Forest Biofuels

Helicopter Herbicides



Clearcutting the Climate conference is an archive of "Clearcutting the Climate," a conference held in Eugene, Oregon in January 2008 co-organized by Josh Schlossberg, Shannon Wilson, Samantha Chirillo, and Mark Robinowitz. We brought together forest scientists and climate experts to highlight the climatic impacts of deforestation.

Slowing climate change would need to include bans on clearcutting and allowing tree plantations to grow back into forests. Deforestation disrupts rainfall patterns that are a key factor in the greenhouse effect.

Clearcutting the Climate videos (partial list)

graphics from Professor Olga Krankina showing carbon storage in Douglas Fir forest after a clearcut. Even long rotation forestry cannot capture the original forest's carbon storage. Rotting stumps emit stored carbon for decades after logging in greater levels than the regrowth can absorb. Tree plantations also store much less carbon in the soil than old growth.

The first graphic shows carbon storage for an individual forest plot, the graphic below shows the carbon storage on a landscape level (many cuts averaged together). Forty year rotation clearcuts store less than half the carbon of old growth. Even hundred year rotations (rarely done by timber companies) store much less carbon than the original forest.

Biofuels and Deforestation

Biofuel production plans threaten to worsen the climate crisis. Large scale biomass proposals would require enormous amounts of forests to be consumed.

The timber industry is promoting forest biofuels as a green and renewable fuel source for electricity. Electric utilities like burning trees because they are baseload power that can augment naturally variable solar panels and wind turbines. Privately, many utilities probably know that the concentrated fuel sources for the power grid are near or at their "peaks."

Forest Solutions



Mark Robinowitz