Pro-active approach needed for forestry debate

THE forestry debate is currently verging on the ridiculous.

One side claims forest preservation will attract carbon credits by locking up carbon in the forest, while the other refutes this and claims logging helps to lock up carbon through promoting new growing forests.

Both arguments appear to hinge on the dollar value of forests and ignore the wider complexity of the issue - such as the fact there is much more at stake than carbon pollution and a few dollars.

The two basic facts are that we need to preserve forests for the sake of the air we breathe and we need to maintain forestry industries for the sake of a significant proportion of livelihoods and to provide us with certain needs.

Wrangling endlessly over the question of to log or not to log and becoming entangled in specious arguments about carbon credits and profits, is inevitably going to get both sides of the debate nowhere.

A pro-active approach would be much more useful.

There must be alternative sources of raw materials for at least some current forest products, just waiting to be discovered and developed to make some part of our currently insanely consumerist lifestyles at least a little more sustainable, preserve some trees and keep people in their jobs.

There's always a solution, but it's never found by arguing.