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Canada sets aside its boreal forest as giant carbon vault

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posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 03:31 PM
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reply to post by Duzey
 


It's an interesting distinction. You could say the same about the way health care was introduced to your country. Now if this starts a movement that leads to a bigger conservation project, and it spreads across canada, then could we agree it's great?

I don't see a negative to using it as a point of national pride.




posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 03:36 PM
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Interesting effort on the part of Canada. Wonder if it'll actually do any good?

Old-Growth Forests Can Actually Contribute to Global Warming


Over its lifetime, a tree shifts from being a vacuum cleaner for atmospheric carbon to an emitter. A tree absorbs roughly 1,500 pounds of CO2 in its first 55 years. After that, its growth slows, and it takes in less carbon. Left untouched, it ultimately rots or burns and all that CO2 gets released.

Last year, the Canadian government commissioned a study to determine the quantity of carbon sequestered by the country's woodlands, which account for a tenth of global forests. It hoped to use the CO2-gathering power of 583 million acres of woods to offset its Kyoto Protocol-mandated responsibility to cut greenhouse gas emissions. No such luck. The report found that during many years, Canadian forests actually give up more carbon from decomposing wood than they lock down in new growth.

A well-managed tree farm acts like a factory for sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere, so the most climate-friendly policy is to continually cut down trees and plant new ones. Lots of them. A few simple steps: Clear the oldest trees and then take out dead trunks and branches to prevent fires; landfill the scrap. Plant seedlings and harvest them as soon as their powers of carbon sequestration begin to flag, and use the wood to produce only high-quality durable goods like furniture and houses. It won't make a glossy photo for the Sierra Club's annual report, but it will take huge amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by Seiko
 


Oh, I have no problem with national pride. I even mentioned that I liked all the nice stuff people were saying.

If we could get the feds on board with it, I'd be thrilled. It just feels a little hypocritical right now to me, that's all. All this yay Canada stuff, and well, I guess I don't feel like we truly deserve it yet. I had to phone my prospective MP (byelection time) yesterday and said if she continued to send me adverts every day for the last two weeks (the exact same one) I would change my mind about voting for her, because she's wasting resources.



[edit on 31-10-2009 by Duzey]



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 03:55 PM
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This seems politically motivated to me. Our tar sands have been called into account by many European nations and the US. "Dirt oil" they call it and they would be right. Besides, what would this little patch in Canada REALLY do for the CO2 problem?


Of the three places where carbon is stored—atmosphere, oceans, and land biosphere—approximately 93 percent of the CO 2 is found in the oceans. The atmosphere, at about 750 petagrams of carbon (a petagram [Pg] is 10 15 grams), has the smallest amount of carbon.


www.waterencyclopedia.com...

The oceans regulate 93% of the worlds CO2. The other 7%, meh.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 03:57 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

reply to post by Duzey

Oh, absolutely we should not stop with this alone! My apologies, as I believe I may have misinterpreted your post.

Trees only clean up CO2. Any other contaminants (true pollution) that are assimilated will lead to damage to the trees themselves. Ecology cannot be a single-step approach; however this is both a prudent as well as a necessary first step.

Despite my being a regular fixture on the Global Warming threads opposed to such schemes as carbon credits and energy taxes, There is cause to concern ourselves with CO2 production should we remove the planet's inherent ability to remove it naturally. This first step ensures that we will now have 250,000,000 acres of old-growth forest to help with maintaining that ability.

Hopefully, if enough stories of this continue, we can quit worrying about CO2 and begin to address some of the more serious pollutants: SO2, HCl, soot, heavy metal compounds, and the like. I for one, will breath a lot easier when we can focus on these (pun intended).

Besides, if it garners enough attention, maybe Canada will put aside enough forest to shame the US into doing more.


TheRedneck

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 04:57 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

reply to post by Ferris.Bueller.II

Yes, older trees tend to use up less CO2 relative to their size, but this is primarily because very little CO2 is available. Remember that the amount of CO2 present in the atmosphere is on average only 387 parts per million. A tree can only grow as fast as there is CO2 available for that growth, and older trees are larger and require more energy just to sustain their bulk.

However, older trees still do use CO2, in greater abundance than young saplings do. The sheer difference in size means one large tree will still use as much CO2 as hundreds of young saplings.

