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   Undertoad  Saturday Jul 7 02:48 PM

July 7, 2007: Rain forest to charcoal



xoB finds this wire service image of what the caption says is virgin Amazon rain forest logs, and the mud hut ovens they'll be put into to create charcoal. Charcoal!

It's all in Brazil, and it turns out this is one of the biggest consumptions of the rain forest there.



xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Jul 7 03:47 PM

Turning those logs into charcoal is like turning cows into McBurgers... quick and easy for the consumer, but so much wasted along the way.



skysidhe  Saturday Jul 7 03:50 PM

when you think you've seen it all....



deadbeater  Saturday Jul 7 06:03 PM

At least the logs don't become single toothpicks like an old Disney cartoon...but it's still a waste.



Sheldonrs  Saturday Jul 7 08:14 PM

I remember when I was a kid that the Amazon loses 1 football sized area per day to human destruction.
I don't care if global warming stories are true or not. If you KNOW something is bad for the planet, DON'T DO IT!



busterb  Saturday Jul 7 08:54 PM

I'm wondering if this is waste, by-products?? Of the real rape.



xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Jul 7 10:58 PM

From the Washington Post.

Quote:
Logs cut from virgin Amazon rainforest lie next to the nearly 1,200 ovens used to turn the wood into charcoal in Ulianopolis, Brazil. The cutting of trees for the charcoal industry is one of the main causes of the destruction of the world's largest rainforest.
It doesn't sound like the byproduct of logging/lumbering.


Elspode  Sunday Jul 8 06:25 AM

Next time you pick up that bag of Kingsford, make sure you thank the gods for it.



TheMercenary  Sunday Jul 8 10:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldonrs View Post
I remember when I was a kid that the Amazon loses 1 football sized area per day to human destruction.
I don't care if global warming stories are true or not. If you KNOW something is bad for the planet, DON'T DO IT!
That's it I am calling into work today. I refuse to consume or drive my car... wait, wait, how will I pay the bills, feed the wife and children, heat the house, keep the beer cold, water the flowers, oh hell, forget that.


xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jul 8 10:43 AM

Much of the charcoal is used to carbonize iron ore to create pig iron, both in Brazil and elsewhere. Another big market is lump charcoal in Europe.
Another bone of contention, is that much of the rain forest clearing is done by slave labor.



richlevy  Sunday Jul 8 11:28 AM

Maybe it's the recent Live Earth coverage, but the rain forest site (http://www.therainforestsite.com/) would not load for me this morning. I had the same problem with the hunger site (http://www.thehungersite.com/). I wonder if it's because of all the attention the environment and the problems it is causing with famine are getting in the news.

The breast cancer, child health, animal rescue, and literacy sites loaded ok. Of course, these are the lesser known sites and may never have been as popular.

I've put all of the click-a-day-for charity sites in one bookmark group in Firefox. Every day when I use my home computer it only usually takes 10 seconds to open all in tabs and click on and donate a few square feet of rain forest, part of a bowl of animal food, etc. The donation is paid for by the sponsors. All I invest is 10 seconds of my time assuming I'm on the computer anyway.

If the hunger and rain forest sites are down because of volume, that's both a good and bad thing.

P.S. The hunger site finally came back. The rain forest site is still unavailable.



TheMercenary  Sunday Jul 8 02:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by richlevy View Post
Maybe it's the recent Live Earth coverage, but the rain forest site (http://www.therainforestsite.com/) would not load for me this morning. I had the same problem with the hunger site (http://www.thehungersite.com/). I wonder if it's because of all the attention the environment and the problems it is causing with famine are getting in the news.

The breast cancer, child health, animal rescue, and literacy sites loaded ok. Of course, these are the lesser known sites and may never have been as popular.

I've put all of the click-a-day-for charity sites in one bookmark group in Firefox. Every day when I use my home computer it only usually takes 10 seconds to open all in tabs and click on and donate a few square feet of rain forest, part of a bowl of animal food, etc. The donation is paid for by the sponsors. All I invest is 10 seconds of my time assuming I'm on the computer anyway.

