10 April, 2009

In the dark ages

Glenn Osboldstone, East Malvern, Lawyers for Forests
The Age (letter), April 10, 2009

JOE HELPER'S plan (The Age, 9/4) to burn native forest for electricity shows how out of touch he is. The vast majority of Australians want to keep our remaining ancient forests standing. This dark-ages technology, raised as a means of propping up our unsustainable logging industry, fails to acknowledge the downsides — massive deforestation and habitat destruction, loss of vital carbon storehouses, degradation of our water purifiers and transformation of beautiful forests into ecological wastelands.

The claims that only the "byproducts of sawlog harvesting" will be used are misleading because, as shown by Vicforests' own figures, barely 2 per cent of what is clear-felled ends up as a high-value product. Most, including sawlog-quality wood, is trucked to woodchip mills to end up either as paper or shipped off to Japan.

A far better approach would be to move logging workers into our extensive plantation estate and support real renewable energy projects such as huge solar thermal facilities and geothermal and wind plants.

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