Friday, March 23, 2012

"Saving the Planet"

Ok, it's settled. I'm finally a believer. I've been a doubter up until this very evening. What am I talking about? Global warming, that's what.

I was sitting outside just after dark this evening cooling off after an awfully hot day for the 23rd of March and heard the first (at least for my ears) whip-or-will of the season. Now when you hear the first whip-or-will, it's time to be planting corn.

Now, I've never planted corn in March before. When I was on the farm I always liked to have some in  by the 15th of April, but we're still three weeks away from that. And I'm sure I've never heard a whip-or-will this early ever. Why, I remember along about 1977 going by John Eby's Long Island corn field one early morning the first week in June and the waist high corn was covered in frost.

But this whole winter has turned out to be the winter that wasn't. We had several cold windy days and one little snow, but as a whole the season was a dud.

Now you might ask as we used to ask each other when I was a kid, "Are you bragging or complaining?" Well, I'm certainly not complaining; I don't enjoy the cold. But I did feel real sorry for the spring peepers this time around.

Usually you hear the first spring peepers the last week in February. This year they peeped a little several times in January and early February during some unusually warm spells. Only to have to go quiet  when it turned cold again. They may be so confused by now it will take some good counseling to get them back on the level.

Anyway, when the creatures out in nature that don't listen to the news or read the paper start changing their habits, I sit up and take notice.

So as I said, I'm a new believer. But the cause of global warming?? Here's where we may differ. Is it man-made? I doubt it. I rather imagine it's just one of those cycles that have come and gone for as  long as the earth has been created.

But here's the good news; I know just what can help the situation. We need to do more logging. WHAT?, you say? Yes, you heard right; more logging. But don't trees take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen?

Yes, you're right; in a young healthy forest that is happening. But when a forest does that, it stores carbon. What do you suppose happens in an old growth forest? Old trees die and fall over and when theybegin to rot the carbon starts leaking back out. In fact, in some old growth forests there may be so much decaying wood that the carbon dioxide being released is greater than the oxygen that's being created.

Now I'm not advocating cutting down all the redwoods, etc. I love trees myself. When I was logging I  once even left a patch of nice trees in a pretty spot especially in honor of my cousin Mary Sue, who could barely stand it when we kept cutting all the timber off their farm. I'm just saying that in general, a well managed forest where there is proper harvesting being done is the one that is putting the so much needed oxygen into our atmosphere and purging the carbon dioxide out.

So what's the bottom line?

 Save the planet! Cut more trees!

 (Then, of course, you can always bring the logs to our sawmill)

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