A new online initiative has come up with a cunningly simple plan to save the world's rainforests - offer them by the acre to concerned netizens whose "purchase" allows swathes of threatened land to be preserved for future generations. UK charity Cool Earth rolled out some high-profile backers for its launch this week. Sir David …
than buying an acre slap-bang in the middle of the rainforrest, wouldn't it be better to get some on the edge, and thus make saving the middle that much easier/cheaper?
Only half an acre? The Reg team would only have to forego one liquid lunch to buy an area the size of Belgium, shurely?
But they arent properly preserving the forest...
From the coolearth site: "opening it up to rubber tappers and harvesters of forest produce. "
Arent there other schemes like this one where you "purchase" the forest and it is left in pristine natural condition? There is more to rainforest protection than just carbon storage. Biodiversity and natural habitat will still be lost with this scheme.
Besides which the oceans are a far more effective carbon sink than forests
is this for real? I mean, really for real..
If this is genuinely for real, then its a Good Thing yes? But how do we know its not a scam, or some such thing. Perhaps, tho, £70 is worth it regardless..
hhmm - decisions, decisions.
We could kill two birds with 1 stone (no pun intended) by buying up acres of rainforest, and dumping all our unwanted land and cluster mines in there. This would probably save money on a fence to keep the illegal loggers out. It would probably attract twice the number of publicity starved celebs to the cause too.
Greenie Points to the Reg
Well done to all at el Reg. Your huge circulation will help show people (including myself) the way to do a little and hopefully help a lot. Top Marks
The sad thing is...
Someone like Bill Gates could buy every single acre they have for sale here without even really noticing a dent in his personal wealth. Even at £100 per acre he could buy up the 1million acres for £100million. With the exchange rate that's around $200million dollars. His net worth is currently around $53billion, so essentially he could pay for the lot with what, just under 0.4% of his net worth?
Of course that's not to say we should depend on the likes of Bill, but to point out that there's a lot of rich people who could personally, single handedly make a dent in the problem without even making a noticeable dent in their finances.
Frankly, I think more than $1billion is an obscene amount of money for anyone. It's just a shame there's no cap like this on max net worth so that the remaining money was forced into charity! Still, at least Bill has the Bill and Melissa foundation which is more than many billionaires.
£100 for an Acre of Rainforest, bargain?
Handmade mahogany PC case anyone?
Rubber tappers and other harvesters of forest produce are legitimate sustainable uses of forest. There is nothing wrong with taking what nature offers, you just shouldn't take all of something (i.e. OK to take the rubber but not OK to chop down the tree to get the rubber).
Besides this is all a conspiracy by the crown to recolonize the planet through the purchase of strategic 3rd world nations. As soon as the Queen has purchased enough of the land, they will cut all the forest down for llama and sheep grazing land, send in Royal Marines, and demand "fealty to England or your head".
Re: But they arent properly preserving the forest...
"From the coolearth site: "opening it up to rubber tappers and harvesters of forest produce. "
Arent there other schemes like this one where you "purchase" the forest and it is left in pristine natural condition? There is more to rainforest protection than just carbon storage."
Ecology can't work if it blocks out humans. If it's "us or them", and "them" is the trees, then the trees are going to get it.
If there are economic benefits to the local population in preserving the forest, they will assist us in protecting it. If the only profit is in cutting down trees and keeping cattle on the land, they'll cut down the trees and buy cows.
Gathering nuts and seeds is not going to kill the rainforest, and it'll feed a good few people who then won't have to rely on forestry and intensive agriculture.
re: oceans as carbon sinks
...Yes the oceans act as carbon sinks, but no-one is cutting down the ocean at an alarming rate :o) So lets keep as many of nature's carbon sinks in place as we can! This isn't about adding carbon sinks, this is about preventing the destruction of existing ones. Plus as the earth warms there are fears that the oceans may in fact stop acting as sinks at all (the whole positive feedback problem)
Have you ever been to a harvester ?
"opening it up to rubber tappers and harvesters of forest produce. "
how long before the lawyers claim that industrial scale logging was "harvesting the forest produce"
We bought two acres of a Belize rainforest two years ago. Complete with teak trees. We have friends who own 16 acres of a teak forest in Costa Rica. Many people are doing this.
Do they keep the illegal loggers out?
or stop the government issuing licences for logging which ignore the land owner and make it legal logging?
re: oceans as carbon sinks
Also, a recent Reg article stated that scientists have discovered that the oceanic carbon-sinks are almost saturated.
What would interest me in addition to this project, apart from extending it to SE Asia, which needs all the help it can currently get, would be a similar scheme to preserve the bits of the Sahara which provide the wind-blown nutrients that fertilise the Latin American rainforest. I discovered this recently, can't remember how, and it doesn't seem to be widespread knowledge as yet.
£35 for a half-acre, eh? That's not even €50. I'm game.
re: preserve the sahara?
does the sahara need preservation? whats causing damage to the sahara (except perhaps wind erosion, which I can't see a way around) ?
Policing the forest
Very nice idea - but I hope they hire a very mobile team of armed rangers to protect the forest. If there is profit to be made from cutting down the trees, then the trees will certainly be chopped unless there is a real threat of being caught.
They mention hiring local people as rangers - I am not sure how well this solution will work. If a big logging company turns up with some bags of cash then I am not sure the local rangers will stop them, whereas a professional team of armed rangers will at least be a lot more expensive to bribe.
Here today gone....
upon reading the story decided to check out the site for myself. well it was down...so as the rain forest goes i guess so does the website....
PING www.coolearth.org: 64 byte packets
----www.coolearth.org PING Statistics----
9 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100% packet loss
this is cheap!
I have 2 acres of baby pines that I will have to have cleared because I cannot afford to keep them growing. The property will not sell with trees on it - it could cost me £10k to keep them.
So £100 an acre to keep some forest uncut - this is a very good deal.
Just 'cos you can't ping it doesn't mean it's down:
$ ping www.sun.com
PING www.sun.com (18.104.22.168) 56(84) bytes of data.
--- www.sun.com ping statistics ---
13 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 11998ms
$ wget www.sun.com
Resolving www.sun.com... 22.214.171.124
Connecting to www.sun.com|126.96.36.199|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: unspecified [text/html]
Saving to: `index.html'
[ <=> ] 38,022 30.2K/s in 1.2s
20:03:33 (30.2 KB/s) - `index.html' saved 
Lots of sites disable ping.
However, it does look to be down even now:
$ ping www.coolearth.org
PING www.coolearth.org (188.8.131.52) 56(84) bytes of data.
--- www.coolearth.org ping statistics ---
7 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 5999ms
$ wget www.coolearth.org
Resolving www.coolearth.org... 184.108.40.206
Connecting to www.coolearth.org|220.127.116.11|:80... failed: Connection refused.
This isn't a new idea
The Nature Conservancy has been doing this kind of thing for many, many years.
We've fixed it.
The sites up again. Ping it and see.
Get "buying" those trees!
$200 million for the lot, I doubt it...
Unfortunately an acre is not a large area and Brazil is a very big country.
Brazil — Area (Total): 8,511,965 SQ KM
8 511 965 (square kilometers) = 2.10335236 × 10^9 acres
Or at £100 an area thats about £210 billion
Of course this ignores supply and demand, the shift in currency due to influx of billions and commercial interests. By the time you tried to buy it all you'd be paying UK prices for the land.