Fred Pearce, an environmental journalist, argues in the following viewpoint that planting trees to soak up carbon dioxide is not an effective alternative to reducing emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. The United States and other industrialized countries have proposed allowing planned new forests called “carbon sinks” to count toward their total greenhouse gas reductions as required by the Kyoto Protocol, a global climate treaty. According to Pearce, new forests may actually accelerate global warming by returning carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
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