I disagree that planting of a stand of trees, even though it would be
harvested in 50 years, might not be beneficial in sequestering CO2. In 50
years time, according to even the most optimistic model, we will be well
past Peak Oil, Peak Natural Gas and, in all probability, Peak Coal.
Mankind's emission of CO2 will be down in the 50% reduction goal of the
greenest of our politicians. This may be because renewable energy from the
Sun is providing it, or, more likely IMHO, we are simply doing without. We
might well need to wood to run our steam trains and the emission of the CO2
will be relatively harmless and might even be needed to fend off an Ice Age
(we are in an Interglacial period, remember).
Of course, one should remember two things:
There is no proof that CO2 emission has caused Global Warming - it is just
an inference that goes against Post Hoc Ergo Est Propter Hoc . Without
accepting State of Fear and The Great Global Warming Swindle as gospel, I
would like to know why Global Warming is 200 years old and massive CO2
emission a bare 50. (There were Ice Fairs on the Thames around 1800).
There is certainly no proof that even a massive reduction in CO2 emissions
now will reduce Global Warming. Australia's little bit would do nothing.
As for Carbon Trading, I have seen no indication that it would end up as a
corrupt boondoggle transferring money to those in power - it would probably
start that way. If it saved one molecule of CO2 it would probably be by
accident as a side effect of a Fat Cat's 1st Class travel produces just the
same amount of CO2 you and me in the tail - and a couple of us could not
afford to go.
Behalf Of Greg
Sent: Thursday, 7 June 2007 12:06 PM
To: alan morris;
Subject: Carbon-Neutral Birding
Alan raises the issue of tree planting as a part of the solution to the
greenhouse effect and rightly raises some concerns about tree planting per
se. Ever since Bob Hawke launched the 'one billion trees' programme tree
planting has been seen as the solution to all of the world's problems.
Unfortunately tree planting can cause more problems than it solves. The
proliferation of monocultures of pine or various eucalypt species has
negative impacts on the environment. Theses plantations are usually
approved on 'cleared land'. This cleared land often has scattered old
growth trees of great significance to birds, mammals and reptiles. They are
in the way so get the chop. Then the site is nuked with herbicides,
sometimes broad scale from a helicopter, and then the trees are planted.
The species are usually not native to the region or if they are the
provenance is not right. If you plant Forest Red Gums from another area the
genetic make up would be different to that of the locals. Cross pollination
of plantation trees with remnant native trees is never considered as a
threat, but it is.
Now to greenhouse - all of these plantations are going to sequester carbon
and therefore will help with reducing the greenhouse effect - WRONG - unless
the plantations are never harvested. Harvesting and processing produces
large amounts of carbon so any benefits of carbon storage are lost at the
harvest and processing stages. If carbon trading is to be implemented then
credits should only be given to landowners who protect old growth forest,
regenerate natural vegetation or plant trees in an ecologically sustainable
way that will never be harvested.
Timber plantations are necessary to take the pressure of native forests (and
their birds) but they don't deserve, and shouldn't receive, greenhouse
All birders (including twitchers) should consider all of their activities in
light of the greenhouse effect (as should every Australian) but people have
to make up their own minds about how they will address their impact on the
planet. Turning on each other only plays into the hands of those
(particularly politicians) who love to divide and rule.