Episode 94 - If a Tree Falls

We're missing the forest and the trees. Not only has logging exploded in recent years, but it is has done so in many cases in the explicit name of sustainability and green energy. We examine the authenticity of these practices as well as look at some of the long-term destructive consequences that forest disturbances can wreak, in some cases (e.g. extinction debt) reverberating a century in the future. Additionally, the same economic forces that destroy pristine and critical ecosystems are the same that seek to divide and conquer indigenous people by pitting them against one another and against the health of the very land they depend on.

full transcript available

Subscribe now on: iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Spotify | RSS | or search "Ashes Ashes" on your favorite podcast app.


  • 00:38 "The Industrial 'One-Night Stand'"
  • 08:22 Logging 101
  • 11:32 Good or Bad?
  • 19:52 Sustainable Logging
  • 32:45 Problems
  • 34:23 Biomass Woes
  • 45:09 Logging and Climate
  • 53:42 Dangerous Jobs
  • 58:08 Land Tenure
  • 1:12:18 What's this all for?

Recommended Reading


@misc{BLS_2019, title={Industries at a Glance: Forestry and Logging: NAICS 113}, url={https://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag113.htm}, journal={Bureau of Labor Statistics}, author={BLS}, year={2019}, month={Oct} } @article{Bowd_Banks_Strong_Lindenmayer_2019, title={Long-term impacts of wildfire and logging on forest soils}, volume={12}, ISSN={1752-0908}, DOI={10.1038/s41561-018-0294-2}, number={2}, journal={Nature Geoscience}, author={Bowd, Elle J. and Banks, Sam C. and Strong, Craig L. and Lindenmayer, David B.}, year={2019}, month={Feb}, pages={113–118} } @article{Brooks_Tobias_Balmford_1999, title={Deforestation and bird extinctions in the Atlantic forest}, volume={2}, ISSN={1469-1795, 1367-9430}, DOI={10.1111/j.1469-1795.1999.tb00067.x}, number={3}, journal={Animal Conservation forum}, author={Brooks, Thomas and Tobias, Joe and Balmford, Andrew}, year={1999}, month={Aug}, pages={211–222} } @misc{Carson Vaughan_2019, title={The Loophole: How American forests fuel the EU’s appetite for ‘green’ energy}, url={https://thefern.org/2019/04/the-loophole-how-american-forests-fuel-the-eus-appetite-for-green-energy/}, journal={Food and Environment Reporting Network}, author={Carson Vaughan}, year={2019}, month={Apr} } @article{Cornwall_2017, title={The burning question}, volume={355}, ISSN={0036-8075, 1095-9203}, DOI={10.1126/science.355.6320.18}, number={6320}, journal={Science}, author={Cornwall, Warren}, year={2017}, month={Jan}, pages={18–21} } @article{Crowther_Glick_Covey_Bettigole_Maynard_Thomas_Smith_Hintler_Duguid_Amatulli_et al_2015, title={Mapping tree density at a global scale}, volume={525}, ISSN={1476-4687}, DOI={10.1038/nature14967}, abstractNote={Ground-sourced tree density data is assembled to provide a global map of tree density, which reveals that there are three trillion trees (tenfold more than previous estimates); tree numbers have declined by nearly half since the start of human civilization and over 15 billion trees are lost on an annual basis.}, number={7568}, journal={Nature}, author={Crowther, T. W. and Glick, H. B. and Covey, K. R. and Bettigole, C. and Maynard, D. S. and Thomas, S. M. and Smith, J. R. and Hintler, G. and Duguid, M. C. and Amatulli, G. and et al.