January 13, 2015
Halifax Chronicle Herald
Letter to the Editor,
Congratulations on your excellent article “NSP biomass project raising green concerns” of last Friday, January 9. In the interest of adding fuel to the fire I would like to point out that the 2,790 hectares that will be cut each and every year to feed the biomass boiler at Point Tupper translates to 6,894 acres for us old guys which is 10.77 square miles or all the forest in a three and one quarter mile by three and one quarter mile square.
I say all the forest because, contrary to the DNR statements, Nova Scotia still utilizes clear cuts as an industrial forestry method. DNR changed the definition of clear cutting to make it look as if things were changing, but an aerial view of Nova Scotia illustrates that nothing has changed in this regard. This is confirmed by a quote from your same article attributed to Allan Eddy, associate deputy minister of DNR: “NSP has an obligation to its rate payers to get wood fibre as cheaply as possible. The cheapest way is to clear the land, not selectively harvest to improve the lot for the future.”
This situation was completely predictable, contrary to Mr. Eddy’s opinion.
Surely we can’t allow this situation to continue year upon year. This is not green technology. It has been proven by the Manomet Center in Massachusetts and others that burning trees to generate electricity actually increases carbon emissions for decades to come, as well as eliminating the carbon sink that the forest provided before clear cutting. What can we as Nova Scotians do to reduce this slaughter in our forest and the devastation of so much wildlife habitat?
Short of closing the giant furnace in Point Tupper (and this is not the only one) I would suggest that the least we could do is force the trees to be sustainably harvested. If we have to split DNR into two separate departments: one to promote forestry and another to protect wildlife, so much the better.
I agree that sustainable harvesting would increase power rates a little, but surely this is a better alternative than laying waste to vast areas of forests, losing valuable wildlife habitat, increasing carbon emissions and suffering the inevitable effects of global climate change and additional sea rise.
Is this the world we wish for our children and grand children?
Chair, Friends of Nature
Chester, NS (902)456-4772