One representative in Washington says we need to start cutting down trees to help combat global warming.
If you want to reread that line, go ahead — but it’s true. During a congressional hearing this week, U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), said he doesn’t believe in global warming and that he believes cutting trees down could be the solution — if in fact global warming does exist.
Speaking to the top American climate diplomat, Todd Stern, Rohrabacher asked, "Is there some thought being given to subsidizing the clearing of rainforests in order for some countries to eliminate that production of greenhouse gases?" Rohrabacher went on, asking, “Would people be supportive of cutting down older trees in order to plant younger trees as a means to prevent this disaster from happening?"
A somewhat baffled Stern said after the hearing that, “I didn't want to be commenting on stuff I'm not an expert on." Stern added, "If he wants to talk about the effect of rotting wood or whatever, we're happy to have someone come up who knows about it. I don't."
In a Politico article
, Darren Samuelsohn interviewed Jay Gulledge of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, who said that while it is true that 80 to 90 percent of gross greenhouse gases come from nature, Rohrabacher's understanding of the emissions process — and science for that matter — is questionable. "How he's using it is totally off the wall," Gulledge said. "It's beyond the pale. It makes no sense."
From there the discussions at the hearing devolved into criticisms of the United Nations’ climate negotiations and complaints about how foreign nations treated the Bush administration when that group attended climate talks in the pre-Obama era. Stern avoided engaging in those discussions.