Barry Saxifrage, writing in the National Observer, lays out the complicated way Canada reports forest carbon balances, and how that reporting has been changed in recent years to hide some inconvenient truths
In a remarkable, lengthy and well researched opinion piece, Barry Saxifrage lays out the complicated way Canada reports forest carbon balances, and how that reporting has been changed in recent years so that we can continue to “to use a big whack of forest carbon “offsets” to meet Canada’s 2030 climate target”.
He writes in the National Observer as “a climate reporter and National Observer’s resident chart geek [who] focuses on the data of climate change”. View: As Canada’s forests become carbon bombs, Ottawa pushes the crisis off the books
by Barry Saxifrage on nationalobserver.com, March 30, 2020.
In summary, the government’s own data shows that Canada’s managed forests, and the wood taken out of them each year, have become one of our country’s largest climate pollution sources. Logging now extracts vastly more carbon than is growing back — tipping our forests from weak CO2 sinks into massive CO2 emitters. Rather than taking responsibility for our actions that are driving this new threat, the government is trying to push it all off the books through “creative” accounting, generational burden shifting and fake “offsets” schemes.
It’s a disturbing story, one I had some inkling to, but the story had proved far too laden with bureaucratese for me to figure out. I have not seen any equivalent analysis to that provided by Barry S.
If his is a highly flawed analysis, then our federal government climate scientists and carbon modellers will, I expect, respond to it. If it isn’t, I suspect there will be silence or some guarded comments from those scientists that do not directly contradict the messaging of Big Forestry and the quasi-independent institutions that support Big Forestry such as FPInnovations. Based on their history, I am not expecting any original or immediate comments from climate change and carbon modelling experts in the NS bureaucracy. Big Forestry will do its best to discredit the author and his message if it gains any traction. Otherwise, they will be silent.
I can hope that either Barry Saxifrage is completely wrong, or I am wrong about how I expect our federal science bureaucrats and Big Forestry will respond.
A few of the related posts on NSFN
Marcus Zwicker: Managed forests sequester more carbon than unmanaged forests
Posted on February 20, 2019
Climate Warming Warnings: time to be objective about forest bioenergy in Nova Scotia
Posted on October 9, 2018
AND see: Greta: We must fight the climate crisis and pandemic simultaneously
By Adam Vaughan in New Scientist Daily Newsletter, Mar 30, 2020.
The world needs to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and climate change simultaneously, and guard against people who try to use the current crisis to delay action on cutting carbon emissions, Greta Thunberg has urged.
Also, this Covid-19 related example of Big Forestry messaging on climate change: Wood Pellet Association of Canada Open Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Mar 25, 2020), “The majority of Canadian wood pellets are exported to Europe and Asia to generate clean, renewable, low-carbon electricity in power plants…Our product is contributing to the fight against global warming because we have replaced dirty coal in power plants.”
Also view: NSFN: Climate Change>Forests, Silviculture & Climate Change
Tip of the Hat to Tree Frog Forestry News for Mar 30, 2020 for highlighting the article by Barry Saxifrage