To listen to this week’s Earth Minute, click on the following link and go to minute 39:30:
Text from this week’s Earth Minute:
On May second, scientists published a new study confirming that the biggest, oldest trees in the forest are crucial for mitigating climate change.
The study took place in Yosemite National Park where researchers found that while trees larger than 3-feet in diameter made up only 1% of the trees in the forest, they stored nearly half of the forest’s carbon.
This has significant implications for efforts to curb deforestation-related carbon emissions.
Industry would like us to believe that where climate change is concerned, a tree is a tree is a tree, and there is no difference between an industrial tree plantation and a native forest. We can cut the forests, they argue, as long as we replant.
But as this study points out, you cannot merely “replace” trees that have 200 or more years of carbon stored in them. You have to stop cutting them down.
The world’s remaining native forests need to be taken out of the hands of corporations and returned to the communities that depend on them–for this is one of the best ways to protect them.
For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.
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The scientists interviewed for the NYTimes about this study also said they “don’t understand why” trees are dying off at a faster than normal rate, which is perplexing since as I wrote in this blog post
I’ve written to them about the toxic effects of ozone, which make trees and in fact annual crops as well, more likely to be attacked and killed by insects, disease and fungus.
It’s really unfortunate that foresters are just as shy about making this connection, which is just as obvious as that between smoking and cancer, as climate scientists have until recently been about making the obvious link between record-smashing violent and extreme weather and global warming.
I hope some day they’ll be less concerned about being labeled “alarmist” and more concerned about identifying the underlying cause for trees to be in decline all over the world, because they are literally and quite visibly dying before our eyes while we hear the endless call, “more research is needed”.
At the very top of the blog I referred to is a link to “Pillage, Plunder & Pollute LLC” which has extensive footnotes to scientific research that over decades of study demonstrates, both in field studies and controlled fumigation chamber studies, that air pollution, which though invisible in inexorably rising, is extremely poisonous to vegetation.