I know the Weekend Postcards are normally devoid of argument and point making. But, I thought it would be fun to look at deforestation differently. To see that deforestation is not necessarily the result of logging (illegal or otherwise). Deforestation comes about from people using the land. Agriculture heads up the list of deforestation causes followed by wood gathering for heating and cooking [Source: Global Forest Resource Assessment 2010 – Key Findings]. Fires, slash and burn agriculture, mining, and hydro-electric projects also contribute to deforestation.
Agriculture and heating/cooking head the list of causes of deforestation.
Once the primary causes of deforestation are obvious, it becomes equally obvious that lowering the demand for wood (by using less wood or substitutes) will not make a difference in lessening world deforestation. It’s not the demand for lumber or paper that drives deforestation, it’s the demand for food and heating/cooking supplies.
[T]he main threat to tropical forests comes from poor farmers who have no other option to feeding their families other than slashing and burning a patch of forest and growing food crops until the soil is exhausted after a few harvests, which then forces them to move on to a new patch of forest land. Slash-and-burn agriculture results in the loss or degradation of some 25 million acres of land per year (10 million hectares).
This weekend’s postcards were taken in the Alexander Valley area in Sonoma County near Healdsburg. They were taken last year in May so the grass on the hills had begun turning brown in the shallower and more exposed soils. The grapes were in full leaf.
It was one of those perfect California days. I had gone to Bear Republic Brewery and had a flight of tasters to accompany an incredible lamb burger. Afterward, I went to hear my friend and fellow writer, Ken Dalton talk about what it takes to write his “Pinky and the Bear” series.
Vineyard. Alexander Valley area
Mount St. Helena in background. Alexander Valley area.