On November 13th, as the wood products industry meets in Chesapeake, VA to celebrate the destruction and export of our incredible forests, people from across the US are coming together for a National Day of Action to send an SOS to Save Our Southern forests. With 20 existing wood pellet facilities and 33 proposed, it’s crucial that we show EU policymakers that the biomass industry is bad for our environment, our communities and our economy. Join us in sending an SOS of more than 10,000 messages to EU policymakers.
It’s encouraging to see forests emerge as a major point of focus with the release of the New York Declaration on Forests. Since launching the Our Forests Aren’t Fuel campaign last year, I have been scratching my head in disbelief about the contradiction that exists when it comes to global forest climate policies. Over recent years, there has been a suite of initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions from forest loss and degradation, which admittedly accounts for 20% of global carbon emissions. As part of the New York Declaration of Forests, three European nations – UK, Norway and Germany – announced increased global funding for reducing deforestation and increasing forest conservation.
The diversity of people and backgrounds that mobilized on Sunday reiterated the message that the climate crisis is a global one that, while impacting some sooner and stronger than others, will eventually affect us all. The variety of signs, ranging from calls for food justice to Dogwood’s own Our Forests Aren’t Fuel banner underscored the fact that environmental irresponsibility has devastating consequences for nearly every aspect of our lives.
A month ago, Dogwood hosted a reporter from the BBC, and on September 22nd, the story aired. Millions of people saw the massive scale destruction of our forests all in the name of meeting the UK’s renewable energy demands. The BBC showed the other side of the climate story, revealing that there’s huge concern about the efficiency and sustainability of using wood for fuel.
You know you’ve effectively gotten the attention of the media when they ask you to speak on a panel about your campaign at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference. On September 7th, I hopped a plane to New Orleans to debate Seth Ginther, the Executive Director of the US Industrial Wood Pellet Association, in front of a roomful of journalists. Over the last few of years, coal burning power plants have been converted to burn wood pellets as a supposedly clean and renewable energy source.