Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Greenpeace article I can get behind

Despite the near hyperventilation about CO2 in this article, I can get behind it.

North Americans are the world's largest per-capita wood consumers and yet our forests cover approximately the same area of land as they did 100 years ago. According to the United Nations, our forests have expanded nearly 100 million acres over the past decade.

There is a misconception that cutting down an old tree will result in a net release of carbon. Yet wooden furniture made in the Elizabethan era still holds the carbon fixed hundreds of years ago.

Although old trees contain huge amounts of carbon, their rate of sequestration has slowed to a near halt. A young tree, although it contains little fixed carbon, pulls CO2 from the atmosphere at a much faster rate.

When a tree rots or burns, the carbon contained in the wood is released back to the atmosphere. Since combustion releases carbon, active forest management -- such as removing dead trees and clearing debris from the forest floor -- will be imperative in reducing the number and intensity of fires.
Everything here makes sense to me, especially the part about DiCaprio not knowing what he's talking about.

I'm sure by now most people are (like me) wishing that environmentalists would just make up their minds. "Old growth is amazing, don't you dare cut it down!" becomes "Cut it down for new growth to sequester CO2!". Hands-off forestry management becomes active forest floor debris cleaning -- and either way The Man is the enemy, whether that's the government, Big Business or you and me.

The fact of the matter is, environmental activists do more harm than good. They reduce complex issues into single-facet talk or action points, and ultimately they have no idea what they're doing.

This smackdown of DiCaprio's movie from a knowledgeable environmental activist is one of the more responsible moves that's come lately out of a corrupt, nonsensical movement. If only more of the intelligent members of these organizations could (or would) hold back their intellectually less fortunate but more rabid attack dogs, we might actually be able to make some headway on conservation and responsible stewardship of our environment.

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