If the hunger and rain forest sites are down because of volume, that's both a good and bad thing.

P.S. The hunger site finally came back. The rain forest site is still unavailable.
That sounds pretty cool. Is there a clearing house for these kinds of links so people can pick and choose what places they want to "donate" those clicks to?


richlevy  Sunday Jul 8 04:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMercenary View Post
That sounds pretty cool. Is there a clearing house for these kinds of links so people can pick and choose what places they want to "donate" those clicks to?
That depends. When it's all working, the sites are tabbed together, so one site usually can lead to the others. I find using the 'open all in tabs' method faster. You don't donate until you click the button, so you don't have to worry about accidentally donating to something you disagree with, although I doubt you are pro-hunger, -illiteracy, -cancer, etc.

OK, maybe I do have a hard time picturing you with the 'free peace dove pin'.


xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jul 8 04:35 PM

Quote:
Today, you and others have generated the value of 338,306 square feet of rainforest land. Thank you!



TheMercenary  Sunday Jul 8 04:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by richlevy View Post
...so you don't have to worry about accidentally donating to something you disagree with, although I doubt you are pro-hunger, -illiteracy, -cancer, etc.
Your view of who I am or am not is at best myopic.


TheMercenary  Sunday Jul 8 04:56 PM

Believe it when I see 338,306 square feet of newly replanted rainforest land.



richlevy  Sunday Jul 8 05:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Quote:
Today, you and others have generated the value of 338,306 square feet of rainforest land. Thank you!
That's about six football fields (American) including end zones.

Not bad, but still a long way to go.


richlevy  Sunday Jul 8 05:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMercenary View Post
Believe it when I see 338,306 square feet of newly replanted rainforest land.
Quote:
With a simple, daily click of the green "Preserve Endangered Land" button at The Rainforest Site, visitors help to preserve rainforest land. Visitors pay nothing. Critical habitat is preserved by our charitable partners.
I think 'preserve' means to buy it before it's destroyed, not try to replant it. The cost of restoration is probably tens if not hundreds of times more than that of preservation.


TheMercenary  Sunday Jul 8 05:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by richlevy View Post
I think 'preserve' means to buy it before it's destroyed, not try to replant it. The cost of restoration is probably tens if not hundreds of times more than that of preservation.
Oh, sorry, I missed that. Should have read it more carefully.


piercehawkeye45  Sunday Jul 8 10:32 PM

I have a slight ethical paradox with the hunger site.

If we don't feed the people today they will starve.

If we feed the people today and they continue to grow at the rate they have, more mouths will have to be fed. That means people are going to starve inevitably in the future unless we give more food, but then the cycle may continue.

We don't want them to starve today but if we feed them today, the next generation will have more people and then the people of the next generation will starve.

Besides industrialization (microfinancing), this paradox is really annoying ethically.



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jul 8 10:43 PM

Maybe not. Typically the resources of the rain forest are tied up in the plants with little in the soil. After logging and burning the slash, the soil will only be productive for one or two seasons. Without chemical fertilizers, most of the farmers move on to new spots, following and often helping, the loggers.
I would expect this land would be available for replanting, cheap.



SPUCK  Monday Jul 9 04:56 AM

Boy that charcoal making is realllly bad. Besides denuding the forest those ovens pump out boo koo Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide. It's like a monstrous 1-2 punch.

We need to nuke those!!



Griff  Monday Jul 9 07:19 AM

Good points Bruce. It is amazing how little carbon in in the soil there vs temperate climate areas. I don't know how good Brazil is going to be on property rights for absentee landowners, that would seem to be an important thing to work on.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jul 9 12:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPUCK View Post
Boy that charcoal making is realllly bad. Besides denuding the forest those ovens pump out boo koo Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide. It's like a monstrous 1-2 punch.
And they say, methane, for reasons I don't quite understand.


Coign  Monday Jul 9 12:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Turning those logs into charcoal is like turning cows into McBurgers... quick and easy for the consumer, but so much wasted along the way.
Except you can re-plant the cows for McBurgers. You can't replant the rainforest at any cost effective method.


