Monday, February 22, 2010

A giant sucking sound

Apologies to Ross Perot, but his phrase may be a perfect match for the kiri tree.
The kiri grows up to 30 feet its first year, according to several sources beyond the company promoting it. What helps make that happen are massive leaves (some say up to three feet across). And here's the eco thing - those leaves let it suck in more carbon dioxide than any tree should be allowed to.

A Sacramento, Calif., based company, Eco2 Forests, is promoting the tree as an earth saver. Collie Christensen is the head of the company, after having been involved early on with Cellular One, a barter trading market and a variety of land development deals, so maybe he's good at the Pied Piper thing.

Here's what the tree looks like when just planted before it turns into a carbon-killing machine.

The "Global Forestry Plan" of Eco2 Forests is to plant 3.3 million trees in Malakula, Vanuatu, in the South Pacific. That could earn the company $120 million in carbon credits, according to its own figures.

See, I think Christensen must just like fun words. Malakula and Vanuatu? And how's this, the companies research and development takes place in Jimboomba, Queensland. And the tree is also more properly called the paulownia or the sapphire princess tree. Then there's the "ecoimagineer" job title amongst the CEO and CFO titles of Eco2.

But who knows, it might just be crazy enough to work - for somebody's pocket book anyway. I don't know about the carbon. The wood, ready for harvest in seven years, is highly rated and goes for more than oak plus the carbon credits help.

The company touts the tree as sustainable because it can grow back from the stump, once harvested, about 10 times. Of course it sucks a lot of water too, but that's a different argument as is the fact the National Park Service lumps the kiri in with "alien plant invaders" because it spreads like a bad e-mail joke.
And the company has a good pr team because it's all over any Google search of a related term

Relax, somebody has to make some green out of green.

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