All agree that it is bad for the climate to chop down the tropical rainforest. But the forest industry claims that in the United Kingdom the opposite is true for the climate to chop down the forest and cultivate it. Here we will address their arguments one by one to show that the current UK forestry climate benefits are questionable.
Adolescent forest stores carbon. It’s true. But back a little: before the young forest, there was a clear-cut, and before clearing a fully grown forest. The full-grown forests contained more carbon than the young forest because the trees were rough, and this carbon is released largely out when the trees used to make paper, fuel, and wood products. A forest that will remain also continues to store carbon in the soil in the long term, including through slowly decomposing plant material and fungi thread system in the ground. When the forest Calaveras released not only the carbon in the trees but the land is disturbed and greenhouse gases leaking from the felling area for at least ten years. About a quarter of the United Kingdom’s carbon dioxide emissions come from clearcutting.
Eventually, the forest grows back up and store the carbon in trees and soil, but if an ancient forest Calaveras it takes a long time before it stores a lot of carbon again. We have not the time! According to the IPCC, we must reduce greenhouse gases immediately to avoid an even warmer climate. In the long term stored carbon in forest and land again, but in the short term (say 10-20 years) it does not matter if the carbon dioxide is coming from fossil fuels or biomass from the forest – the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases, in which case, and the short time perspective is important if we are to mitigate the greenhouse effect. The short-term emissions may even be greater biofuel from forestry, because there will be emissions from the clear-cut as well, besides the fuel itself. The carbon cycle is complicated and we do not know everything. We should be wary of releasing carbon dioxide because it is uncertain how much is absorbed and when.
Long-lived wood products (such as houses) stores carbon and replace more energy-intensive materials. Although it is better to build houses of wood than concrete, so lasting, most wood products do not last as long as a house. Nor is obviously better to replace more energy-intensive materials with wood: we must first consider whether we should make the product at all. In any case, much of the forest cut down short-lived paper products, packaging, advertising, and prints/copies, many of which are thrown on the same day. The coal from these ports quickly in the atmosphere.
It is good to replace fossil fuels with biofuels. Yes, we need to stop using fossil fuels. But it is not obviously good to readily replace fossil fuels with biofuels. It depends on what we use energy for: to chop down the forest, for example, be able to continue with mass motoring does not hold in the long run. Fossil fuels come from plants stored over millions of years and we are burning up at breakneck speed; we obviously can not get out as much energy by harvesting the forest that grows in our lifetime. Biofuels can only make a limited contribution to managing the transition from fossil fuels globally, and since they also carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is something we should conserve, not something that actually benefits the climate. We need to reduce our energy use and find other energy sources.
The forest industry often uses forestry alleged climate benefits as a reason to justify increased logging and to override the modern forestry threat to biodiversity. As we saw in the first part of the article forestry climate arguments major shortcomings. But in addition, it is wrong to put climate change on biodiversity loss: both are in themselves a major threat to humans and the ecosystems we depend on. These two threats are also linked – the species-poor monocultures that promote forestry are more vulnerable to future climate change, and climate change is itself a threat to biodiversity.