Putting VicForests as the overseer of these trials has discredited the trial’s integrity right from the start.
Trials are currently underway to assess ‘mechanical fuel reduction’ in our public forests. The details are sketchy but seem to be based on a US practice of using heavy machinery with mulching/shredding capacity to run through native forests turning everything in the lower and mid story into mulch or shredded material. Trees are taken out and sold to mills. In the US this method of ‘fuel reduction’ is driven by the commercial need for bio-char, but is dressed up as ‘fire-safety’. In Australia, burning forests as a method of ‘fuel reduction’ remains an unproven science as a method of keeping communities safe, despite its wide spread use. However there is much research that shows it can be useless to counterproductive and extremely damaging for the natural ecology and wildlife of areas.
In 2010, economist Judith Ajani wrote about the forest wars that have besieged us over the last 40 years or more, the bad decisions made and what needs to be done. This is still as relevant today – in fact even more so as the industry is set to collapse due to overcutting but with the bosses screaming for more logs. Sadly, much of the remaining forests’ ecological values that were so critical to save then, have been lost – making the urgency now extreme. It’s a war between possums and pulpwood basically, politics and ethics.
The European Union’s proposals for revising its renewable energy policies are greenwashing and don’t solve the serious flaws, say environmental groups.
The EU gets 65 per cent of its renewable energy from biofuels – mainly wood – but it is failing to ensure this bioenergy comes from sustainable sources, and results in less emissions than burning fossil fuels. Its policies in some cases are leading to deforestation, biodiversity loss and putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than burning coal.