Letter to the Editor: Malfunction in thinking

DEAR News Of The Area,

DID you know that one 100-year-old eucalypt stores as much carbon as 270 ten-year-old trees?

That saving forests is the most practical, rapid, economical and effective means for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the immediate future and will continue to sequester carbon into the long-term future.

So, when Essential Energy makes a business decision to phase out hardwood telegraph poles and transition to composite poles, I see those stands of timber as being well on their way to providing the many benefits of their crucial role in the carbon cycle.

Composite timber products should be things we can have a community conversation about.

In last week’s NOTA article, Nats Go Into Bat For the Timber Industry, claims are made that the change to composite poles will increase power prices yet no economic modelling to prove the case is presented.

It’s a bit quaint for the North Coast Nationals to clamour for government intervention when they don’t like the decision that a private company makes to use a product that is easier to install, has a longer life and lower maintenance costs.

In fact, as it loses another significant income stream from the sales of its product, how much government support does the revenue losing state-owned Forestry Corporation need?

What does a sustainable forest industry in a climate constrained world look like?

The type of mindset that we need to grow when climate is our biggest, global existential threat is the one where we knuckle down and get on with taking the action needed and to stop polarising our society with issues that thrive on division.

Using natural climate solutions are essential to draw down enough atmospheric C02 to give us a chance at limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees or even two degrees.

Forest pathways offer two thirds of the most cost-effective natural climate solutions available and about half the low-cost mitigation opportunities to keep warming in this range.

When a forest is logged some 66 percent of the stored carbon is left in the forest to rot or burn, some 20 percent may end up as sawdust or a short-lived product, with only 12.8 percent ending up in longer lived timber products.

Stopping logging in the GKNP alone will reduce annual carbon emissions due to logging by some 410,000 tonnes per annum.


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