Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Combating Global Warming - Forests/Trees/Plants/Soils

Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber

One of my most favorite things in the world is trees and forests of them!!

I guess I was lucky - since I was a little girl growing up, I got to go to forests.

And part of curbing Global Warming - or climate change - is by protecting forests. I want them protected anyway because I love them, but there are many reasons for planet health to protect them. In my own opinion (I am just a public lay-person after all - not a scientist!!), way too much forest has been cut down on this planet over the centuries - and we need to plant them.

One of my favorite environmental groups - Conservation International - has an article about how forests help to curb Global Warming on their website : The Road After Bali (Jan. 2008) - you can click on this link to get to it and read it yourself.

Here is a quote from it:

"Forests are one of the best hopes to curb climate change, and Conservation
International (CI) has been protecting them for decades. The new Bali roadmap
shows the world is catching on.

"At last month’s United Nations
in Indonesia
, countries agreed to consider a greater role for forests in a
climate treaty that will replace the Kyoto Protocol. Forest mitigation
activities have been sorely underused, and were met with opposition in past
negotiations despite having clear benefits.

"Healthy forests remove massive amounts of CO2 from the air, but when
burnt down or cleared, they spew harmful gases into the air. Tropical
deforestation accounts for 20 percent of global emissions.

" 'The forest component of climate is a great opportunity to
prevent greenhouse gas emissions,' says CI President Russell A. Mittermeier.
'But it’s also a tool for biodiversity conservation at a scale never before
imagined.' "

So -- now we can combine our love of forests just for the love of them with biodiversity conservation (which is of course very logical) and curbing Global Warming - good all around!!

But I just read an article today on the Internet about another project going on in the UK about researching how to manage and design soils which may also help to remove carbon from the atmosphere permanently and cost effectively: "Specially-designed Soils Could Help Combat Climate Change" from the Science Daily dated April 2, 2008 -- (read it!!)

This sounds like a great idea to me - I hope the research projects show that it works!!

And I would like to add one more thing from my favorite philosopher on the environment, Aldo Leopold from the book, "A Sand County Almanac":

"Many forest plantations are producing one-log or two-log trees on soil which
originally grew three-log and four-log trees. Why? Thinking
foresters know that the cause probably lies not in the tree, but in the
micro-flora of the soil and that it may take more years to restore the soil
flora than it took to destroy it."

Yes, folks, if you think our forests look smaller, you are probably observing correctly - partially because of logging and partially because the micro-flora of the soil is not what it used to be, so trees that are growing are growing in smaller -- especially in areas where there has been logging or tree-removal as that negatively impacts the micro-flora of the soil -- so I am a big advocate of soil restoration and planting trees!!!!

And if you would like to know more about Aldo Leopold, who actually did forest restoration in his life, check out his family's foundation website: The Aldo Leopold Foundation - There is a lot of information about what Aldo Leopold did, wrote and advocated - and what this family foundation does - I just went there and on the first page is a letter from his daughter, Nina Leopold Bradley, to our presidential candidates. Again - I totally agree with a member of the Leopold family!!

And, oh, by the way - when you visit the Conservation International website, calculate your ecological footprint - I took their test and got a score of 64 - according to them that makes me an "Eco-Ally" which I strive to be every day I live!!


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