James D. Bushnell's idea about the need for more research on CO2 removal by trees and plants is an interesting one that may hold great potential for providing much-needed solutions to current environmental problems (C&EN, Nov. 19, 2007, page 6).
However, his comment that the "rapidly increasing industrial activity in China and India will surely counteract any savings by conservation and renewable-energy activities in the U.S. and Europe" is also interesting and, in fact, almost ironic. What Bushnell stated appears reasonable on paper, but a statement like that often makes developing countries, in particular China, the scapegoat for all the problems we are facing now. The bottom line is the U.S. and Europe have "been there and done that" when it comes to contributing to the environmental problems, CO2 included. China and India are just trying to catch up with the developed U.S. and Europe.
One should not ignore the efforts made by these countries for environmental improvement. In that light, I applaud the recent story on China's new plan to curb environmental degradation (C&EN, Dec. 3, 2007, page 12).