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An Inconvenient Fact
The Vancouver Sun ^ | August 29, 2007 | Patrick Moore

Posted on 08/29/2007 7:37:09 AM PDT by Positive

Despite the anti-forestry scare tactics of celebrity movies, trees are the most powerful concentrators of carbon on Earth.

Dr. Patrick Moore is a co-founder of Greenpeace and chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. in Vancouver.

It seems like there's a new doomsday documentary every month. But seldom does one receive the coverage that Hollywood activist Leonardo DiCaprio's latest climate-change rant, The 11th Hour, is getting.

When we're bombarded anew with theatrical images of our earth's ecosystems when the film opens across B.C. this Friday, I'm concerned that we're losing sight of some indisputable facts.

Here's a key piece of information DiCaprio, collaborator and long-time activist Tzeporah Berman and the leadership of my old organization Greenpeace are ignoring when it comes to forests and carbon: For British Columbians, living among the largest area of temperate rainforest in the world, managing our forests will be a key to reducing greenhouse gases.

As a lifelong environmentalist, I say trees can solve many of the world's sustainability challenges. Forestry is the most sustainable of all the primary industries that provide us with energy and materials. 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. Trees contain about 250 kilograms of carbon per cubic metre.

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.

The relationship between trees and greenhouse gases is simple enough on the surface. Trees grow by taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, through photosynthesis, converting it into sugars. The sugars are then used as energy and materials to build cellulose and lignin, the main constituents of wood.

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.

Berman, a veteran of the forestry protest movement, should by now have learned that young forests outperform old growth in carbon sequestration.

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.

The role of forests in the global carbon cycle can be boiled down to these key points:

Deforestation, primarily in tropical forests, is responsible for about 20 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. This is occurring where forests are permanently cleared and converted to agriculture and urban settlement.

In many countries with temperate forests, there has been an increase in carbon stored in trees in recent years. This includes the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Sweden.

The most important factors influencing the carbon cycle are deforestation on the negative side, and the use of wood, from sustainably managed forests, as a substitute for non-renewable materials and fuels, on the positive side.

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.

DiCaprio's movie, The 11th Hour, is another example of anti-forestry scare tactics, this time said to be "brilliant and terrifying" by James Christopher of the London Times.

Maybe so, but instead of surrendering to the terror, keep in mind that there are solutions to the challenges of climate, and our forests are among them.

This film should be a good, clear reminder for us to put the science before the Hollywood hype.

Dr. Patrick Moore is a co-founder of Greenpeace and chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. in Vancouver.


TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: agw; climate; climatechange; environment; forestry; gases; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax; greenhouse; greenpeace; greenspirit; logging; patrickmoore; warming
Gosh...it appears that some of the "greeners" are at odds with some of the "warmies"...who'da thunk it?
1 posted on 08/29/2007 7:37:09 AM PDT by Positive
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To: Positive

Moore has been very vocal about the fact that globull warming hysteria is nothing more than poorly disguised anti capitalism.


2 posted on 08/29/2007 7:41:24 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: Positive

The latest theory about global warming is that it’s cause is horses. As heat rises from fresh heaps of horse dung, it warms the atmosphere.

Al Gore has studied this and is doing a film on it, called “An Inconvenient Pile Of Horse Manure”


3 posted on 08/29/2007 7:42:38 AM PDT by Rennes Templar ("The future ain't what it used to be".........Yogi Berra)
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To: Positive

Solid article. Makes sense. You can’t have renewable resources and then get upset when you cut the renewable resource down. That’s what makes it renewable and sustainable.


4 posted on 08/29/2007 7:45:26 AM PDT by Greg F (Duncan Hunter is a good man.)
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To: Positive

I think Dr. Moore just b*tch slapped poor Leo! I hope he isn’t crying in his Prius!


5 posted on 08/29/2007 7:47:38 AM PDT by Holicheese (1-21-09 Hillary starts to destroy America!)
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To: cripplecreek
"Moore has been very vocal about the fact that globull warming hysteria is nothing more than poorly disguised anti capitalism."

It would seem though, that extending his argument to the extreme; what we should do is cut down the old growth forest, plant replacements and use the concentrated carbon (wood) to build homes in the desert where trees don't grow.

6 posted on 08/29/2007 7:49:00 AM PDT by Positive (Nothing is sadder than to see a beautiful theory murdered by a gang of brutal facts.)
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To: Positive
The enviro wackos have devastated the logging industry in the name of - what else? - saving the environment! If there's an environmentally productive activity, I'm hard pressed to think of one that contributes as much both to human welfare and maintaining the health of the ecosystem as logging. But to hear it from the enviro wackos, its as dangerous as nuclear power planets. No kidding!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

7 posted on 08/29/2007 7:53:04 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Positive
"It would seem though, that extending his argument to the extreme; what we should do is cut down the old growth forest, plant replacements and use the concentrated carbon (wood) to build homes in the desert where trees don't grow."

And this would be bad how?? There is nothing magic about "old growth forest". ALL forests should be managed by appropriate cutting of trees. A lot of people seem to get the notion that "forest management" means clear-cutting everything, and planting new trees, which it does not. Preventing proper forest management is the source of most of todays wildfires.

