11 June, 2007

AGE LETTER: Storing carbon

Letter in The Age, Sunday 11 June 2007

I could not contain my anger when reading Scott Gentle's letter about "natural carbon storage" (The Age, 10/6). Allow me to firstly correct this spokesman for the timber industry. While a certain amount of carbon is indeed stored in timber when a tree is cut down, a great deal of carbon is also released by the decomposition of all the leaf matter, smaller branches and roots that the loggers can't profit from and thus leave behind.

Further, any timber or timber product — including paper — that is subsequently burnt releases still further carbon. But let's be serious for a moment. Does Mr Gentle argue that cutting down trees to store the carbon as timber furniture is more effective than simply allowing the tree to live?

Please, stick with your tired old lines about loggers' jobs. Arguing for deforestation on environmental grounds is not your forte and is an insult to anyone with an IQ above 30.

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