The BBC writes,
"If just 10% of this was planted with trees, the existing carbon pool across the city could be increased by 12%"quoting the lead author of the paper, Zoe Davies of the University of Kent. But they don't look at the actual numbers. The study says (pg 8):
"If community initiatives were put in place by policy makers to encourage tree planting, resulting in 10% of the existing 159 789 urban gardens containing one more tree, there would be 927 tonnes more carbon (assuming they grew to an average size for a garden tree) stored in above-ground vegetation across the city.But the UK's total emissions are 685 megatonnes! (2005 est), or about 9 mt CO2 per person per year. (For urban residents it's usually a little less.) Or applying the famous 12/44 factor between carbon and carbon dioxide, about 2.5 mt C per person per year. Leicester has an urban population of about 450,000, so its total carbon emissions are roughly 1 megatonne per year.
So the study is talking about the possibility of reducing 1 kt, or 0.1% of these emissions. Even if you put one more tree in all the city's gardens, you're only reducing the city's emissions by 1%. Plus, you have to keep replanting the trees as they die. Then some idiot will come along with a leaf blower (I hate leaf blowers, especially in cities) and blow away all the leaves dropped by all these trees -- how much carbon is that going to emit?
This seems like starting a new exercise program and insisting that you keep track of the two steps on and off your porch. OK, but what's really matters is how many times you walk around the block.
I like trees, but we cannot stop climate change by planting more of them in cities. The focus needs to stay on the big picture and the big possible picture-changers.
So the conclusion is: leaf-blowers are indeed the work of the Devil.