26 October, 2006

LETTERS: Blind ideology endangers sound debate

Mark Poynter, forestry consultant, Institute of Foresters of Australia
October 26, 2006

The outraged response to my article about the GHG abatement benefits of native forest wood production reinforces my central point that blind anti-logging ideology threatens to counteract alternative energy initiatives that are addressing global warming.

Despite evoking a passionate save-the-forest tirade, my article clearly stated that wood production is only permitted within a 10 per cent portion of Victoria's forests, and so concerns that logging threatens forest survival and integrity are irrelevant.

If our society is to advance, we must address environmental issues in a clear-eyed rational manner. This cannot occur if public debate continues to be dominated by ill-informed armchair environmentalists whose only answers lie in tired rhetoric, self-righteous indignation, and discrediting the informed thoughts of scientists who grapple with environmental issues on a daily basis.

Foresters know what they are doing
Norman Endacott, Warranwood

Your four correspondents (Business, 24/10) pillory Mark Poynter (Business, 18/10) for dutifully sticking to the truth in debunking the misinformation perpetrated by Gavan McFadzean, who has attributed bad global warming outcomes to the harvesting and concomitant regeneration of our native forests. Those forest management practices have been honed over the years, and cannot be accused of depleting or degrading those forests, in terms of environmental values or long-term timber sustainability or carbon retention.

Those four people have an ignorance of the life cycle of a tree, a forest, a forest landscape mosaic, or an ecosystem, and they just cannot perceive the waxing and waning associated with the interplay of the foresters' ministrations and nature.


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