Spending bill would open the world’s largest intact temperate forest to logging

March 22, 2018 by  
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The world’s largest intact temperate forest sits in southeast Alaska , where towering trees have been growing for over a millennium. But if Trump and his cronies have their way, those trees won’t be around much longer. As part of the budget bill being negotiated today, Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski is pushing to increase old-growth logging in the state. If the measure passes, it could lead to the destruction of one of the last old-growth coniferous trees in the United States. The move would support the last industrial-scale sawmill in that part of Alaska, which employs just 34 people. Viking Lumber Company has been operating in Alaska for over 60 years, and its equipment shows its age. But according to the company’s VP, they can’t afford to upgrade to newer equipment that can handle the smaller sizes of newer trees. If they can no longer cut down old-growth trees, the company will have to shut its doors. Related: The Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is Cloning Trees to Save them for Future Generations But the Tongass forest and surrounding areas have been logged to death for decades, and the ecosystem can’t handle more. The forest encompasses 17 million acres of mostly untouched land that is home to wolves, bears, mink, voles, salmon and the largest concentration of nesting bald eagles in the world. Trees in the forest are cut down to make trim and moldings for homes, as well as soundboards for pianos. About 1/3 of it is exported to China. In 2016, after years of research and effort, the practice of old-growth logging was to be phased out over the next 20 years, but Murkowski wants to stop that from happening. If nothing else, her stance is consistent with her policy of opening Alaska up for more oil, gold and gas extraction, but the move could destroy something that the US has precious little of, all in the name of preserving a dying industry. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia , Deposit Photos and Flickr

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Spending bill would open the world’s largest intact temperate forest to logging

China to Trump: Climate change is not a hoax

November 21, 2016 by  
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China just rejected US President-elect Donald Trump’s widely derided claim that global warming is a Chinese hoax created to harm the American manufacturing sector. Speaking at the UN climate summit in Marrakech, Morocco , China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said that his country couldn’t have invented climate change because previous Republican administrations actually put global warming solutions on the international agenda. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Jnu09xQ4lk “If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” said Liu. Related: John Kerry says Obama administration will work to stop Trump from leaving Paris agreement Trump has promised to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, a move that China has criticized . Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change, said that “a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends,” adding that “if they resist this trend, I don’t think they’ll win the support of their people, and their country’s economic and social progress will also be affected.” China and the US jointly agreed in September to ratify the Paris pact. While China is expected to live up to its climate pledge, the election of Trump, the only world leader to deny climate science, has generated uncertainty as to whether the US will meet its international obligations. Unlike Trump and today’s GOP, Reagan and Bush senior accepted climate science and were committed to climate action. A series of confidential memos during the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations, demonstrate the extent of how serious they took global warming and how much they thought that the US needed to take a leadership role. A 1989 memo from George H.W. Bush’s acting assistant secretary Richard J. Smith to then-Secretary of State James A. Baker III called global warming “the most far reaching environmental issue of our time.” Smith continued, writing that “if the climate change within the range of current predictions actually occurs, the consequences for every nation and every aspect of human activity will be profound.” Via The Guardian

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China to Trump: Climate change is not a hoax

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