The Environmentally
Balanced Solution

Entering the 21st Century

Draft








Vortex
RI/101 English
September 1990

The Environmentally
Balanced Solution

How to continue the use of fossil fuels into the 21st century, without destroying the environment and becoming the focal point of environmental pressure groups.

INTRODUCTION

   It has been a hot dry summer in Fukuoka, in the Philippines the rainy season was two months early, Europe has been whipped by typhoons, the American Mid-west is experiencing a drought and unseasonably heavy rains have fallen in Southern Africa.

  The global weather pattern is changing.

  
The consequences of this are frightening, imagine a Fukuoka with summer temperatures of 40C or the Gobi Desert encircling Beijing.

   Scientists attribute these changes to Global Warming which is occurring because of the Greenhouse Effect. This effect is caused by the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a direct result of deforestation and the combustion of fossil fuels.

   Newspapers daily display articles of our battered environment and the dangers of global warming. Something has to be done, we cannot survive on this planet unless we do. The responsibility lies with all of us to do as much as we can as quickly as possible.

  
It is time to approach the environment on a commercial scale. IDEX has the resources to replant a rainforest. This will offset the effect of the carbon dioxide that is produced when the oil they sell is burnt. It will also give them a favorable corporate image that will put them beyond criticism from environmentalists.

 Invest in the environment,
                   
.......... it' s our only future.

  
This report investigates the relevant facts and figures that such a reforestation program would entail.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION  ................    I

GLOBAL WARMING ............  2
 
GREENHOUSE WARMING.............   2  
   GREENHOUSE GASES  ................  2    
   RESULTS OF GLOBAL WARMING.  2

CARBON.............................  3
   
CARBON CYCLE ........................   3
     SOURCES....................................  3
     SINKS..........................................  3
     BALANCE....................................   3

REFORESTATION...............   4
 
SEQUESTRATION........................    4
   IMPLEMENTATION.......................   4
   RAINFORESTS............................     4
   COSTS........................................     4

PROPOSAL.......................    5
   LAND..........................................      5
   REPLANTING..............................     5
   BALANCE..................................       5
   COSTS........................................     5

CONCLUSION....................    6

REFERENCES..................     6

ARTICLES.........................     7




GLOBAL WARMING

GREENHOUSE GASES
   There are several gases that contribute to global warming; Carbon dioxide created mostly from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) in cars and power plants. Methane produced by bacterial decomposition in nice paddies and swamps. Freon from refrigerators, aerosols and cleaning solvents. Nitrous oxide produced in the breakdown of fertilizers and in the burning of coal.


PREDICTED INCREASES

   Since the beginning of the industrial revolution there has been a 30% increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Future increases are dependent on the global consumption of energy. This is loosely related to economic growth. Even with zero growth, the next 50 years would yield a further 30% increase.

   Visible light from the sun shines through the earth's atmosphere and warms the land, water and air. Each in turn radiate back infrared energy. Some of this longer wave length radiation is absorbed by gases in the atmosphere and then re-emitted towards space and the earth. This temporary 'trapping' of energy heats up the earth's atmosphere. This is referred to as the greenhouse effect.
  
A rise in the concentration of these greenhouse gases results in a general rise in global surface temperatures.



GREENHOUSE WARMING
   The greenhouse effect occurs naturally and without greenhouse gases in the atmosphere the global surface temperature would be some 32C colder. However, since the industrial revolution the increase in atmospheric car-bon dioxide and other gases has resulted in a 1C rise in mean global surface temperature.

PREDICTED INCREASES
   The predicted increase in greenhouse gases are expected to give an additional 2 - 6 C rise in global temperature in the next century. This may sound small but the temperature change between the last ice age and the warmest inter- glacial period was only 7C and this occurred over thou- sands of years.

RESULTS OF GLOBAL WARMING

   Many regions of the world are becoming  warmer and thus inhospitable to current agriculture and existing plant and animal species. The great plains of the world are experiencing dust bowl conditions in summer.

   Higher temperatures are warming oceans, expanding water volumes and melting the polar ice caps, causing sea levels to rise. Harbor cities, river deltas and wetlands are being flooded. Sea level rises of 0. 15 - 0.4 m are predicted by 2025 and 0.6 - 2.1 m by 2100.

   The frequency of heat waves and drought is accelerating and typhoons are increasing in intensity.

   Rainfall and monsoon patterns are shifting, upsetting drinking water supplies and agriculture world wide.

    The effect of a continued build up of greenhouse gases spells disaster for the human race and many of the plants and animals on this planet.

CARBON


Global fossil fuel consumption 1880-2060

FUTURE TRENDS
   Despite research efforts into alternative forms of energy, fossil fuels will remain our major source of energy for years to come. Some estimates put the increased use of fossil fuels as high as 2% per annum.

