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Seeing the Forest for the Trees

I wasn’t really angry about the protesters who briefly interrupted our keynote speaker at the Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show, extremely annoyed yes, but not exactly seeing red. Then I found their blog and I got mad.
By Rona Johnson | January 21, 2011

I wasn’t really angry about the protesters who briefly interrupted our keynote speaker at the Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show, extremely annoyed yes, but not exactly seeing red. Then I found their blog, which for some odd reason was picked up by Google, and I got mad.

The first thing that irritated me was that the writer didn’t sign the blog, instead it was “Contributed by Anonymous” and signed “Some anarchists.” I would think that anyone with such a lofty, great-hearted goal of saving the Earth would not be ashamed to sign his or her name. It makes me wonder just how serious these people are about climate change. Or are they just looking for attention?

If they had bothered to ask us or to even attend our conference, they would have found that we in the biomass industry are concerned about the sustainability of woody biomass and other biomass feedstocks, and we spend a lot of our time and money (which according to them we have plenty of) trying to solve these issues. If, as the self-proclaimed anarchists fear, we clear-cut every forest in the world our industry wouldn’t survive, that’s just simple economics. Also, forest landowners are more apt to spend money keeping their forests healthy and productive if they are making a profit.

I’m not even going to address their claims about air quality, because our agenda speaks for itself if you look at the number of sessions we held that were devoted to emissions.

Their time and energy might have been better spent lobbying Congress to spend more money with the USDA Forest Service so they can better manage our national forests and public lands. As with most government agencies the Forest Service will be susceptible to cutbacks as Congress attempts to control spending. Or, better yet, they could help the people who work every day to improve feedstock sustainability and air quality.

Being against everything doesn’t solve anything.  

That’s my last word on this because I’ve already wasted too much precious time on these protestors.