Avoided Deforestation Now to Fight Climate Change
One immediate partial climate crisis remedy whose time has come is the idea of “avoided deforestation” [more | more2] whereby countries are compensated for maintaining intact ancient forest ecosystems. This win/win/win/win/lose strategy would maintain critical global ecosystem services, preserve biodiversity and genetic resources, keep existing carbon locked into terrestrial ecosystems, and provide a major source of sustainable development income to forest dwellers. It is only the timber merchants of death that lose, and given their poorly shared benefits from years of ancient forest ecosystem liquidation, frankly they do not count. They will be lucky to get out of the business of forest ecocide alive and not be strung from the few remaining trees for their ecological crimes against humanity.
Forest rich, not yet overdeveloped, countries could be paid almost immediately to protect their forests in order to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Ending old-growth industrial logging could end quickly almost 20 percent of anthropocentric carbon releases, but only if industrial selective logging and other activities which industrially diminish forests and their carbon sequestration potential are included in the ban. The economics of deforestation/forest diminishment overwhelmingly support keeping forests standing for their carbon storage – i.e. a rancher destroys a $US7500 forest asset in terms of carbon held to create a pasture and beef that is worth $US300. Paying to avoid deforestation and diminishment of ancient forests means an end to industrial ancient forest development of any type other than continued traditional uses by local peoples.
Other promised fixes like the hydrogen economy and clean coal technologies are promising but will take a long time to implement, and may not ever be feasible. There is no program to save the Earth's climatic system that does not include ending and reversing deforestation and forest diminishment, an urgent embrace of energy conservation and efficiency, dramatically reducing emissions including forgoing the use of coal and other fossil fuels, and reducing humanity's population and consumption inequities. Anything less is doomed to failure.
EcoInternet is in the final planning phases of a campaign targeting those that continue to aid and abet industrial activities in all remaining primary and old-growth forests worldwide, particularly environmental apologists for “green” logging. It is time to pick a side – either you are for ending ancient forest logging and taking other essential dramatic steps to reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change – or you are part of the problem and are killing the Earth and your children.