Legal Logging Destroying the Earth’s Biodiversity, Climate, Water and Biosphere

New forest paradigm a must to achieve global ecological sustainabilityIt is easy to rail against “illegal” logging [search], when in fact typical “legal” commercial logging is far more extensive and destructive in total to the world's biodiversity [search], climate [search], water [search] and biosphere [search]. Both liquidate life giving natural habitats, and more people are realizing they are mostly ecologically indistinguishable [ark]. Ancient primary forests industrially harvested for the first time are in fact destroyed — in terms of being a fully intact ecological system with a unique, unimpaired evolutionary trajectory — regardless if society considers it legal or illegal. Natural and planted secondary forest ecosystems managed industrially as tree farms become further ecologically diminished with each successive harvest including continued toxification, soil diminishment, species and genetic loss, reduced carbon and water holding potential, and so many other symptoms of ongoing biological homogenization.
Humanity's relationship with all forests must be transformed if we are to stop the hemorrhaging of lost species and halt transformation of the atmosphere. Industrial forestry [search] is incompatible with sustaining the full range of natural forest values [search] — from species to genes, from soil microbes to local microclimates, from a forest stand to the Earth system and everything in between. Solving the biodiversity [search], climate [search] and water [search] crises requires a new forest protection paradigm that optimizes ecosystem, biodiversity and climate values while ecologically sustainably harvesting the annual growth increment (minus ecological restoration of natural capital to account in the future for past damage).


To maintain an operable biosphere while achieving equitable and just global ecological sustainability, the forest protection movement must unite behind a rigorous set of goals known to be actually sufficient to stop forest and climate decline. This includes ending ancient forest logging and all industrial destruction of relatively intact natural ecosystems, gaining permanent protections for all remaining primary and old-growth forests (with appropriate compensation and continued small scale use for local peoples), promoting the ecological restoration and certified management of regenerating and planted natural forest ecosystems, and assisting local peoples with small-scaled, community-based eco-forestry projects based upon regenerating secondary and standing ancient forests.
EcoInternet's network and partners are committed to this sufficient, ecology and people based forest protection agenda. This ecologically sufficient forest vision is the only way forward for forests including rainforests, species including humans, and ecosystems including Gaia. To work for anything less is to acquiesce to the powers of ecological simplification, accepting ecological diminishment and collapse as inevitable, while pursuing tokenistic responses that by legitimizing current trends impede global forest sustainability. You know who I am talking about, and if it is you, I urge you to reexamine your motivations and strategies. Otherwise, your apologist reform efforts causing continued forest destruction remains a legitimate target for protest.

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13 Responses

  1. Tim Hayes says:

    Hi doc,
    As usual you are right on. As a carpenter, builder I have taken the steps to use only recycled material whenever possible, and local california managed doug fir when I can't get recycled. My own house designs include wood from recycled sources only. The philosophy I promote for my own business “GREENGOHOMES,” is to use dirt and recycled materials for the structure, carbon neutral in the design with enough energy production for the house and an all electric car. All this for $150/square foot. The first house should be fini9shed in the Austin texas area by the end of the year. I will keep you informed of the progress.
    Sincerely and keep up the great work
    Tim Hayes

  2. Rick says:

    Glen, Your first paragraph is very clear to anyone who grew up in the woods. I hated loggers as a child and still do. THey decimate the forest and the plants I loved as a child cannot come back. Showy ladyslipper is an example. No cutting of primeval timber should be allowed. I built my house of straw bales and used lumber for this reason. Auwful glad that in my small town in Maine there were no building codes!! Best, Rick

  3. Daniel Barker says:

    How many children do we have? More people means more demand for resources – trees and wilderness have to be destroyed for yards for people to live on. Trees have to be chopped down for lumber for new homes.
    I have no children, and I plan on having one child and adopting a child. I want to leave this world a better place than I found it.
    Also we must end the madness of meat and alcohol – wilderness and rain forest is being destroyed to grow corn for cattle and fuel.
    What are we doing about it?

  4. Lost Hills says:

    I think that we should be working for the complete banning of clearcutting. Obviously, there will always be a need for forest products, but the decimation of ecosystems by clearcutting should no longer be tolerated anywhere.

  5. A failure of unimaginable proportions is bound up in the the willful blindness, hysterical deafness and elective mutism of so many opinion leaders, economic powerbrokers, politicians and business tycoons who do not speak out openly, loudly and clearly about the world we inhabit as bounded and limited in space with finite resources. Their idolatry of the endless expansion of the global political economy is not only selfish, arrogant and unrealistic; they are also perversely choosing to recklessly espouse a “primrose path” to our children, a path to the future that a relatively small planet with the size and make-up of Earth cannot possibly sustain much longer, much less to the year 2050.
    At least to me, this failure by my not-so-great generation of leading elders is a “sin of omission” that is tantamount to a passive criminal act against the family of humanity, life as we know it and the Earth God blesses us to inhabit….and not ruin, I suppose.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

  6. james koenig says:

    We need an ecological sensitive new president and more elected officials to help prevent the big business logging companies from clear cutting forests. Sustainability of the forests for the future is the answer.

  7. Dave Moore says:

    What is industrial logging to you? Most logging here in the Pacific Northwest is second or third cut, but its clearcutting and very industrial. Where does your toilet paper and two by fours originate?
    Personally I am for using local timber when possible and reducing roads that endanger streams and unstable slopes. I believe increased fuel prices could be key to slowing the cut.

  8. Paul Negus says:

    I believe that one of the major culprits in recent years has been Japan. They have imported vast quantities of hardwoods to use as shuttering for concrete in building work. This is usually used once only and then burnt. I now suspect that China is also doing the same thing to feed their insatiable demand for construction. Of course, the 'western world' plays it's part in this 'throw-away world' we live in. There MUST be a better way!
    As usual, the major problems are Overpopulation and greed.
    Paul Negus

  9. Matt says:

    luckily for us the import tariffs in china are rising at an incredible rate and so hopefully this will slow their demand for such hardwoods. Although, and most likely, that sort of capital will just come from other areas of their economy, such as clean air initiatives etc. It will be interesting to see if they need to address any of this as the Olympics draws closer.

  10. zoe says:

    i live in a small area in australia were all you could see ten years ago was lush thick bush'and now its all being destroid to make way for rick housing estates for the wealthy and i think its wrong'and shouls be stopped

  11. Ckree42 says:

    You're right, legal logging is terrible for the Earth; unfortunately, the thing most people will agree to fight is the illegal logging.
    I live in the European Union, and I didn't know until recently that the EU had a loophole in its legislature that allowed for illegaly logged trees to enter the EU territory! This is terrible, and the EU will meet in July to decide whether or not to close that legal loophole; Greenpeace has launched a petition to make pressure on the EU so that illegal logging won't be able to enter the EU territory!
    Visit: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/forests/eu-ban-illegal-timber
    to vote, and thanks!
    Blessed be the Earth, and Mother Nature!

  12. A MATTER OF SCALE
    The idea “small is beautiful” is not a new notion; the adoption of such an idea leads to sustainable behavior. Surely the reasonable and sensible embrace of a “beautiful, low-consumption lifestyle” for the sake of a better life for a democratic majority of people; for the promotion of global biodiversity; for the protection of the environment; and for the preservation of Earth as a fit place for human habitation, could be one of the most powerfully sustainable and immediately effective behavioral changes the leaders of the family of humanity have made in a very long time.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

  13. Shed says:

    You're absolutely right, commercial logging is destroying our forest, as much as the illegal ones. This is very common practices in third world countries, where the government have no will power to stop logging or at least control them.

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