Is saving the rain forest overrated?

For every acre cut down, 50 new forest acres are growing


The rapid expansion of “secondary forests” across the tropical world—former farms, industrial areas or natural disaster zones that are rapidly returning to nature—has some scientists questioning whether their conservation efforts are wrong-headed. “By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing,” says this New York Times piece. But environmental groups are outraged by the suggestion that all forests are equal.

The New York Times

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Is saving the rain forest overrated?

  1. I have, and am having the experience right now of reforesting land which has been under cultivation for some time. When a foreest has been disturbed, it is not just the trees that have disappeared. Even then, it is not possible to readily replant the species that were cut down. Generslly, it takes many decades or longer for that to happen. There is a difference between a forest and a plantation. If there are seed trees nearby from which seeds can blow or be carried by wind or wildlife it will increase the likelihood of this happening. However, another element that comes into play. Often that is soil disturbance. Just the matter of cultivation means that the texture of the soil is modified. The smae thing applies to the variety of insect life and fungus have been altered so that elements that are necessaary for certain plants to survive have to find there way back int the new environment. In jthe meantime, while the new planting is restablishing itself, the element of an established forest, that might protect the area is not there. Instead the ares is open to invassive species to establish themselves. Walk the Bruce Trail and you can see the results. I will leave tha matter to further dcontributions.

  2. You say that fifty acres are growing for each cut down, but (1) how long will that last, and (2) how long will it take for those fifty acres to be as dense and populus wit wildlife as that one acre was?

  3. Interesting article. If true, this would mean that the carbon being lost due to tropical forest reduction and degradation is being replaced due to rapid young forest and bush growth.

    That was an important marker for Sir Nicholas Stern and should not be marginalized by some ENGOs just because it doesn’t fit with their world view.

    • Not only is it being replaced but it is being replaced by young growth which is far more efficient. Don’t you hate facts that just don’t sit well with how things are rhather than how things are prexceived to be.

  4. I await articles on the over-ratedness of breathable air, drinkable water and risible fertilizer.

  5. How long will Canada’s vast eco system with it’s fresh air and water last before it is sought out by other countries who will by purchase or annexation take over our lands?