Death and decay are also fundamental parts of natural progression. Nature has already thought of this long before we were here. the first day an opening presents itself in the overhead canopy, numerous contestants begin growth spurts, each one reaching for that sunlight in an attempt to fill it. That's accelerated growth, which means accelerated CO2 usage. It also does not exist in laboratory settings; the very fact that a laboratory is operated under controlled conditions means that natural variations are not present.

I was still somewhat surpised to find this little snippet from your source:

It hoped to use the CO2-gathering power of 583 million acres of woods to offset its Kyoto Protocol-mandated responsibility to cut greenhouse gas emissions. No such luck. The report found that during many years, Canadian forests actually give up more carbon from decomposing wood than they lock down in new growth.

It would seem that this study was more about making sure there was no end run around the Kyoto Protocol than actually measuring CO2. If old growth forests produce CO2, then how is it we are not today breathing air composed of 90% of the stuff? Old growth forests have been around much longer than we can remember.

That in itself makes me question the veracity of this article. Both the conclusion, which goes against common reasoning, and the ability to so closely monitor CO2 emissions from a forest, lend themselves to incredulity. Then there's this article (ironically linked from yours), which states:

Take the proposal that we cut down old trees in favor of new ones. First, I don't buy the carbon accounting presented to advance this procrustean plan: Older trees can absorb CO2 for centuries after reaching maturity, while replanted forests can emit more CO2 than they sequester until the new trees are as much as 20 years old.


Also, one must remember there is no such thing as removing carbon. Carbon is an element. It will always exist as an element (unless it undergoes a nuclear change). If you burn it, it will become CO2. If you them break down CO2, you get carbon again. We have the exact same amount of carbon on the planet today as there was 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, or 1,000,000 years ago. And in 1000 years from now, we will still have the exact same amount of carbon. The only distinction that can happen would be the compounds that carbon is used in. The amount of carbon will remain the same.

We are talking about a dynamic system, as opposed to a static one. Carbon is the basis upon which all life is founded. It is therefore a fundamental part of the life cycle. Don't get caught up in the notion that carbon is some sort of planetary poison; that is only a myth that is intended to get you to live with less than you need, so others can have more than they need. As long as we have plant life in abundance, we will have oxygen to breath and a way to regulate CO2 levels automatically.

Once everyone understands this, maybe we can get around to actually removing pollution.

TheRedneck

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Putting aside forest is a good idea for anyone to do, and I didn't mean to give the impression that I was dismissive of it. Sorry about that.



Originally posted by TheRedneck
Besides, if it garners enough attention, maybe Canada will put aside enough forest to shame the US into doing more.


There's irony in there somewhere. A rather amusing and clever bit of writing from one of the local papers that you may enjoy - I urge you to read the whole thing, it's pretty funny:



The pessimists, worrywarts and naysayers out there may want us all to feel down and despondent but the fact is, being the world's worst per capita contributors to greenhouse gases means we're actually number one at something. And there are few things–outside of hockey–that we've ever been number one at. So, come on all you proud Canadians out there, let's hear it: "We're number one! We're number one! We're number one!"

......

It's true that this topic has been much discussed in the Canadian media –and it certainly did make a big splash in an earlier piece of mine, Canada: Top Ten Things To Love and Hate, where it once again came in at number one. But to have commentators in other countries taking note of our unique status like this is definitely something extra-special that's clearly worth celebrating.

I mean, to be this noticed and discussed by people around the globe when it comes to the most critical issue facing the planet today really does make one feel rather lucky to be a Canadian right now.

It's great to know that–though usually a small player on the world stage–when it comes to the big stories of our times such as this one, we truly can, at times, be world-class contributors, pulling far more than our own weight.

We're number one: A positive take on Canada's dismal environmental record









[edit on 31-10-2009 by Duzey]



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 06:01 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

reply to post by Duzey

There's irony in there somewhere.

It's hidden under that big pile of CO2 in the corner.


What amazes me is the difference in viewpoint this editorial shows. Here all this time I was thinking that according to the rest of the world, the USA was the greatest polluter since Duke Nukem of Captain Planet fame. And now after reading this, I find out we're in second place?

Again, I wonder at how badly the media is distorted when reporting 'facts' about Global Warming. We don't even know who is doing the polluting anymore!

BTW, that was a hilarious piece! Now my next question: it is obvious this guy can spin a story like a pro. So how do you think you'll like Mike Cowie as your next Prime Minister?


