can't go cutting them down again.
B) The UK carbon output is is 367,000,000 tons per year according to the UK Government estimates (down 38% in 10 years, which is rather impressive, almost entirely down to swtiching coal for gas power stations).
C) So you would needs 16,515,000,000 trees to make the UK carbon neutral.
So two billion trees will balance off about 12.5% of our current carbon output, at the usual density for tree planting of 2000 trees per hectare, that gives us about 1 million hectares needed - about 5 times the size of greater London or half of Wales.
The Government, including all property and building, only owns about 6 times the size of London in property.In addition, tree don't grow all over the mountains of Wales or Scotland so vast areas of wilderness you can't turn to forest.
So for Labour, they would have to buy huge amounts of private land and return it to forest. As well as the army that would be needed to do all this planting - tens of thousands of full time people for decades. .
If you actually wanted to make the UK carbon neutral, the simpler and more realistic plan would be to buy Ireland which is quite flat, at 8.5 million hectares, and turn it all into a forest. This would make the UK carbon neutral.
For crying out loud this is so stupid. Esepcially when thanks to climate change and more CO2 more trees are going to grow anyway. Also there are actually some quite good ideas like planting billions of trees across Africa to stop the spread of the Sahara - trees are needed unlike the UK where we need arable land to feed oursleves and live in.