This is interesting to say the least. However, I am having trouble putting much stock in the report due to a couple of scientific errors I have
And while this is nothing more than expected, since every molecule of additional carbon dioxide locks up two oxygen atoms, the free oxygen
decline is greater than the carbon dioxide lock-up.
The greater than expected overall free oxygen decline is proof that the Earth's photosynthetic capacity has declined. And since there has been no
measurable decline in plankton, and consequently, in marine photosynthesis, as long expected and measured due to the increase of hard UVB radiation at
surface level, the decline points straight at the only other source of free oxygen - the forests and green cover of the continents.
This indicates (to me anyway) that it is saying that somehow the forests are producers of oxygen. This is only true in the sense that the forests
absorb CO2 and emit O2 from the CO2
. Therefore, they produce no more O2 than they absorb CO2.
Now, if the atmospheric O2 content is decreasing, and at a higher rate then the minimal CO2 increase that has been reported, that means that the
oxygen is going somewhere besides into CO2. And since flora produce O2 from
CO2, the lack of such flora cannot be responsible (via a lack of
photosynthetic processes) for this decline in O2.
Also, I am having trouble with the dates. Again, I quote:
Since we have begun to measure in 1989, there has been a steady decline of free oxygen in our atmosphere.
*snip for brevity*
However, in 1985 there were no indications whatsoever of any decline in the free oxygen content of our atmosphere...Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Exactly how are we relying on 1985 data when the same article begins with the assertion that records only go back to 1989?
Now, I am definitely not
minimalizing the dangers of wholesale deforestation; I support wholeheartedly any attempt to plant trees or maintain
those already in existence, as long as we do the latter in a common-sense approach. My concern is more along the lines of accuracy in the report.
Oxygen (or any other element) does not simply disappear from the planet. Just as when one burns a hydrocarbon the hydrogen still exists as part of a
water molecule and the carbon still exists as part of a carbon dioxide molecule; every element that was present eons ago is still here. So if there is
a decline in the O2 level, that oxygen is simply existing as a part of another type of molecule. I really have no idea at this time as to where it
might be going, but there exists the possibility of sulfates and nitrates from impurities and inefficiency in the fuels we burn. At this time, I am
not convinced this would be nearly sufficient to allow for a measurable decrease in O2 content, however.
I think this needs a lot more research, but I do think it needs that research. And please, if this makes you want to plant a tree, by all means, do
originally posted by ApexPredator
When the logging and building industry talk about lumber being a renewable resource and it's the greenest way to build a home people are duped into
buying that line. Personally I think that a renewable resource in the real estate industry is a brick home that can be passed to future generations
vice a cheapo tract home that will be easily damaged or destroyed in a hurricane or tornado.
Brick is not considered a weight-bearing structure in a brick home. That brick you see is only a veneer of masonry for looks and weatherproofing. The
structure is still wood, just like any other home.
Plastic has been proposed for building, and you can purchase plastic 'lumber'
at several places (one is
linked). The problem is that while a typical pine 8-foot long 2x4 costs about $2.00, a similar plastic 2x4 at the linked site costs $3.08 per
, meaning the same piece of material is a total of $24.64. That's over a 12-fold difference in price. The high cost of housing already will
not allow people to pay 12 times the present cost for housing. Not to mention, plastic is made from oil, which is another major problem with this
so-called 'green' technology.
Metal is also being touted as a better building medium than wood (see metalbuildingdepot.com...
), but it requires different techniques than wood
to use. As such, there is still a problem with having enough builders experienced in metal building techniques to go around. Metal is making great
headway, however, into the building industry.
Also, as to the destruction of old-growth forests for building, this is also a somewhat misunderstood topic. Most homes are built of pine or fir, two
of the fastest-growing types of trees. I know of no modern home that uses hardwood for the structure; it is simply not economically viable. A typical
lumber company will clear-cut a certain number of acres of trees each year, then re-plant them for the next harvest, leaving no decrease in the actual
number of trees, or their age, from one year to the next. The only real difference between this and any other crop is that trees require years to grow
as opposed to a single year, and the difference in landscape between growing and harvesting is much more obvious than in smaller crops.
The majority of hardwood goes for cabinetry, not homes. So just buy pine cabinetry which is stained with a hardwood stain; you save a hardwood tree or
two, still get the look you want, and save $$$ at the same time. Of course, closer inspection of those cabinets might reveal the difference, so
you'll have to give up bragging rights.
The lumber companies which operate off of purchased standing hardwood are paying a major premium for hardwood trees right now. I must admit, sometimes
when I realize that there is probably thousands of dollars of standing hardwood (possibly tens of thousands) right behind my house, it gets tempting.
Thankfully, I love my mountain too much to allow them to be cut at any price. But for those in economic distress, the idea of a few months of food and
shelter and fuel just for those great oaks and redwoods and maples that will grow back (even if it takes a hundred years or more) can be hard to
So be careful with the balance. If you harm the economy too much by being too
'green', you harm the cause. People will do what it takes to
survive, even if it means losing a forest of old-growth hardwoods.
TheRedneck extra DIV