News & Events

Towards an International Wild-Fire-Fighting Force

Posted on Sep 30, 2020

Using the armies of the world

Having reached the degree of global warming through production of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions that we have, wild fires are becoming greater, both in intensity and number, hence in production of CO2. There is danger that wild fires will eventually produce CO2 sufficient to keep the global temperature increasing even when we stop burning fossil fuels. That would mean that nothing can be done to stop global warming and the world is doomed. How soon this will come is not known. We should be doing the best we can to control forest fires before we reach the point of no return.

I suggest that we should make use of the armies of the world for this purpose.  When few if any countries need their armies, it seems reasonable to ask whether each would contribute 25% to 50% of their soldiers to a world-wide fire-fighting force designed to save the planet. I have estimated that, excluding China and the US, there are approximately 30,533,900 military and paramilitary personnel in the world.* Many details would have to be worked out, such as how groups from each nation would be interspersed. This would be necessary in order to avoid the appearance of invasion. And of course the force would have equipment which would be designed for forest-fire-fighting, not war.

Decisions would have to be made as to the locations and attributions of fire-fighting forces. Equipment, specially designed for forest fires, would have to be created. China might be happy to manufacture the necessary fire-fighting equipment. This could help places like Greece (not to mention California).  According to Naomi Klein’s THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING, p. 108, “. . . in Greece, fire departments can’t afford spare tires for trucks driving into forest blazes”.

This is a huge task. We should get on with it as soon as possible.


Catchacoma Old Growth Hemlock Forest

Posted on Aug 20, 2020
stacks of old growth hemlock logs cut by the BMFC

In the winter, Drew Monkman made room for columnists Katie Krelove and Carling Dewar whose article on the Catchacoma logging appears on the P.E. site.

Since then, the Catchacoma Forest Stewardship Committee - the CFSC -  has been formed  in an organized effort to stop the logging by the Bancroft Minden Forestry Company of what, by all accounts, is a hemlock forest that is totally unique in all of Canada.
 There has been much communication with both the BMFC and the MNRF geared to learning the forestry company's mandate and intentions, and what may be done to save both species habitat and old growth hemlock in this unique and important ecological preserve.

 Earlier this summer my wife and I hosted two biologists from AFER, Ancient Forest Exploration and Research, who were sent to study and report on the forest by CFSC member Dr Peter Quinby. Dr Quinby is AFER's Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Scientist, and his biologists' reports are forthcoming.

Each time anyone with expertise in forestry studies it, concern for the forest escalates. The forest and the animal life it harbours are unique. And logging in our backyard is not just a local concern. Cutting  any tree, as Tricia Clarkson recently noted it in excellent P. E. letter, has  global significance.   And just north of here, adjacent to the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, the BMFC is cutting hundreds, every one of them a carbon sink.
 To be clear, the BMFC is not clear cutting.  But below is a photo from this spring of one of many similar stacks of old growth hemlock logs cut by the BMFC.

drone photo taken by local teacher Cam Douglas
Catchacoma Forest Stewardship Committee publicity flyer