Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Greenpeace co-founder says use more trees, not less

The Vancouver Sun has a fascinating editorial by Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Greenpeace, who argues that environmentalists concerned about global warming should advocate growth of the timber industry:

...Rather than cutting fewer trees and using less wood, DiCaprio and Berman ought to promote the growth of more trees and the use of more wood.

Trees are the most powerful concentrators of carbon on Earth. Through photosynthesis, they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in their wood, which is nearly 50 per cent carbon by weight...

To address climate change, we must use more wood, not less. Using wood sends a signal to the marketplace to grow more trees and to produce more wood. That means we can then use less concrete, steel and plastic -- heavy carbon emitters through their production. Trees are the only abundant, biodegradable and renewable global resource.

In other words, trees trap in carbon. By cutting down trees and using the wood in buildings and furniture, we're trapping carbon in a solid form. Moore also notes that young forests remove more carbon dioxide from the air than old growth forests. (So that means it's a good thing that we're going to print our global warming kid's book, The Sky's Not Falling, on non-recycled paper.)

Moore also mentioned another fact that is worth calling out:
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.



  • While AMERICAN forrests haven't shrunk that much the last century, I'm fairly sure that is not the case worldwide. Some people care about other countries too....

    By Blogger PanMan, at 1:16 AM  

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