2011-12-28

Bark beetles, climate change and our future

Recently, a classmate from the University of B.C. asked what I thought about Canada backing out of the Kyoto agreement, and if there was any connection between the insatiable bark beetles infesting the province’s forests and the rising temperatures on Earth.

First, trees are effectively the greatest CO2 warehouses ever created. For every metric ton of wood grown, 1.5 metric tons of CO2 is absorbed and one metric ton of oxygen is released.

Bark beetles like the mountain pine or spruce beetles and lightning-induced fires are nature’s emissaries of change. All forests must undergo a natural process of aging, facilitating regeneration — new life.