Forestry and Global Warming
Forests are an important use of land in most countries. This is true for many reasons, but when it comes to global warming, it is particularly true. Plant life can scrub carbon dioxide from the air. Much of the very carbon dioxide that is one of the causes of global warming can be eliminated just by being in the vicinity of certain plants.
Trees are the best carbon dioxide scrubbers there are in nature. Old growth trees are especially good at removing carbon dioxide from the air and storing it within their cells. For this reason, old growth trees need to be protected from the lumber jack's blade.
While the lumber trade argues that the old growth trees can be easily replaced by new trees, this is simply not the case. New trees do not possess the abilities that old trees have of preventing global warming by trapping carbon dioxide.
Some proponents of cutting suggest that certain new trees are capable of trapping more greenhouse gases than the old trees. The truth is that, even if this is true, it is not true when you compare the new special trees to any trees that have many decades of growth. To prevent global warming, you need trees with some substance to them.
One law was proposed to stop logging and road building in the forest to prevent global warming. This particular law was to protect a large amount of forest-approximately 13 million acres on ancient forest. Most of this forest was so unspoiled that it did not even have any roads at all. This law would also ban clear-cutting, a practice that totally destroys acres upon acres of old growth trees.
Several studies have been done to estimate the amount potential global warming caused by the deforestation of tropical rainforests. Loggers do not just take out mature trees for lumber. People who want to clear a place to live, work, or farm in the jungle clear the forest by cutting and burning large portions of the rainforest.
As if this was not enough, other greenhouse gases are increased by deforestation. These include methane and nitrous oxide. Global warming is foreseeable when people greedily take the rainforest and other forests for their own purposes.
It seems that, by the figures in these studies, global warming prevention should focus on the green house emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels first. However, the deforestation comes in a close second in causes for global warming.
People can stop this dependence on old growth trees for lumber. There are many different building materials available to be used. It does not upset the balance of nature when you build with stone, for example. Also, furniture can be made from other materials. When people learn that forests are important in stopping global warming, they can help the situation by refusing to use lumber that comes from old growth forests and the rainforest.