Global Warming Conference Report: Logging Old Growth Forests to Stop Global Warming

Husband David has sent another note from the U.N. conference on global warming in chilly Montreal:

This afternoon I attended a briefing entitled “Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol in Russia: Current Status and Outlook,” sponsored by a Moscow-based outfit called the National Carbon Sequestration Foundation.

One of the speakers was an official with the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia who suggested that the use of forests as carbon sinks would be a critical part of Russia’s efforts to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions and the key to any future negotiations.

That wasn’t the interesting part, however.

Unless the translator got things horribly wrong, the official said that part of Russia’s strategy for reducing net carbon dioxide emissions would be to begin significant new logging operations in remote parts of Russia. The rationale is that older trees emit greenhouse gases while younger trees consume them. The wood fiber would then be used to meet some of Russia’s energy needs.

Yes, he’s talking about logging old growth forests.

The Sierra Club must love these guys.

And, speaking of environmental organizations, the Ministry official was asked why it is that the Russian government has been sharply restricting the activities of foreign-based environmental organizations within Russia.

His response was something like this: It’s not that we think that the activities of foreign environmental groups should be limited, but that we have a sufficient number of groups with the expertise on these issues domestically.

Only in the former Soviet Union.

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