}, year={2015}, month={Sep}, pages={201–205} } @misc{Daniel Tso_Samuel Sage_Rebecca Sobel_Miya King-Flaherty_2018, title={Greater Chaco Spared from Fracking Auction}, url={http://www.frackoffchaco.org/blog/chacospared}, journal={Greater Chaco Spared from Fracking Auction}, author={Daniel Tso and Samuel Sage and Rebecca Sobel and Miya King-Flaherty}, year={2018}, month={Mar} } @misc{David Johnson_2017, title={The Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America}, url={https://time.com/5074471/most-dangerous-jobs/}, journal={Time}, author={David Johnson}, year={2017}, month={Dec} } @book{Derrick Jensen_George Draffan_2003, title={Strangely Like War}, url={https://www.goodreads.com/work/best_book/105812-strangely-like-war-the-global-assault-on-forests-politics-of-the-livin}, publisher={Chelsea Green}, author={Derrick Jensen and George Draffan}, year={2003}, month={Oct} } @misc{DeSilver_2011, title={Bellingham developer Syre seeks Chapter 11 protection}, url={https://www.seattletimes.com/business/bellingham-developer-syre-seeks-chapter-11-protection/}, journal={The Seattle Times}, author={DeSilver, Drew}, year={2011}, month={Dec} } @misc{Elspeth Halverson_2019, title={Reflecting on the linkages between REDD+, Forest Tenure and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: Encouraging progress and challenging gaps}, url={https://www.un-redd.org/single-post/2019/05/30/Reflecting-on-the-linkages-between-REDD-Forest-Tenure-and-Indigenous-Peoples-Rights-Encouraging-progress-and-challenging-gaps}, journal={UN-REDD}, author={Elspeth Halverson}, year={2019}, month={May} } @misc{Energy Skeptic_2019, title={European Power plants are burning American forests}, url={http://energyskeptic.com/2019/american-forests-are-burning-up-in-european-power-plants/}, journal={Energy Skeptic}, author={Energy Skeptic}, year={2019}, month={Jul} } @misc{ENN_1999, title={Studies suggest extinctions continue long after deforestation}, url={http://www.cnn.com/NATURE/9910/12/extinction.enn/index.html}, author={ENN}, year={1999}, month={Oct} } @misc{FAO_2017, title={Global wood production growth accelerates}, url={http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1073713/icode/}, journal={Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations}, author={FAO}, year={2017}, month={Dec} } @misc{FAO_2019, title={Forest products statistics}, url={http://www.fao.org/forestry/statistics/}, journal={Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations}, author={FAO}, year={2019}, month={Jan} } @article{Fredericksen_Putz_Pattie_Pariona_Peña-Claros_2003, title={Sustainable Forestry in Bolivia: Beyond Planned Logging}, volume={101}, ISSN={0022-1201}, DOI={10.1093/jof/101.2.37}, number={2}, journal={Journal of Forestry}, author={Fredericksen, T. S. and Putz, F. E. and Pattie, P. and Pariona, W. and Peña-Claros, M.}, year={2003}, month={Mar}, pages={37–40} } @article{Fredericksen_1998, title={Limitations of low-intensity selection and selective logging for sustainable tropical forestry}, volume={77}, ISSN={0010-3381}, number={4}, journal={The Commonwealth Forestry Review}, author={Fredericksen, Todd S.}, year={1998}, pages={262–266} } @misc{Holly Harris_2019, title={‘It Is the Largest National Forest, and I’m Going to Keep It That Way’}, url={https://earthjustice.org/blog/2019-march/indigenous-women-take-a-stand-for-the-trees-tongass-forest-alaska}, journal={Earthjustice}, author={Holly Harris}, year={2019}, month={Mar} } @article{James_Harrison_2016, title={The Effect of Harvest on Forest Soil Carbon: A Meta-Analysis}, volume={7}, DOI={10.3390/f7120308}, number={12}, journal={Forests}, author={James, Jason and Harrison, Rob}, year={2016}, month={Dec}, pages={308} } @misc{Jeremy Hance_2008, title={Monoculture tree plantations are “green