SINKS
   Carbon dioxide is sequestered from the air during photosynthesis. One of the largest sequesters are trees. At present one fifth of the world or 2,6 billion hectares is covered by trees. These forests contain some 437 billion tons of carbon, referred to as it's bio mass. The sequestration ability of trees varies greatly between species. Trees sequester anything between 5 and 30 t/ha per annum. This rate drops off as forests reach maturity, which can happen after anything between 30 and 100 years.

FUTURE TRENDS
   The growing demand for more agricultural land and the need for lumber to support the timber and paper industry has resulted in large scale deforestation. Predictions are that this trend will level off by the year 2020 by which time only one seventh or 1,8 billion hectares of the earth will be forested. Thus greatly reducing the carbon dioxide sequestering ability of the world's forests.


Global forest reserves 1880-2060

BALANCE
    In order to halt global warming it is necessary to stabilize the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. This can be achieved by reducing the production and/or increasing the sequestration of carbon dioxide.

  As carbon dioxide is the major contributor to global warming, any environmental program must first address this issue. In order to successfully tackle the problem, it is essential to understand the basic carbon cycle.

  
The major producers of carbon dioxide are plant, animal and microbe respiration and natural release from the ocean surface. This is, however, balanced by carbon dioxide dissolving in the ocean and sequestration by ecosystems. Of more concern is the carbon dioxide produced by our modem society.

CARBON CYCLE
    
Large quantities of carbon are stored in the ground as fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas. The combustion of these fuels with oxygen releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is then broken down in plants by the process of photosynthesis. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere and the carbon is absorbed by the plants as they grow. Millions of years after the plant dies, this carbon is again transformed into coal under the ground.



SOURCES
   
Man made carbon dioxide is primarily produced in the combustion of wood and fossil fuels. Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas account for 68% of this emission or some 5,5 billion tons of carbon per annum.
    On average oil accounts for about 40% of the total fossil fuel burnt and is thus responsible for about 25% of the man made emission of carbon dioxide. Gasoline and diesel is composed of approximately 85% carbon and has a density of 8OO kg/m Thus the quantity of carbon in one liter of fuel is:

1 liter..........0,68 kg of Carbon

   To reduce the output of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels it is necessary to reduce the quantity of energy used. This would have far reaching economic con- sequences that the world is not ready to deal with. Solar and wind energy could be utilized to make up for such a reduction. However, economical methods of producing large quantities of energy by these methods are not presently available and it will be a number of years before these techniques can compete with fossil fuels

    To increase the sequestration of carbon dioxide it is necessary to undertake large reforestation programs. Although there are substantial costs involved in doing this, it would if anything promote economic growth. Further, as suitable reforestation areas are in underdeveloped countries, such a project would assist them in their foreign debt payments and would also ease economic pressure on them to carry out further deforestation.

OPTIONS

   Of the options above the second one is obviously the most attractive method of stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Further, it would help to replace some of the valuable forests that have been destroyed over the centuries.

IMPLEMENTATION

   Reforestation projects entail three main efforts; land purchase, planting and maintenance. The price of land varies greatly from area to area, but it is possible to purchase large parcels of suitable land for between 70 000 and 350 000 per hectare or alternatively a hectare can be leased for between 2 000 and 12 000 per annum. The cost of preparing the land and replanting it depends on the type of trees. Estimated costs are between 100 000 and 250 000 per hectare. Maintenance costs depend greatly on the suitability of the area and climate for the selected tree. However if an area is chosen where the selected type of forest is indigenous, maintenance costs are negligible.

RAINFORESTS

Tropical rainforests provide the highest rate of carbon dioxide sequestration and are thus the most desirable carbon sink. It is advantageous that a replanted forest be in it's natural environment as this would alleviate the need for irrigation and fertilization. Thus areas of rainforest that have been logged or deforested are of particular interest. These areas can be found in the Amazon and Congo Basins, in Central America and in South East Asia.


Tropical rainforests of the world


   It is also advantageous to use an area of land which has a portion of existing rainforest so that plant and animal species may be transplanted and the diversity of fauna and flora found in a rainforest maintained.

COSTS

    The costs involved in making a rainforest and it's sequestration ability are estimated below.

Land    ................................... 220 000 /ha Replanting      ........................ 180 000 /ha TOTAL      ............................ 400 000 /ha

Sequestration      .....................16 t/ha/year Life  ....................................... 50 years

Yearly cost    ............................ 500/t

REFORESTATION

   At present forest replanting programs are underway in many countries to support the lumber industry. However, it is only recently and on a small scale that replanting for environmental reasons is being carried out.

