For our January 12 show, Earthgauge Radio took measure of the state of the world’s forests in our look back at the recently-concluded International Year of the Forest. Now new research is showing that forest die-offs are on the increase and this troubling trend is being linked to global warming. Heat and water stress associated with climate change are making forests vulnerable to insect attacks, fires and other problems.
In a troubling new article from the Environmental News Network, we learn that in addition to the current threats facing global forests, there is now a movement afoot to increase the use of wood as a biofuel, thus increasing the pressure on vulnerable and critical ecosystems around the world. Here is an excerpt from the article:
As reported in an October 2011 New York Times article, millions of acres of forests in the northern and central Rockies are dying. In Colorado, at least 15 percent of that state’s aspen forests are suffering due to a lack of water. The U.S. is not the only country where forests are succumbing to the effects of a warming climate, trees are also being impacted by climate change all around the globe.
Despite the wealth of data supporting global warming and the crucial importance of forests to planetary health, world industry leaders in wood materials gathered in Seattle on April 11-13 to discuss the role of woody biomass for production of biofuels. According to a UBC study, wood-based biofuels could be a competitive industry by 2020. While biofuels offer questionable benefits to the planet, wood based biofuels are even more suspect.
Sustainability news: Forests and the Health of the Planet.
From forest management to conservation to celebrating the beauty of the world’s forests, the latest issue of Alternatives
Journal looks at the general theme of forestry. Author Jeff Gailus (The Grizzly Manifesto) takes a critical look at Parks Canada in their 100th year to peek behind the curtain to see how they really measure up. This issue also features Andrew Nikiforuk on the wake of the pine beetle, Margaret Atwood on the Greenbelt movement, and the best photos of 2011 from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
Click the audio player above to hear my podcast version of the magazine, in which I feature the following interviews:
Jeff Gailus on Parks Canada’s 100th anniversary (13:20)
Tenille Bonoguore discussing the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (10:40)
Will Turner on Conservation International’s 10 global forest hotspots (14:12)
Right click here to download the podcast.