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Friday, January 23, 2009

Wake up leaders of the World:Western Forests Dying at record rate!

A disturbing new study concerning the state of the forests in North America's western forests has been released to the public, and published in the journal "Science". The research indicates that the "rate of tree death has more than doubled over the last few decades from the rainforests of British Columbia to seemingly healthy forests on mountain tops in Colorado," says the report. "The rising tree mortality is pervasive the study says and can be seen from high to low evalations, in trees of all ages,sizes and species...". The culprit of this problem? Scientists can't conclusively prove climate change is the culprit,however they have ruled out pretty much everything else.Rising temperatures and the water shortages associated with the changing climate are the "most likely drivers", they report. Lori Daniels who has monitored the trees since 1992 and is now a biogeography professor at the University of British Columbia, "suspects tree mortality has also doubled in other old-growth forests across Western Canada.. Werner Kurz, senior forest researcher at Natural Resources Canada stated .."rising temperatures have increased wildfires in northern Canada in the last decade and fuelled the devastating pine beetle outbreak that has killed swaths of British Columbia's interior forests.She and her co-authors of the "Science" studies worry, however, that the true death rate will keep soaring as the climate warms, resulting in much sparser forests that are more vunerable to pests and prone to sudden, extensive diebacks." As a result of the death of these forests, "Average temperatures in the West rose more than one degree F (half a degree C) over the last few decades, stated Philip van Mantgem of the U.S. Geological Survey. While this may not sound like much, it has been enough to reduce winter snowpack, cause earlier snow melt, and lengthen the summer drought."

"When trees die or burn, the carbon dioxide which they take in, is released back into the atmosphere.So, a dying forest adds to the carbon that helps warm the planet's surface.", stated Nathan Stephenson of the U.S. Geological Survey."

Daniels states, "the death rate in forests has gone from 0.5 to one percent over 17 years. In a stand of 100 trees, 40 of them would be gone in 50 years if the current one-percent mortality rate persists." (Source:Western Forests dying at record rate, written by Margaret Munro of the CanWest News Service).

According to the Greenpeace Foundation, "Forest loss has a direct link to loss of biodiversity. The current extinction rate of plant and animal species is around 1,000 times faster than it was in pre-human times – and this will increase to 10,000 times faster by 2050. this will lead to gradation of forest to a point at which it is no longer a viable habitat for its plant and animal species. (source:http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/forests/our-disappearing-forests)

"Trees also stop wind and rain removing soil, they modify local climate and slow down climate change by storing carbon. Tropical forests are disappearing at a rate of about 13 million hectares per year (approximately the size of Greece). This magnitude of destruction has an impact not only at a local level, but also globally. Cutting down forests not only threatens the extinction of a diverse range of plants and animals, but also causes climate disruption: deforestation is responsible for around 20% of global CO2 emissions, making it a major contributor to climate change. Together with forest degradation, it also poses a threat to the cultural integrity and way of life of people dependent on forests for their livelihood." (source:http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/deforestation.htm)

Our forests must be protected if we and other species are going to be able to continue to live on our planet. According to "the Alliance for Credible Forest Certification,"


"multinational loggers must be stopped from being able to engage in large-scale clearcutting and chemical use, logging of old growth and endangered forests, and replacement of forests by ecologically degraded tree plantations. more balanced forest management can maintain forest ecosystems while providing wood and paper products, recreation, and benefits to local communities." (source: http://credibleforestcertification.org/fsc_facts/why_forests_matter/)

Privately owned forests in the world must begin to be permanently protected from development, like what happened in Montana, when two private conservation groups, the Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land, bought the land using private donations, and monies obtained from the United States Federal Government. (source:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/us/01develop.html).

Citizens of our world must speak out to the leaders of the world and tell them that immediate action must be taken to change the path that our leaders are taking, a path which may devastate all forms of life on our planet, including our own.


The article, "Western Forests dying at record rate," was published in the Friday, January 23,2009 edition of the Edmonton Journal newspaper.

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.