8 posted on 08/29/2007 8:00:49 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Positive
When a tree rots or burns, the carbon contained in the wood is released back to the atmosphere.

Some of it does, but doesn't some of it also turn to dirt?
9 posted on 08/29/2007 8:06:49 AM PDT by posterchild (If you don't look ahead nobody will, there's no time to kill - Clint Black)
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To: Positive

I want a new bumper sticker: “Save the earth, cut down old growth forests.”


10 posted on 08/29/2007 8:18:01 AM PDT by TruthWillWin
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To: Positive

That article seems to speak common sense.


11 posted on 08/29/2007 8:39:19 AM PDT by Roberts
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To: Roberts
"That article seems to speak common sense."

I agree, that's why I posted it.

As Rush has said said many times, if there is an endangered species; make it a preferred food source and it will prosper.

12 posted on 08/29/2007 8:51:26 AM PDT by Positive (Nothing is sadder than to see a beautiful theory murdered by a gang of brutal facts.)
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To: Positive; Killing Time; Beowulf; Mr. Peabody; RW_Whacko; honolulugal; SideoutFred; Ole Okie; ...


FReepmail me to get on or off
Click on POGW graphic for full GW rundown
Dr. John Ray's
GREENIE WATCH




13 posted on 08/29/2007 8:54:58 AM PDT by xcamel (FDT/2008 -- talk about it >> irc://irc.freenode.net/fredthompson)
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To: xcamel

Great article; thanks for the ping!


14 posted on 08/29/2007 9:14:06 AM PDT by alwaysconservative (A cheerful heart is good medicine.)
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To: alwaysconservative

I’m starting a campaign to rename alleged AGW:

Gore-Bull Swarming


15 posted on 08/29/2007 10:04:38 AM PDT by bicyclerepair (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)
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To: Positive

That’s why power plants need to be built in Africa and other undeveloped parts of the world; the people there are reduced to burning plants to cook and heat their homes.

With all that said... we’re not causing more than a burp in a windstorm of a problem. It’s man-made-up global warming.


16 posted on 08/29/2007 10:05:56 AM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Global warming is to Revelations as the theory of evolution is to Genesis.)
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To: Positive

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.
***Something I didn’t know before. Now I have to verify it because I can’t trust the source.


17 posted on 08/29/2007 10:27:10 AM PDT by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: cripplecreek

Republicans are red,
Democrats are blue,
Environmentalists are Green;
And Greens hate you!


18 posted on 08/29/2007 10:40:21 AM PDT by sourcery (fRed Dawn: Wednesday, 5 November 2008!)
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To: Positive

Leonardo DiCaprio: When you’ve got the leader of Greenpeace accusing you of using scare tactics, you know you must be a barking lunatic.


19 posted on 08/29/2007 10:53:00 AM PDT by my_pointy_head_is_sharp (Deport 'em all.)
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To: Kevmo
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. ***Something I didn’t know before. Now I have to verify it because I can’t trust the source.

On its face, that seems perfectly reasonable.

<speculation>
Consider the growth rates of older trees versus younger ones. As a tree matures, its growth rate slows. A younger tree, growing more rapidly, grows by adding wood to its height and girth (more than than an older tree does). That wood is largely made up of carbon which it has removed (as CO2) from the air.
</speculation>

IANAA. (I am not an arborist.)

20 posted on 08/29/2007 11:14:42 AM PDT by Bob
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To: Positive

Wow! Stuff like this is enough to change the old tag line!


21 posted on 08/29/2007 11:15:45 AM PDT by ssaftler (Which Al is more deadly: Gore or Qaeda?)
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To: cripplecreek; Positive

global warming = anti-globalist


22 posted on 08/29/2007 4:25:33 PM PDT by dervish
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To: Wonder Warthog; SmithL
Notice that this “greenpeace” extremist WANTS more management of the forests - we should “clear debris” and remove (naturally dead) trees and stop (natural) fires .....

Now, just who is going to be able to get TO all those millions of inaccessible acres of (natural) forests - that have no roads and no trails and no way to GET THE DEAD TREES OUT ...

After all, we can’t have “logging roads” through pristine virginal old growth forest, can we?

23 posted on 08/29/2007 7:12:31 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: ssaftler
"Wow! Stuff like this is enough to change the old tag line!

Yours or mine?

24 posted on 08/29/2007 9:10:50 PM PDT by Positive (Nothing is sadder than to see a beautiful theory murdered by a gang of brutal facts.)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
"After all, we can’t have “logging roads” through pristine virginal old growth forest, can we?"

Well, we could call them "fire control" roads--that oughta fix the propaganda problem.

25 posted on 08/30/2007 5:15:38 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Positive
Yours or mine?

I speak only for myself on such matters.

26 posted on 08/30/2007 6:11:40 AM PDT by ssaftler (Which Al is more deadly: Al Gore or Al Qaeda?)
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To: xcamel

Were you at my last barbeque?


27 posted on 08/30/2007 7:41:28 AM PDT by SmithL (I don't do Barf Alerts, you're old enough to read and decide for yourself)
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To: SmithL
LOL - good one!!


Watermelons:


GREEN on the outside, RED on the inside.

28 posted on 08/30/2007 7:43:22 AM PDT by xcamel (FDT/2008 -- talk about it >> irc://irc.freenode.net/fredthompson)
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