Our forests not a net car­bon sink

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Re­peat­ing cli­mate myths doesn’t make them come true. F. Larry Martin sug­gests, with­out sci­en­tific ev­i­dence, that our forests make Canada a net car­bon sink (Dec. 10) — so, no need to re­duce our ex­trav­a­gant en­ergy use, en­ergy waste and emis­sions.Ac­cord­ing to Martin, “Ot­tawa has not sci­en­tif­i­cally es­tab­lished that Canada is a net con­trib­u­tor to ad­verse cli­mate change.” As Natural Re­sources Canada’s graphs clearly show, Canada’s man­aged forests were net car­bon sinks un­til 2001. Since then, they have been net sources — adding to our man-made to­tals, not sub­tract­ing.In years when Canada’s forests were car­bon sinks, the amount of car­bon they ab­sorbed was nowhere near our man-made emis­sions. This trend will only get worse with warm­ing.In 2007, the Harper gov­ern­ment de­cided to leave Canada’s forests out of its Ky­oto equa­tion, be­cause they would be a li­a­bil­ity, not an as­set.Martin’s ar­gu­ment is null and void. Forests are a natural car­bon sink in bal­ance with natural car­bon sources. Burn­ing fos­sil fu­els adds long-se­questered car­bon to the car­bon cy­cle.Can is­lan­ders and coastal dwellers claim the ocean as a car­bon off­set, too?Ab­surd ar­gu­ment.Ge­of­frey Pounder, Rocky Moun­tain House, Alta.

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