CharlieG  Monday Jul 9 12:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode View Post
Next time you pick up that bag of Kingsford, make sure you thank the gods for it.
Actually "Briquette" charcoal, like the classic Kingsford IS made from waste products - to whit - sawdust! The take sawdust and clay (and some other stuff) and mould it into the briquettes, and then make it into charcoal

True "lump" charcoal burns a LOT (and I mean a LOT) hotter, with much less ash (no clay)

As for "waste" vs burning wood - not all that much. Almost all of the energy is in the carbon, which is retained in the charcoal. You drive of the volates (water, oils etc) and then it's quenched - what's left burns a LOT hotter. It's done for the same reason that steel mills take coal, and turn it into coke. BTW you "village blacksmith" who burned coal - he would put the coal in on one side of the forge, and banked the fire in such a way that it would turn to coke. He did his actual forging in the coke, and would keep adding coal at one side , constantly making coke


chrisinhouston  Monday Jul 9 12:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode View Post
Next time you pick up that bag of Kingsford, make sure you thank the gods for it.
Hey I'm from Texas, we use Mesquite!


Tomtheman5  Monday Jul 9 01:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldonrs View Post
I remember when I was a kid that the Amazon loses 1 football sized area per day to human destruction.
Given that the square footage of a football is probably about 1 square foot... I think we're doing alright!


Seriously though, Wikipedia says that it's more than that - they give estimates of up to 120,000 km a year... That's more than 125 square miles a day. So sad that reforestation costs so much...


xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jul 9 04:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coign View Post
Except you can re-plant the cows for McBurgers. You can't replant the rainforest at any cost effective method.
Well actually all you have to do is leave it alone and wait, but that's not very time effective.
I wonder if they just planted a few common types of trees, using the same methods the lumber companies do here, if the diversity would return in time? By making a home for the critters and birds that spread seeds, it might. Of course, as I mentioned before, the soil is so poor it would take some time.


Griff  Tuesday Jul 10 08:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coign View Post
You can't replant the rainforest at any cost effective method.
People are betting you can.

Environmental investment funds such as Quadris invest in projects to regenerate forests that have been destroyed by logging or farming in the developing world. Smaller companies such as Bournemouth-based group Oxigen Investments are taking advantage of the demand for sustainable investment opportunities. It uses investors' money to create hardwood plantations in Costa Rica - when the wood is harvested, it reduces pressure on natural rainforests and protects thousands of acres more of previously threatened rainforest. Meanwhile, the scarcity of certified sources of hardwood drives the price up, increasing the benefit to investors.


Nikolai  Tuesday Jul 10 08:28 PM

Kinda be funny if every time the cut down a football filed sized area of rainforest, that they turned it into a footbal field, sure it will keep people happy, gives something for that natives to do after there homes have been torn down by loggers, watch it US Brazil are going to have a kick ass footbal team in a few years



rkzenrage  Thursday Jul 12 08:52 PM

I purchase gifts from The Hunger Site all the time. I am wearing a Literacy Site bracelet right now.



BigV  Friday Jul 13 11:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by piercehawkeye45 View Post
I have a slight ethical paradox with the hunger site.

If we don't feed the people today they will starve.

If we feed the people today and they continue to grow at the rate they have, more mouths will have to be fed. That means people are going to starve inevitably in the future unless we give more food, but then the cycle may continue.

We don't want them to starve today but if we feed them today, the next generation will have more people and then the people of the next generation will starve.

Besides industrialization (microfinancing), this paradox is really annoying ethically.
ph45, you seem genuinely troubled by the long term consequences of such a seeming act of charity. I was recently came across a modest proposal which will perhaps set your mind at ease. Read it; I'm sure you'll admire the self contained efficiency and elegant of this can't lose plan. Go on. You'll feel better, I'm sure.


rkzenrage  Saturday Jul 14 01:16 AM

Charity see the need not the cause.
German Proverb

BTW, I shop there mainly because they have nice stuff at a fair price... that it does good for many is a GREAT bonus!
Please check it out, just in case.



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