Trees provided most of the world’s energy until the rise of the coal and the industrial revolution in the 19th century. Could they again become a significant energy source?
A South Carolina company called ArborGen is using genetic engineering to develop trees that grow faster, cleaner and more efficiently for use as lumber, pulp and biofuels. It’s a controversial idea–although the company says it is all about saving the planet. Today’s CNNMoney column looks at these so-called Super Trees.
Here’s how it begins:
In 1913, the New Jersey poet and critic Joyce Kilmer wrote “Trees,” a poem which concludes with this simple rhyme:
“Poems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree.”
It may be that only God can make a tree. But only man, and modern biotechnology, can make super trees — trees that have been genetically engineered to grow faster, produce more wood on less land, thrive in unfamiliar climates and be processed more easily into wood or paper once they are cut down.
You can read the rest here.