Oh, I Guess It’s Okay ThenOctober 20, 2009
Greenwire reports that a new study reveals how global warming could spur growth in Northwest forests. Here’s a relevant clip:
Overall, forest productivity could increase about 7 percent annually in forests west of the Cascade Range and 20 percent in forests east of them under one scenario that researchers said largely reflects current trends of energy use, globalization and economic growth. However, the study did not take into account management practices, disease, insects and fire, which can affect productivity and could also be affected by climate change.
The study was published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.
This is all interesting and important research, of course; and it’s very important to anyone interested in adaptation, mitigation, or remediation, but ultimately it’s a distraction from the wicked problem that characterizes climate change. The problem with climate change isn’t that any given environment will be made better or worse, nor that the world as a whole will be made better or worse, but that as a collective of human beings, we’re doing something that’s making the world better or worse, and this something that we’re doing can’t be justified. There’s much more to say on this issue, on the issue of justification, for instance, but I won’t do that here. For now, let’s just say that focusing on whether it is all bad, only somewhat bad, or maybe even good, starts the entire conversation off on the wrong foot.