The Guardian 23 April, 2008
Forest burns are climate crimes
The Tasmanian Greens last week accused Forestry Tasmania of climate vandalism as Tasmania’s skies were once again stained with smoke from so-called regeneration burns.
Greens Deputy Leader and Climate Change Spokesperson Nick McKim MP said that the smoke was a visual reminder of the massive carbon emissions caused by Tasmania’s out-of-control forest industry, which he said was continuing to be part of the climate problem rather than being part of the solution.
"In this day and age there is simply no excuse for the kind of climate vandalism represented by these burns, which are destroying biodiversity and contributing to the greatest environmental catastrophe facing mankind."
"There is no doubt that Tasmania’s forest sector has the potential to become part of the solution to climate change rather than part of the problem, but this would require a significant re-setting of goals, which is unlikely to occur under [Premier] Paul Lennon and the woodchip millionaires who currently control forest policy settings," Mr McKim said.
He said that unless we take urgent action climate change will result in misery on a scale never seen in human history and that it was outrageous that the forest industry in Tasmania continues to contribute to climate change with such impunity.
"These so-called regeneration burns unnecessarily release massive amounts of carbon, which in this day and age can be considered as nothing more than climate crimes.
"There is no doubt that once a cost is attached to carbon, Tasmania’s forests will be worth more as carbon banks than as woodchips and smoke, and Forestry Tasmania should start work on a long-term strategy to save Tasmania’s forests for the good of our environment and our economy."
Mr McKim said that until Premier Lennon takes action to reduce carbon emissions from the forest sector his claims to be a national leader on climate change will continue to be exposed as pure rhetoric