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  • Let’s Stop Pretending Wood Comes From The Lumberyard

    2010 - 03.16

    Last month the California Air Resources Board was forced to put the brakes on its forestry portion of a provisional carbon cap and trade system aimed at lowering California’s greenhouse gas emissions. Strangely it wasn’t an oil company that derailed this deal, instead it was a Tucson based environmental lobby called the Centre for Biological Diversity.

    “We commend the Air Resources Board for its commitment to addressing the critical environmental questions related to forest carbon credits,” crowed a CBD spokesperson. “It’s crucial that the state not give incentives to business-as-usual clear cutting and other destructive logging practices that hurt our forests and do nothing to address the immediate impacts of climate change.”

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recommended that California cut more of its own wood and use it instead of concrete, steel and other wood substitutes. By cutting forests in countries that have lower regulations deforestation and environmental degradation is increased along with greenhouse emissions. The forests in California have the capacity to produce all the wood needed in the state as well as have plenty to export. What is surprising then is that California imports 75% of their wood and it is a sure bet that the wood they import isn’t harvested under restrictions as comprehensive as those within California’s Forest Practice Rules requiring Timber Harvesting Plans that consider water, wildlife and other concerns.

    The California Air Resources Board adopted a programme that includes allowing forest management activities for which CO2 emitters can buy carbon credits. According to the Centre for Biological Diversity logging practices hurt forests and do nothing to slow climate change. However the United Nations IPCC disagrees. According to the IPCC deforestation and degrading forests accounts for 20-25% of greenhouse gas emissions although they do omit timber harvesting from this statistic.

    The IPCC favours three different strategies to prevent deforestation and degradation. The first, carbon conservation includes preventing forest conversion to agricultural uses and other non forest uses as well as controlling major fires. The second option is carbon substitution whereby wood products are used instead of non-wood products, which require more fossil fuel based energy and materials. The third and final option is carbon sequestration and storage, which would involve expanding the forest area and/or biomass of natural and plantation forests. Of these three options the IPCC recommends carbon substitution as according to them it has the greatest mitigation potential in the long term.

    Many environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the Centre for Biological Diversity have made a concerted effort to restrict logging. However if the green groups really understood the implications for reducing CO2 they would embrace forest management in California.

    The Timber Investment Blog is sponsored by Greenwood Management. For more information on investing in Forestry please click here

    One Response to “Let’s Stop Pretending Wood Comes From The Lumberyard”

    1. Rizqo says:

      Nice wide board flooring looks like at least 150 mm sorry 6 in wide, also looks like stpeotd gum.Vertical grained timber wall panels don’t work for me, colour too close to floor but different timber or may be limed. Ceiling panels work.Darker timbers like the table top work well against the floor.Wegner Y chairs work anywhere

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