Hans von Storch is one of Germany’s leading researchers on climate change. DER SPIEGEL spoke with him about why fears of global warming are exaggerated and the doom-mongering tendencies of German scientists.
SPIEGEL: Are there only negative consequences when the temperature increases by two or three degrees on the planet?
Storch: Detailed forecasts are not possible, because we don’t know how emissions will in fact develop. We climate researchers can only offer possible scenarios. In other words, things could end up being completely different. But there are undoubtedly parts of the world that will benefit on balance from climate change. Those areas tend to be in the north, where it has been cold and uncomfortable in the past. But it’s considered practically heretical to even raise such issues.
Finally, a believer in global warming who’s not globalarmist. He’s a heretic.
Meanwhile Jeff Goldstein posts on Secular Piety and the New Age Orthodoxy (h/t Larwyn), since Time Magazine has come up with 51 things to make us globally pure. Among the 51 things Time Mag recommends for saving the Earth/your soul/whatever is
Plant a bamboo fence
Bamboo makes a beautiful fence, and because it grows so quickly (as much as 1 ft. a day or more, depending on the species), it absorbs more CO2 than, say, a rosebush. Most homeowners have to restrict its growth, lest it get out of control. Do this, however, and you reduce bamboo’s capacity as a carbon sink. Only large-scale plantings, which absorb CO2 faster than they release it, can favorably tip the scales. How big is your yard?
Aside the fact that Time’s also saying to “ditch the mansion” (are you listening, Al?), and “move to a high-rise”, which would not permit you to plant bamboo, let me tell you the first thing you need to know about bamboo:
Down the street where I live there’s a modest house on a corner where the original owners planted bamboo, thinking it’d make a nice hedge. That was in the 1950s.
This is what the yard looks like this morning:
This bamboo website says,
On the other hand, bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth. Some species have actually been measured to grow over 4 feet in 24 hours. A pole of bamboo can regenerate to its full mass in just six months! Bamboo can be continuously re-harvested every 3 years, without causing damage to the plant system and surrounding environment. During the time it takes to regenerate, the bamboo plant’s root system stays intact so erosion is prevented. Continuous harvesting of this woody grass every 3-7 years, actually improves the overall health of the plant.
They are not kidding.
Bamboo is extremely invasive in this part of the country. By extremely invasive I mean that it not only takes over the entire land mass you allocate to it and the neighbors’ yards, it breaks through concrete sidewalks and curbs.
If you try to fool yourself into believing the bamboo will be a carbon sink, I guarantee you that you’ll produce more than enough carbon trying to contain the bamboo. Like the song says,
I’m tellin you
When you’re blue
Why there’s a lot to do
In the house of bamboo
Why there’s a lot to do, because you’ll be trying to contain the bamboo.
When you cut the bamboo down to the roots and dig all the stumps and roots out of the ground, it comes back. No matter how cold the winter, how flooded the spring and fall, how hot and dry the summer, bamboo will be there for you forever.
Bamboo is the kudzu of the North East.
The people who own that house have had not only to constantly cut back the bamboo because it obstructs the view of the intersection, they’ve had to repair the public sidewalk at their expense, and once had to redo the foundation of the house because of root damage.
Take my advice and DO NOT PLANT BAMBOO.
And while you’re at it, forget about mint, too.
If you still want bamboo, buy one of these and keep it indoors:
Update: for the love of everything holy do not plant a bamboo fence. You will end up wanting to invent time travel solely so you could go back to your previous self and beat yourself with a bamboo club.
Technorati tags Global Warming, Time Magazine