Study Says Deforestation 'Overrated' as Environmental Threat: 'About a Fifth of What Was Found in Previous Work'

Nick Kangadis | November 5, 2019
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Climate alarmists Leonardo DiCaprio and Greta Thunberg probably aren't going to tout this next study. 

A study by researchers at Yale University and Ohio State University (OSU), that was published on Monday in the Journal of Forest Economics, found that deforestation "for timber and farmland" don't account for nearly as much of a carbon footprint as stated by previous studies.

Professor of environmental and resource economics at OSU Brent Sohngen broke down the inaccuracies of the previous studies which had indicated about five times the amount of carbon emissions could be attributed to deforestation.

"Our estimate is about a fifth of what was found in previous work showing that deforestation has contributed 484 billion tons of carbon – a third of all manmade emissions – since 1900," Sohngen said.

According to an article from Ohio State News:

Deforestation for timber and farmland is responsible for about 92 billion tons of carbon emissions into the environment since 1900, found a study led by researchers at The Ohio State University and Yale University[...]

[Sohngen] said that widely accepted estimate didn’t take into account the planting of new trees and other forest management techniques that lessen the environmental burden. The model used in this study did take those factors into account, which made a significant difference considering the intensive forest management happening in many parts of the world and the less-intensive, but not inconsequential, management that is happening elsewhere[...]

Previous estimates argued that about 27 percent of manmade net carbon emissions were from deforestation whereas the new research estimates that the correct number is just 7 percent.

That is a big difference! People went from being told that over a quarter of "manmade carbon emissions" came from deforestation, and now that number is a quarter of a quarter. Think about that. Why weren't those factors taken into account in the last study? Possible replacement of trees that were deforested is kind of an important factor, would you say?

If you cut down 100 trees, and you replace them with 100 trees, wouldn't logic dictate that the enivronmental impact of cutting down that first 100 trees would be lessened? I would understand if they were cutting down the trees and not replacing them, but it would seem that isn't the case.

However, Sohngen says that just because this study makes the claim that the carbon impact of deforestation isn't what they thought it was, that doesn't mean that we should lower our focus on climate change.

"Forestry and land use are blamed for being an enormous source of climate change, but they’re not an enormous source," Sohngen said. "The energy sector is an enormous source, and that’s where we should focus our attention – that and looking for ways to maximize our forests’ role in protecting the environment."

Look, I'm all for treating the planet we live on with respect. It provides for a lot of the things we rely on. But, it's not like this is the first time we've been told that previous information wasn't as dire as was originally made out to be. We've been told for around 50 years that either there would some kind of major planet-altering weather event or that the world would end in 10-15 years, depending on the "prediction."

Everything in moderation. Just don't be a complete jerk to the planet, and the planet will probably stay as it's been for years -- reasonably stable.

H/T: Fox News

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