Why Japan should log in Siberia rather than the rainforest
Of the causes of global warming, two - uncontrolled emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and deforestation of Amazonian rainforest - are well known. What is less known is another cause: Logging by Japanese companies in Indonesian rainforest. This problem is easy to fix, and is in fact much easier to fix than the other two. And the solution is simple: For Japan to stop logging in Indonesia and get their wood from Russian taiga forests.
As anyone who is familiar with this subject knows, logging or ranching in rainforest is one of the most environmentally destructive things that one can do. Clearing rainforest creates a vicious cycle leading to deforestation and desertification of the land. As trees are cut, and are no longer producing evaporations, there is less rainfall in the surrounding areas, and trees start dying. The more trees die, the less the rain, the more the trees die, the more of the land becomes desert. And while selling trees provides some intermediate income to Indonesians, they are in fact destroying a treasure that stands to give Indonesians far more income if managed properly.
Whereas taiga, not being a rainforest, does not operate in this way. Cutting down trees in taiga carries no lasting adverse effects, and the land cleared is capable of supporting new forests indefinitely. Since the taiga is closer to Japan than is Indonesia, shifting the logging from Indonesian rainforest to taiga stands to realize substantial economic benefit. This economic benefit will be accompanied by being less destructive to nature and less contributing to greenhouse effect.
But, some may say, what will Indonesia do to get money? Well let me ask this: How did other Asian countries get money? The answer is that they've worked with their people and made their people's work, not their natural resources, the basis for their development. Such is the only lasting way to achieve and maintain prosperity - one seen, for example, in Japan itself, which has very few natural resources but has risen to world economic prominence by the efforts of the Japanese people. United States and the Democratic Republic of Congo are equally endowed with natural resources; but while one country is by far the largest economy in the world, the other is the poorest country of any size on the face of the planet. If Indonesia seeks to develop long-term, it will do so through the work of its people - as have Japan, Asian tigers, and China in recent years.
The Russian taiga forest is vast, and located in the eastern part of the country. That makes it expedient for the Japanese - and of course for other nearby Asian countries as well. Taiga forest grows back, and it can also be replanted - as has been the practice of American logging companies in American forests. Logging in taiga therefore carries no significant negative long-term effects, which logging in the rainforest does.
I respectfully suggest that Japanese companies look into making this switch.
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Omaha, Nebraska, United States