An old-growth stand pictured in Saook Bay on northeastern Baranof Island. Some individual trees were over six feet in diameter and many centuries old. (Photo courtesy of John Schoen)

An old-growth stand pictured in Saook Bay on northeastern Baranof Island. Some individual trees were over six feet in diameter and many centuries old. (Photo courtesy of John Schoen)

E-Tips: Stop Deforestation

Trees are one of the regulators of our planet’s climate

By Bonnie White, member of Creston Climate Action Society

Welcome again to the Creston Climate Action Society’s monthly E-Tips column. In this article, we will start to explore the five recommendations for slowing down climate change presented by David Attenborough in his documentary “A Life on Our Planet.”

The first suggestion to elaborate on will be to stop deforestation! Trees are one of the regulators of our planet’s climate. They produce oxygen for us to breathe and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. This is an urgent issue because we have removed too many trees relative to the production of CO2, and the planet can no longer keep up with maintaining the ratios needed for a stable climate. The system is out of balance, and the Earth tries to cool itself using methods such as hurricanes and other extreme weather events to release heat. Did you know that every day a 40-foot tree expels about 60 cubic feet of oxygen into the air?

From an excerpt from Healthy Holistic Living, “The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. Let’s scale that to 46 years. We have been here for four hours. Our industrial revolution began one minute ago. In that time, we have destroyed more than 50 per cent of the world’s forests. This isn’t sustainable.”

The above statement really hit home for me how serious this is and how much we have affected the planet in such a short time. The planet will survive somehow as it always does, but we are destroying the very things it provides to support all life on its surface! There has to be a better way. We need to stop all old growth forest harvesting now as replanting these areas will never replace all of the oxygen soon enough to make the difference that these large trees provide. We need a serious overhaul of our forestry and logging practices, just look at the Netherlands and what they have done. A country much smaller than ours is managing its forests so well that it produces more than we do and with much less impact and waste. We need to look for alternative building methods that are more environmentally friendly. We need to stop clear cutting land and removing such large areas at a time. It not only takes away all of that oxygen production, it also removes habitat for wildlife, increases erosion from water, damages fish habitat, and heats up the soil surfaces.

Please pressure your local leaders and government to change and protect our forests! We need to support a transition for forestry employees to more sustainable harvesting methods and to other green jobs. And we need to do better… before it’s too late.

If you are interested in learning more on climate change, check out the new book display called “Radical Hope” at the Creston Valley Public Library, which focuses on hope for the future with regards to climate change. From June 8 to July 8, the books will be available in co-operation with the Creston Climate Action Society.

Want to get involved? Please like Creston Climate Action on Facebook or email us at crestonclimateactionsociety@gmail.com.

READ MORE: E-Tips: Hello from the Creston Climate Action Society

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