Friday, April 16, 2010

An Ugly Blemish

I have been writing only of all the good things I have discovered here but there are some bad and some ugly as well. The first and worst is the logging industry which continues to cut down old growth forests, replant them with a monoculture and call it sustainable forestry. Beautiful old and rare rainforests are being chipped and sent to Japan to be made into office paper!! The excellent roads I have driven on in Tasmania are excellent because they are logging routes and here, logging rules. It makes me sick to see enormous trucks, laden with ancient timber, hurtling along highways and through small country towns, so I chose to live off the logging route and only experience its horrors when I have no choice but to use those roads.

image Well, that is what I thought until a week or so ago, when massive plumes of smoke rose from beyond the hills, blocking out the afternoon sun in the west. It was not until someone told me that I realised this was a consequence of the logging..... burning everything that is left.... it is so sad, so unbelievably stupid and amazingly ridiculous that they are allowed to send ancient forest remnants soaring into the air as carbon in this day and age! Here, you cannot escape the logging.

But there are, thankfully, people who do more than just moan about things. The Greens and The Wilderness Society are very strong in Tasmania, with the Greens getting 20% of the vote in the recent elections. In Cygnet, it was 40% for the Greens.(And there I was pleased when in South Australia 10% of the vote in Burnside was for the Greens!) A delegation from the Forest Stewardship Council went to Japan, to speak to the customers who buy the wood chips.They have made some huge gains as this news item explains:

Green groups hope rule change curbs logging

By Felicity Ogilvie for PM, ABC

Posted Mon Feb 1, 2010 10:45pm AEDT

Environmental groups are hoping that rule changes will soon force the Tasmanian timber giant Gunns to end old growth logging.

Their hopes are based on the interest that Gunns has shown in getting certification from non-profit organisation the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The council does not allow companies to take timber from high-conservation-value forests and the process would force Gunns to negotiate with environmental groups.

Gunns, which has made millions selling woodchips to Japan, will not say if it plans to stop logging old-growth forests.

But the Japanese no longer want to buy woodchips that are not certified by the FSC.

Read the rest here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/01/2807246.htm

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