It is as if we were looking for trouble. Fire is a natural ally of Mediterranean pine forests. It helps clear the ground of old trees and allows young ones to prosper. By helping themselves to the wood daily and by employing tactical burning every spring, villagers once prevented these fires from running amok. Alas, not only did circumstances force the villagers to abandon the forests but, when they and their descendants returned as atomised urbanites to build their summer homes inside the untended forests, they did so bearing none of the traditional communal knowledge or practices.

That is, t’ain’t climate change…..

23 thoughts on “Yep”

  1. Ditto Canadian Rockies, California and Oz, although not so much down to the lack of ‘traditional communal knowledge or practices’ and more due to the eco nutters not having a fucking clue but still feeling qualified to pass laws preventing the clearing of the underbrush or creating fire breaks.

    Trees only leave a forest two ways – as timber or as smoke.

  2. There is a third way – after processing by fungi and/or invertebrates – as mulch. OK debatable whether that’s ‘leaving’.

  3. Could any sciency people tell me whether when a tree or other plant dies and rots, it just gives all its CO2 back to the atmosphere? I read that natural decomposition is a major source of CO2, and the plant must have got the CO2 from somewhere in the first place.

    But eco-loons are now against burning anything. Wouldn’t composting or leaving it have, ultimately, the same effect?

  4. This is *exactly* the conclusion that Yellowstone and Yosemite parks reached years ago – allowing (or indeed creating) small fires preserves the landscape and prevents the kind of build that leads to huge, uncontrollable infernos

  5. Update to Bishop Berkeley from Sam there.

    If a tree falls down in a forest
    And there is no one to measure its environmental impact
    Does it still emit CO2 ?

  6. When trees die and rot the soil level rises – not by much though. So the question is, for every tonne of C atoms in a mature tree, how much becomes soil if left alone to grow old die and rot and how much ends up being returned to the atmosphere.
    My guess it’s about 10:90 – it would be bad form in evolutionary terms to mess with the soil that you want your offspring to grow up in. Nature would select against species that make big changes to the soil level they themselves thrived in.
    So 90% return to the atmosphere is my guess. Someone will likely know better.

  7. ISTR an Australian case from a few years ago where a resident was fined a fairly stupendous amount for having the temerity to maintain the fire-breaks on his property and round his house, contrary to the eco-lunatic policies of his council (or could have been state)… Skip forward to the next incidence of major forest fires in the area – his house was about the only one amongst hundreds in the region to survive.

    Common-sense and “received wisdom: 1, Eco-nutters: Nil.

    I don’t suppose for one moment that “lessons will have been learned”.

  8. Bongo: if you look at grass verges along roads, you might notice that they all seem to be higher than the paving next to them. When originally laid those verges were level with the road or footpath. Over time the grass rots down and becomes soil. After only a decade it will be an inch taller that the surrounding hard architecture. From time to time road maintainance includes digging the soil back.

    Same thing happens with yer household lawn. The soil gets deeper and deeper over the years. I have some stepping stones across my lawn that regularly need digging out and re-setting on an extra bed of soild to raise them up to match the surrounding lawn.

  9. Sam Vara said:
    “Could any sciency people tell me whether when a tree or other plant dies and rots, it just gives all its CO2 back to the atmosphere?”

    This suggests (but clearly doesn’t like to say) that eventually it pretty much all gets released, although with big trees it takes quite a while:
    https://extension.psu.edu/how-forests-store-carbon

  10. A while ago NASA launched the OCO-2 satellite. It can see CO2 enabling them to map sources and sinks. When they published the first results it was apparent that the Amazon area, ‘the lungs of the world’ was a major source of CO2. They haven’t published that data stream since because it told the wrong story. I understand there is a plan, possibly already implemented, to ‘process’ the data before further release, to avoid mistaken impressions..

    (My memory of this story only, proper research is needed)

  11. @Rhoda,
    Even as a teen I thought that the “Amazon is the lungs of the world” story sounded suspicious. Surely in a mature forest the carbon fixing that occurs through the day will be offset by respiration at night, respiration further up the food chain, and decomposition.
    If we want to use forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere maybe we should be clear cutting them, sinking the timber into deep ocean trenches, then allowing the forests to regrow (then repeat).

  12. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    We need to bury all our valuable assets and kill all our cows to avoid fiery hellfire.

    I’ve heard these stories before somewhere.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    If we want to use forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere maybe we should be clear cutting them, sinking the timber into deep ocean trenches, then allowing the forests to regrow (then repeat).

    Better still, use it to make furniture, half timbered houses and the like that preserves it for longer.

  14. KyleT.
    Forests are indeed being clear cut in the US, but they are shipping the timber across country using diesel fueled lorries to fossil fuel powered processing plants that turn it into pellets, then loading said pellets onto diesel fueled bulk cargo carriers to be shipped half way across the ocean to the north of England where it is loaded onto diesel fueled trains and sent to Drax power station where the pellets are burned to provide electricity. This is carbon neutral and a major source of renewable energy.

    Oh yeah, we pay a subsidy of £2.27m EVERY DAY to Drax for the privilege

  15. “when a tree or other plant dies and rots, it just gives all its CO2 back to the atmosphere? ” To a good approximation, yes.

    The first heated disagreement I ever heard about the Global Warming rubbish involved a university academic who pointed out that growing a tree only stores up CO2 for the tree’s lifetime, and so The Long Term Solution was to impose reductions on the burning of fossil fuels. A postgraduate student loudly declaimed that the argument must be false and that of course The Solution was to grow lots of trees.

    There’s more than one way to be wrong.

  16. Yep. Entertaining to see how the abos policies of burn the lot aren’t holy writ.

    But of course we must only obey the First People if they say what the Green ratbags want.

  17. The writer obviously doesn’t know anything about goats, nature’s strimmers & brushcutters. All those forested areas would have been infested with goats, at one time. You’d have been luck to find any vegetation wasn’t 6ft above ground level. But wealthier Greekos don’t now keep goats.

  18. ““when a tree or other plant dies and rots, it just gives all its CO2 back to the atmosphere? ” To a good approximation, yes.”

    yup… Although to be fair, tracing and describing every possible route said CO2 will return by, and the timeframe in which it happens is a field of study in and of itself, requiring some hefty supercomputers to even start to model it.
    Of course, the Greenies simply go by the Lies to Children they’ve picked up being bored in geography class in highschool…

    Same with the “Amazon is the Lungs of the Planet” lark. It isn’t. Live with it.
    A mature forest ( including all the critters living in it ) has a net CO2 balance of roughly zero. Especially when most of it is over a poor substrate like the Amazon.
    You want to fix carbon? You grow grass and other (bi-)annuals, not trees.

  19. Same in British Columbia mass handwringing over this years wildfires yet turns out they haven’t implemented any of the recommendations from last big year for wildfires (about 4 years ago) which included recommendations from First Nations on re-establishing their traditional land management practices.
    Interestingly in a small museum a couple of years ago they had a large section of an old growth tree and the information with it pointed out that the tree rings showed the history of forest fires and there were more before the Europeans settled the area than afterwards

  20. Always amused by the term “the First People”, as used in US, Canada and Oz.
    Presumably, the ones that were there when the whites arrived had just better at genocide when THEY arrived.
    It would be more accurate to call them the People–.

  21. Bah. Autocorrect.

    Always amused by the term “the First People”, as used in US, Canada and Oz.
    Presumably, the ones that were there when the whites arrived had just been better at genocide when THEY arrived.
    It would be more accurate to call them the People – -.

    (In case this gets HTML mangled, that’s a double hyphen as per ‘C’)

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