Perhaps the most overlooked industry when it comes to the climate and ecological crisis is forestry. In the coming decades we will undoubtedly be needing every possible carbon sink to sequester and store CO2, and yet a forest area the size of a football field is being cut down every second, according to Global Forest Watch. Planting trees in suitable soils and places is great - however very far from as easy as we seem to think. But even more efficient is to leave the natural habitats intact in the first place and to rewild and restore nature. But as long as a dead tree is more valuable to us than a living tree, as long as the destruction of nature is worth more than nature itself and as long as health, biodiversity, well-being, empathy, equality, sustainability and long term holistic thinking is not considered a priority - but rather seen as ”extreme views” - we won’t be able to solve the climate and ecological emergency.
Sweden is often considered progressive on climate and environment. Sweden is also one of the worlds biggest forest nations (though now there’s almost only tree plantations left.) One of Sweden’s main solutions to the climate crisis is switching to biofuels. However, in 2019, according to the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, we imported 95% of the raw material used for the popular so-called “renewable” HVO diesel, mainly from Indonesia. The marketing pitch is that we’re using leftovers from Swedish forestry - but the actual product is 42% slaughter waste, 36% PFAD (produced from palm oil “waste”) 14% pine tree oil and 8% palm oil. So not even we with so much forest per capita can be even close to self-sufficient when it comes to forestry products…
Yet, to meet our “climate targets” we plan to dramatically increase this “solution”. This is just one of the countless problems with today’s forestry.
While the main problem is that deforestation is driving the catastrophic loss of biodiversity and ecosystems, threatening our very existence in large areas of this planet.
Cartoon by @pxmolina