TheRedneck

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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I do find it ironic that people scream that the rain forests are being destroyed, but then in the same breadth state that saving a large forest in Canada means little.
Which is it, people? You can't have it both ways.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by ProfEmeritus

Although they are banning logging, I would think that they have a way of clearing trees that need to be replace, but that is a great point.


It's called lightning...causes forest fires. Mother Nature's methodology.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 11:21 PM
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There is a lot more that can be done than preserving boreal forests. Cities could be transformed into CO2 sinks if they got rid of lawns and put trees there instead. Farmlands could be "framed" with rows of trees to keep the wind from eroding the land.

This is done now, I know, on a small scale, but if it was more universally implemented I think it would make a difference.

For the most part, everywhere a city or farm sits, there once was a forest.

Lets put it back as much as we can.



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 12:41 AM
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Red neck, I dont want to get in a flame war with you. You got alot of facts. But i still say this is a small parking lot of trees for our great neighbor to the north. Now if they would do this to all of the NWT and throw in the Yukon too I might stand up and cheer. I see this as a way to try to make a public feely-good story for the looky-loo media hounds and maybe take their interest off the the rape of the Alberta tar sands.
I ask you have you ever been north of 40th and seen how resources are extracted from this pristine wilderness. Its not pretty. And the bigfoot dont like it ether. I've seen both.
Fact are just words. Show me some pics of this wonderful area that are going to save our CO's. I would like that. The north is beautiful.



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 12:42 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

reply to post by wayno

Even lawns absorb CO2, but trees would absorb more.

What I believe would help is if we replaced some of the concrete slabs with grass and trees. I can't prove it (yet), but I have this sneaking suspicion that the heat island effect from concrete has at least as much to do with potential rising temperatures as CO2 does... probably more.

TheRedneck

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 01:04 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

reply to post by out west

No flame war here. Just a debate.


I honestly wasn't sure from your last post what you were complaining about, so I tried to cover as many bases as I could within reason. Now I see I was correct about your complaint being the size that is being set aside.

I must admit I have never seen the Northwest. My cross country trips driving a truck never carried me to that area, unfortunately. I have always wanted to see it. I hear from friends that it is indeed beautiful. You should see the pics I have of a friend driving down Cabbage.

Back on topic, though: there always has to be a balance struck. Yes, we need trees. But we also need wood. Wood comes from trees. So some trees are going to have to be sacrificed in order to produce that wood. I believe the best solution is a continuing cycle of allowing trees to grow to maturity, then cutting them down and replacing them with new trees. That way, the health of the forest being used is maintained, the forest continues to operate as a check on climatic activity, and people can still have the resources they need. After all, who benefits when a forest becomes so old that dying trees begin to create a fire danger from lightning (as was mentioned by another poster above). The trees still die, but the devastation is as severe as if the forest was clear cut, and no one gets the use of any of the resources. Also, if you are concerned about CO2 levels, the burning process creates large amounts of CO2. Harvesting the trees for wood does not.

Even in this mountain I am soooo proud of, I harvest trees. The difference is that I am very careful of which trees I cut. I avoid cutting large hardwoods unless they are dead or dying. Each time I clear it out, new trees spring up to take the old ones place. The balance is maintained. And so far, this forest has not burned in over 100 years (the extent of our knowledge).

Perhaps you are correct that this program needs to be expanded. But which is better? To wait and dedicate nothing until enough land is dedicated to satisfy, or to accept what is offered today and press for more tomorrow? I say the latter. And if someone feels good about it, who does that hurt? Publicity, good publicity, will make it that much easier to expand the program to include more land. Publicity is our friend, not our enemy.

I have no knowledge about the tar sands, so I'll leave that subject for someone who does.

As for pics of this place, I'll be happy to oblige. Tomorrow (possibly Monday). It is late, and I have to work tomorrow after church, but I'll try to either find the pic I have posted in the past or take new ones.

TheRedneck

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 01:04 AM
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Redneck. to help you out on this one: did you know that the concrete industry is one of the worlds largest air polluters?
I still love the stuff though. India has a heritage site of the worlds oldest mortar & concrete. Like 5000 yrs old.

Im a carpenter. I wouldn't have a job without trees. Cheers

[edit on 1-11-2009 by out west]



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 01:19 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

reply to post by out west

No, I did not know that! Thank you for the info! I will look into it.

Gotta love them trees!


Cheers,
TheRedneck

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



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