deserts” not forests, say activists}, url={https://news.mongabay.com/2008/09/monoculture-tree-plantations-are-green-deserts-not-forests-say-activists/}, journal={Mongabay Environmental News}, author={Jeremy Hance}, year={2008}, month={Sep} } @misc{Jessica Corbett_2019, title={In Just One Decade, Corporations Destroyed 50 Million Hectares of Forest—An Area the Size of Spain}, url={https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/11/just-one-decade-corporations-destroyed-50-million-hectares-forest-area-size-spain}, journal={Common Dreams}, author={Jessica Corbett}, year={2019}, month={Jun} } @misc{John Stucke_2005, title={Ex-Met executives accused of fraud in “our little Enron”}, url={https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2005/sep/27/ex-met-executives-accused-of-fraud-in-our-little/}, journal={The Spokesman-Review}, author={John Stucke}, year={2005}, month={Sep} } @misc{Jonathan P Thompson_2016, title={How oil and greed led to the 1923 centralization of Navajo government}, url={https://riveroflostsouls.com/2016/12/21/how-oil-and-greed-led-to-the-1923-centralization-of-navajo-government/}, journal={River of Lost Souls}, author={Jonathan P Thompson}, year={2016}, month={Dec} } @misc{Jones_2018, title={Trees older than America: a primeval Alaskan forest is at risk in the Trump era}, url={https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/mar/22/alaska-tongass-forest-at-risk-logging-trump}, journal={The Guardian}, author={Jones, Brendan}, year={2018}, month={Mar} } @misc{Marc Heller_2019, title={FORESTS: These Alaska Natives want to upend Trump’s pro-timber rule}, url={https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060950563}, journal={E&E News}, author={Marc Heller}, year={2019}, month={Aug} } @misc{Matt McGrath_2016, title={“Wrong type of trees” in Europe increased global warming}, url={https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35496350}, journal={BBC News}, author={Matt McGrath}, year={2016}, month={Feb} } @article{Munden Project_2016, title={IAN: Managing Tenure Risk}, url={http://rightsandresources.org/wp-content/uploads/RRI_IAN_Managing-Tenure-Risk.pdf}, journal={TMP Systems}, author={Munden Project}, year={2016} } @article{Naudts_Chen_McGrath_Ryder_Valade_Otto_Luyssaert_2016, title={Europe’s forest management did not mitigate climate warming}, volume={351}, ISSN={0036-8075, 1095-9203}, DOI={10.1126/science.aad7270}, number={6273}, journal={Science}, author={Naudts, Kim and Chen, Yiying and McGrath, Matthew J. and Ryder, James and Valade, Aude and Otto, Juliane and Luyssaert, Sebastiaan}, year={2016}, month={Feb}, pages={597–600} } @misc{Neimark_2018, title={Greenwashing: corporate tree planting generates goodwill but may sometimes harm the planet}, url={http://theconversation.com/greenwashing-corporate-tree-planting-generates-goodwill-but-may-sometimes-harm-the-planet-103457}, abstractNote={Planting trees is a popular way for companies to clean up their image. Unfortunately, it may cause more problems than it solves.}, journal={The Conversation}, author={Neimark, Benjamin}, year={2018}, month={Sep} } @misc{Peter Veit_2016, title={Protecting Indigenous Land Rights Makes Good Economic Sense}, url={https://www.wri.org/blog/2016/10/protecting-indigenous-land-rights-makes-good-economic-sense}, journal={World Resources Institute}, author={Peter Veit}, year={2016}, month={Oct} } @article{Piponiot_Rödig_Putz_Rutishauser_Sist_Ascarrunz_Blanc_Derroire_Descroix_Guedes_et al_2019, title={Can timber provision from Amazonian production forests be sustainable?