Nature Knows Best

A natural solution to the climate chaos

This is a crosspost from the Eureka Springs Independent by Dr. Luis Contreras. You can view the original here. Luis publishes a weekly column in the paper, and from time to time we will share them here.

Greta Thunberg, David Suzuki, Naomi Klein, Michael Mann, and a long list of renowned activists and scientists signed an open letter on April 3, 2019, requesting immediate protection and restoration of the world’s forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other critical ecosystems to stop the climate and ecological crises.

A green world is a healthy world. Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions is not enough. The oceans, fish, fresh water, and the air we breathe are highly polluted.

Everything in nature is connected by nutrients and energy flows. There are no simple solutions to careless destruction of the web of life. It takes decades to grow trees while mushrooms grow at a different rate.

Trump’s timber grab

The December 2018 executive order directed the Forest Service to increase logging by 25 percent in 2019, an 800-million board feet hike. According to the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, FSEEE, this is not to prevent forest fires. “Board feet” is a commercial measure of wood volume that applies to large trees. Anything under 6 inches in diameter has zero board feet.

Natural forests have a variety of species and sizes of trees. Trees are connected by a fungal web, sharing nutrients and energy. Please visit to learn how to protect our forests.

Mercury emissions

The federal government recently proposed changes to the Clean Air Act to lower the cost of coal power, saying “mercury regulations are no longer appropriate or necessary.”

This is nonsense, carcinogenic compounds don’t care what #45 says. Making false claims about wind turbines, the Green New Deal, and other climate related information, is no different than yelling fire in a crowded public place.

Mercury is an element of wood, coal, and fossil fuels. Burning these fuels releases mercury gas emissions into the atmosphere. Coal-fired power plants account for 42 percent of all man-made mercury emissions. Mercury in the air can travel thousands of miles before it comes back to earth in rainfall or gas. Mercury is converted into a far more toxic form when it enters the food chain. Human exposure to mercury can result in premature death and cause a host of cancers, lung, and heart diseases.

Deforestation of the Natural state

Shandong Sun Paper plans to build a $2 billion kraft paper mill near Arkadelphia and the Ouachita National Forest. The facility will have one kraft mill and two linerboard paper lines. The Ouachita River was diverted to provide fresh water and a water treatment plant was built by Clark County. Kraft paper mills smell like rotten eggs.

While the Pine Bluff, Highland Wood Pellets is down, a second facility is on the way. Arkansas Teacher’s Retirement System may end up owning two dead mills.

Why would tourists come to Arkansas to see stumps in the ground and hundreds of logging trucks destroying country roads and bridges?

Let’s restore our forests. How many businesses would relocate to a quiet, beautiful state? Carbon offsets would compensate landowners and massive diesel emissions would be avoided.

If you care about Arkansas and your family, please join the Dogwood Alliance Stand4Forests,, a unified call for U.S. forest protection.

“US climate policy must protect forests and communities, not the forest industry” The Hill, March 21, 2019, says, “leading climate scientists warn that burning wood will exacerbate climate change, releasing even more CO2 per unit of energy generated than coal and further degrade vital forest carbon sinks.”

US Moral crisis

Stopping Profits and wars before people, the doctrine driving the current economy and politics, is another requirement to get us out of this mess.

Nothing will change unless we change. After all, we are part of nature. Spend some time in your favorite forest with your family and decide what you will do to get us out of this mess. See with your own eyes the beauty and hear with your own ears the songs of the forest, nature has a message for you. It is not too late, but we must rise up now.

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