Dr. Heinz Kiosk

It’s our rapacious consumption that is the problem

This time it’s about forests. But the message is always the same. Be poorer, peasants!

15 thoughts on “Dr. Heinz Kiosk”

  1. the idea that Africa was once covered by a vast, primary forest is a myth invented by colonialists in the early 20th century. Over a period of several million years, the continent’s tree cover waxed and waned as the climate warmed and cooled.


    If only the dinosaurs had the foresight to drive gay little electric golf karts and offshore their industries to China or something.

  2. The fact, for example, that the carbon footprint of a tourist from the global north visiting an African or Asian national park dwarfs that of a local farmer who travels on foot and uses no electricity.


    In much of west Africa, meanwhile . . . forest cover actually increased over the course of the 20th century.

    More carbon dioxide and more plant growth? Happy to make up for your slack, local walkie.

    We’re not all white – and we can argue about where the global north begins and ends – but if a northerner is writing this, and citing another northerner called, appropriately, Monsieur Blanc . . .

    Middle class white guilt fetish.

    . . . it’s because it’s our myth that’s making the world sick – and we should bust it.

    Fine, let’s end the colonialist national parks and let the wise locals farm the land. They’ll kill the Elephants and Tigers and Giraffes and Lions and Gorillas and and and. They’ll continue to leave their Eden to come to our destroyed, barren land. The Guardian will bitch and moan that it’s all our fault. The world will spin. The sun will heat up. The universe will expand.

  3. Ah, journalists doing Science….

    It’s a given that a greater biodiversity actually increases the chance of the emergence of a pathogen compatible with us humans, or any given living critter for that matter.
    In fact, most of the stuff that threatens us and our herds/crops ultimately comes out of the most “pristine” areas left on this planet. With migratory birds and insects as a vector.
    You cannot have biodiversity and “safety”. It’s a biological and mathematical impossibility.

    Starry-eyed fucking hippies and their notions of Nature…

  4. Something, maybe, might have, if we look at it this way, tenuous connections, baseless projections, baseless assertions…….

    Which proves the white man is to blame.

  5. My amazon order of Natural, the Seductive Myth of Nature’s Goodness, arrived yesterday. I’m looking forward t reading it, I’ll report back.

  6. In fact, most of the stuff that threatens us and our herds/crops ultimately comes out of the most “pristine” areas left on this planet.

    She acknowledges that but says it’s our fault for having the herds. Meat-eating is the problem, see? She doesn’t mention the danger to mono-crops, but to be fair her article is probably just milking the Coronapanic to sell her book about the 1918 Flu.

  7. “The myth of the vanished forest persists.”

    There are certainly people in these islands who believe in the myth of a great Caledonian Forest that persisted until historical times. But it’s balls. The pollen does not lie.

  8. Dearieme,

    Do you mean that the nat myth that it was the evil English, probably with Borisian hair-dos, that ordered General Wade-Campbell’s soldiers who cut down the forest to build his stone bridges and barracks, also allowing for sheep farming to invest the crofts, depriving millions of Highland lumberjacks of their living is complete bollocks?

  9. Nah, the usual story was that Vikings cut it all down only for the iron-makers to cut it all down again centuries later. Otherwise from Lewis to the Grampians, from the Highland Line to far Caithness, there would thrive the thickest of forests.

    Mind you, some Irishmen believe similarly potty tales about their own woodland. All cut down to make barrels for Guinness.

    And in England too like nonsense persists. Rationality can get no purchase when the subject is woods.

  10. I never will understand this obsession with forests. Photosynthesis will use whatever sunlight it can intercept to combine what water’s available with minerals & CO2 to produce plant mass. All plants have evolved to do this as efficiently as possible. So there’s not much difference whatever’s growing on any particular bit of ground, the plant mass will tend to be the same. Trees grow very large but take a long time doing so. Grass grows a lot smaller but increases in size quicker. Trees do not produce much in the way of soil. You only have to go dig in forested land to appreciate how little. Grass, particularly grazed pasture, produces abundant soil. Metres deep. Soil can be up to 75% carbon. Grassland permanently sequesters carbon much quicker than trees do. Rainforests, in particular, sequester no carbon whatsoever. The output balances the input. So the best sequester of carbon is managed, irrigated & fertilised if necessary, cropland from mixed arable/livestock. The land is being optimised for productivity. Get the axes & ploughs to work I say. Get them beasts grazing. Defeat climate change. Save the planet.

  11. Yeah BiS, you’re mostly correct there. But… Ever tried pointing out that stuff to a Greenie?

    They’ll just put their fingers in their ears, and shout “Na!Na!Na!” at the top of their voice while calling you a puppy-eating nuclear nazi.
    Like any religious nutcase, they’re a lost cause.

  12. BiS
    That would be right for fertile soils. Woods survive because they grow on poor soil. Mind you a mature tree does not sequester much carbon. The most effective means of extracting carbon from air is in coppiced woodland. And then the effect is spoiled by making charcoal. Ho hum.

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