Political parties must address deforestation and growth

We can no longer base our lifestyle on continuous consumption and never-ending growth.

Political parties must address deforestation and growth

It’s interesting that political party policies do not mention stopping deforestation or minimizing growth.

On Vancouver Island alone I have witnessed the forested land being cut down for subdivision after subdivision. From Swartz Bay to Victoria and all the way up the Island.

Meanwhile, the large corporate logging companies who hold the lease to harvest the forests on the Island are cutting so much timber that there is negligible old growth remaining and the newer trees are one-tenth the size. These newer forests are not like the older forests which were made up of cedar, hemlock, spruce, fir and balsam to name a few. No, they are quick grow, single type trees being planted. Ken James of the Youbou Timberless Society once stated: “If we processed our lumber in BC instead of shipping out raw logs, we could cut half as many trees and employ twice as many local people.”

These ancient forests once helped maintain oxygen levels on this planet, they stopped flooding in the winter/spring by absorbing water, and these large trees kept the forest floors cool in the hotter months. These same old growth forests took the carbon from the atmosphere and converted it to oxygen.

Now, today we have flooding in the rainy season and spring, and forest fires in the hotter months. We have in May water restrictions starting, and by June it is fourth stage water restrictions. Hot weather is showing up in April instead of June. This is all happening across B.C. which was once one of the world’s greatest rain forests. Our forest protection is vital to maintaining a balanced climate.

It is my understanding that we can no longer base our lifestyle on continuous consumption and never-ending growth. We cannot continue to cut our forests down for expansion of housing areas. We cannot assume that this environment can be squandered and used up. Even the animals are showing up in our towns and cities because of human encroachment in their habitat. Our assumption that happiness can be found by clear-cutting our forested areas to build our large homes must be replaced. We must learn to find contentment within our very being instead of exploiting the world we live in. This continuous drive for growth and wealth is the very source of our environmental woes.

Bill Woollam


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