Wednesday, August 01, 2007

An industry in decline

Tricia Caswell's industry views on the major problems with native forest logging (Age 30/7) reveal an industry in decline. Her shallow attempt to portray native forest logging as being "good for climate change" is simply not supported by scientific evidence.

Science tells us that around 10% of Australia's carbon emission are the result of deforestation and that old growth forests store up to 1500 tonnes per hectare. Logging them liberates the vast majority of this stored carbon into the atmosphere.

Protecting old growth forests is a key strategy for addressing climate change indentified in the recent Mitigation of Climate Change report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Caswell also seeks to propagate the myth that native forest logging is well managed. How can an activity that produce 80% waste in the form of woodchips be well managed? In addition, destroying old growth forests and replacing them with de facto plantations destroys their biodiversity too.

As our old growth forest estate declines and carbon emissions rise, the failures of management and policy in our native forests become more apparent.

First the industry-friendly Regional Forest Agreements are discredited, then the estimates in the Victorian Government
"Our Forest Our Future" policy statement also turn out to be incorrect.

Government subsides for native forest logging give it unfair competitive advantage over the plantation sector - where the bulk of timber jobs now are.

The subsidies for forest roads, transport, advertising and other externalities should be removed and a carbon tax applied to the emissions resulting directly from native forest logging.

Caswell's one-dimensional view of the destructive and greenhouse polluting native forest industry juggernaut is compromising the transition to a genuinely sustainable more climate friendly plantation-based industry.

Let us hope that Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales can follow the example of New Zealand, Western Australia and Queensland and protect our native forests and encouraging the more climate-friendly plantation alternative.


Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you about forests. Forest policy and transport policy are the biggest gripes I have living in Melbourne.
First you have Connex, then you have the Institute for Public Affairs (a misnomer) which denies global warming and then you have......... Lynne Kosky - Minister for Public Transport (another misnomer).

As a commuter and an environmentalist, it pains me to see our addiction to cars has continued unabated whilst our government gambles with millions of subsidies for a corporation that couldn't run a train network if it's shareholders depended on it (they were kicked out of London. Twice!).

Anyway, feel free to add my blog to your political blogs list.
Reuben VB (year 11)

alvinwriter said...

Yes, it makes me wonder why there are even throries on trees causing global warming, not that I mind research. But I'd like to say that trees are part of Earth's natural environment, unlike cars and factories. They have been and still are part of sustanable cycles which have only been affected by human activity.

What's "alien" to the Earth are the things made by humans that cause trash, pollution, and all manner of unmanageable refuse. The effects of inventions like the internal combustion engine should have been carefully analyzed so that solutions could have been formulated to potential problems like exhaust gases and other toxic things.

50 million trees to be planted in Ontario:

If you'd like to search for more news on global warming you can use in TheNewsRoom, feel free to visit us. You may also email if you want to know how you can make us your partner when it comes to great licensed news content.

- Alvin from TheScienceDesk at