Better balance of information needed |

Better balance of information needed

The recent “Conversation about the Forest” conference was interesting, but failed to provide balanced information on several important issues. At least to my ear, many presentations seemed like industry public relations efforts carefully crafted to sway an environmentally concerned and aware public, rather than honest evaluations of issues, problems and solutions. For instance, the discussion of population pressure mentioned but failed to seriously examine the other side of that coin, namely resource consumption rates and ways to reduce consumer demand for wood products. (After all, under what conditions would the timber industry want to reduce consumption of wood products?)

In a discussion of “alternative” building materials wood was found to compare favorably to steel and plastic in terms of environmental inputs and effects. Interestingly, no comparison was made to environmentally friendly alternate building materials, such as earth or straw bale. Thousands of fully code-compliant, conventional-looking straw-bale homes are being built across the country, including in Nevada County. These homes have the additional benefit of being well insulated.

Another talk that was a bit much presented clearcutting of our forests and intensive industrial plantations on a massive scale as the solution to environmental problems of our time.

I find that we need much more conversation on forest issues, with honest and serious dialogue and presentation of information. Ideally with much less self-serving rhetoric.

Peter Elias


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