}, volume={14}, ISSN={1748-9326}, DOI={10.1088/1748-9326/ab195e}, number={6}, journal={Environmental Research Letters}, author={Piponiot, Camille and Rödig, Edna and Putz, Francis E. and Rutishauser, Ervan and Sist, Plinio and Ascarrunz, Nataly and Blanc, Lilian and Derroire, Géraldine and Descroix, Laurent and Guedes, Marcelino Carneiro and et al.}, year={2019}, month={Jun}, pages={064014} } @article{Premer_Froese_2018, title={Incidental Effects of Cut-to-Length Harvest Systems and Residue Management on Populus tremuloides (Michx.) Regeneration and Yield}, volume={64}, ISSN={0015-749X}, DOI={10.1093/forsci/fxx019}, number={4}, journal={Forest Science}, author={Premer, Michael I. and Froese, Robert E.}, year={2018}, month={Jul}, pages={442–451} } @misc{Rebecca Moss_2017, title={Town defends its water, way of life}, url={https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/town-defends-its-water-way-of-life/article_1c4c65f5-0130-59ca-985b-17a9e5f8ec93.html}, journal={Santa Fe New Mexican}, author={Rebecca Moss}, year={2017}, month={Nov} } @article{Schroeder_Kookesh, title={Subsistence Harvest and Use of Fish and Wildlife resources and the Effects of Forest Management in Hoonah, Alaska}, author={Schroeder, Robert F and Kookesh, Matthew}, pages={334} } @article{Searchinger_Hamburg_Melillo_Chameides_Havlik_Kammen_Likens_Lubowski_Obersteiner_Oppenheimer_et al_2009, title={Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error}, volume={326}, ISSN={0036-8075, 1095-9203}, DOI={10.1126/science.1178797}, number={5952}, journal={Science}, author={Searchinger, Timothy D. and Hamburg, Steven P. and Melillo, Jerry and Chameides, William and Havlik, Petr and Kammen, Daniel M. and Likens, Gene E. and Lubowski, Ruben N. and Obersteiner, Michael and Oppenheimer, Michael and et al.}, year={2009}, month={Oct}, pages={527–528} } @misc{September 24, 1996_1996, title={Alaska’s Tribal Foresters Shatter The Myth of Native Stewardship}, url={https://www.csmonitor.com/1996/0924/092496.us.us.4.html}, journal={Christian Science Monitor}, author={September 24, 1996}, year={1996}, month={Sep} } @misc{Steven Lee Myers_2019, title={China’s Voracious Appetite for Timber Stokes Fury in Russia and Beyond}, url={https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/09/world/asia/chinas-voracious-appetite-for-timber-stokes-fury-in-russia-and-beyond.html}, journal={The New York Times}, author={Steven Lee Myers}, year={2019}, month={Apr} } @misc{Thomas_2018, title={How Much Money is an Acre of Timber Worth?}, url={https://www.forest2market.com/blog/how-much-money-is-an-acre-of-timber-worth}, journal={Forest 2 Market}, author={Thomas, Nathan}, year={2018}, month={Sep} } @misc{Upton_2015, title={Pulp Fiction: Part 1 | Climate Central Special Report}, url={https://reports.climatecentral.org/pulp-fiction/1/}, author={Upton, John}, year={2015}, month={Oct} } @book{Vaclav Smil_2012, title={Harvesting the Biosphere}, ISBN={978-0-262-01856-2}, url={https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/harvesting-biosphere}, publisher={The MIT Press}, author={Vaclav Smil}, year={2012}, month={Dec} } @article{Vellend_Verheyen_Jacquemyn_Kolb_Van Calster_Peterken_Hermy_2006, title={Extinction debt of forest plants persists for more than a century following habitat fragmentation}, volume={87}, ISSN={0012-9658}, DOI={10.1890/05-1182}, number={3}, journal={Ecology}, author={Vellend, Mark and Verheyen, Kris and Jacquemyn, Hans and Kolb, Annette and Van Calster, Hans and Peterken, George and Hermy, Martin}, year={2006}, month={Mar}, pages={542–548} }

Published 03-10-2019 01:29