SEQUESTRATION

   
A wide variety of trees are available for the sequestration of carbon dioxide, for example the Sycamore (found on temperate plains) can sequester 7.5 tons of carbon per hectare, whilst the leucaena (found in tropical areas) can sequester 28.3 t/ha. Both of these types of forests mature in about 50 years.
     The sequestration ability of forest tends to drop off as the forest matures. At this point it would be necessary to selectively log some of the trees and to bury them in the ground or the ocean. However, in 50 years sources of energy are likely to have change and hence this decision is best left to 2040.

PROPOSAL

BALANCE

The following are the approximate costs that would be entailed in the purchase and reforestation of an area of land sufficient to sequester the carbon dioxide produced by IDEX fuel.

IDEX BALANCE

IDEX gas and diesel sales per year are:   .....................................     1 224 Ml/year

Tons of carbon per year:
................................           832 000 tC/year

At a sequestration rate of 16 tons/ha/year the following area of forest is needed:
.................................          52 000 ha
or ............................          23 km x 23 km



                   COSTS

Giving a total cost of:
.....................................    21 billion

Over 50 years this would be:
............................... 420 million/year

    With a well planned advertising campaign stressing the need to involve all people in the fight to save the environment, it would be possible to finance this project with a levy on gas sales and a per liter funding from IDEX. The required cost per liter to finance this project would thus be :

Cost ......................... 0,34 /liter

    This decade will see ever increasing attention focused on the environment As the general public becomes more aware of the effect and mechanism of global warming, the suppliers and users of fossil fuels will come under increasing pressure from environmental groups and legislation. It would thus be expedient for IDEX to enter the 21st century with an environmentally balanced and active corporate image. In order to do this it is necessary to offset the carbon dioxide produced by IDEX fuel.

We propose that:

  • IDEX initiates a program to purchase and re-plant a sufficient area of rainforest to sequester the carbon dioxide that is produced from IDEX fuel.
  • IDEX draw up a policy specifying that this rain- forest is to be returned to its natural condition and that it will not be logged or used for any other commercial purpose, except for nature orientated tourism.
  • IDEX uses this project to promote it's corporate image and sales of oil by involving it's individual customers in the spirit of recreating nature.
  • IDEX recovers the cost of this program on a per liter basis.

LAND

   Suitable sites can be found to replant the required area of rainforest and it is suggested that 4 sites be used, one each in Africa, South America, South East Asia and Australia.
    The land chosen will have either been cleared for agriculture and grazing or recently logged. This land can be bought or leased from private owners or governments. It is further suggested that areas with some existing rain- forests be chosen. This will give a base of plant and animal species to work from. Further, it would provide excellent advertising opportunities in showing the contrast between rainforests and cleared land.

REPLANTING

    Expertise in this field is readily available. It is envisaged that a research team would be set up who would advise on replanting methods and essential species in order that a balanced ecosystem can be created.
   
Suitable reforestation areas have readily available pools of cheap labor. It is suggested that these are used extensively as it offers alternative employment to people whose only other income is from logging operations.

CONCLUSION

* It is necessary to tackle global warming on a commercial scale.

* It is possible to negate the effect on the environment of the oil that IDEX sells for less than 0,5 per liter.
 
* The carbon dioxide produced by IDEX's yearly sales of 1224 Ml can be balanced environmentally with the reforestation of a 52 000ha rainforest.
 
* IDEX can achieve an environmental balance by 2000 AD.
 
* The cost of this can be paid for by their customers through a levy.
 
*
IDEX's corporate image can be one of an environmentally concerned company.
 
* A valuable natural resource can be replaced for future generations.
 
* A program to reforest areas will open up other business opportunities to IDEX, such as nature orientated tourism.

* IDEX will become world leaders in the, as yet untapped, environmental care business.

REFERENCES 

1. The Global Report to the President
'I'he Technical Report Vol 2.

Council on Environmental Quality & The State     Department

                        
US Government Printing Office 

2. The Global Report to the President
Entering the 21st Century Vol 1.

Council on Environmental Quality & The State Department
 
                   US Government Printing Office 

3. Can we delay the effects of Greenhouse Warming
US EPA                                              Sept 1983

                   US Government Printing Office 

4. Energy Security
US Dept of Energy                         March 1981

 
                        US Government Printing Office

5. Scientific American             Various 1989,1990
6.
Science                                 Vol. 243 Feb 1989
7.
Environmental Action                 Jan/Feb 1989

   The preceding report is only a preliminary proposal. A definitive investigation and costing is required before a final plan can be drawn up.

This would require: -
 
  Further in-depth research of IDEX's specific needs.
Identifying and visiting of actual re-forestation sites.
Contacting and meeting suitable re-forestation research and operating personnel.
Drawing up program method and schedule.
Liaison with advertising personnel to establish the commercial strategy of the program.
Presentation of a final plan.
   
   This can be undertaken by ourselves and will take approximately four months to complete.