It’s germination, however, began three decades earlier, in 1958, at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.
That’s where the late American scientist Charles Keeling started measuring the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – an exercise that eventually yielded the “Keeling Curve”: a diagonal line that zigzags upwards as CO, and falling dormant in the winter.
A proponent of green energy in the Carter Administration, Sant had co-founded a company called Applied Energy Services (AES), in part with the objective of making green energy work.
Wind-farm technology, however, wasn’t what it is today, so Sant asked the World Resources Institute (WRI) if there was a way to offset his emissions by reducing them somewhere else – a radical concept at the time.
Choc-Darin: What Projects Can and Cannot Achieve offers a deep dive into a project developed by the Afro-Colombian Tolo River People and a primer on how REDD plays out on the ground.
Instead, he saw trees as a short-term, stopgap measure that would slow the process long enough for technology to catch up.
“The long-term response, if such a catastrophe becomes imminent, must be to stop burning fossil fuels and convert our industry to renewable photosynthetic fuels, nuclear fuels, geothermal heat and direct solar-energy conversion,” he continued.
In this series, we examine the history of REDD and the evolving role of indigenous people.
By all accounts, REDD was born in 1988 – not so much to save the planet as to help poor farmers in Guatemala manage their land more sustainably.