15 January 2007

Forest Furnace

(Photo by Bob Mossel)

“so we are going to cut down the ancient forests, feed them into a power plant and call it green power”..

It reads like some un-funny far-side cartoon, but is an all to real proposition in Tasmania.

With the all-to-familiar ‘record breaking figures’ it’s the hottest-driest year on record in Tassie and months before the usual forest fire season all around us the forests burn.

Thought out Tasmania& Victoria (where the east Gippy blockade in my ‘ Causing trouble in Victoria’ blog was) the ancient forest, plantations and peoples homes are in flames.

It dominates the headlines daily with insane fiery pictures.

Climate chaos is hitting hard here and governments & industry continue to do their best to push it over the edge.

There are two different proposals for wood-fired power stations in Tasmania current slip-sliding their greased way through the approvals process. One at the Southwood 'Integrated Timber Processing Centre' just outside the Weld valley where I was living in the forest over the winter, and one as part of a new pulp mill proposal up north.

Not that the logging and subsequent 'regeneration burnings' aren’t damaging enough to the climate as the last old carbon storing trees are felled.

However the audacity of trying to call it renewable energy takes another big step towards Orwellian ‘War is Peace’ doublethink.

Living out the forest up as tree is amazing, but in these dry times does bring on some fire paranoia.. ‘Its looking a bit hazy today…’ Does the air smell smoky to you?’ There is no mobile signal in the forest.. and at one of the blockades we were an hours walk away from the nearest car access.. when would we do? Many strategies were discussed, live jumping in the river, and that it better to run away downhill.. as fore travels faster uphill. How fast could I absail down this tree?? So many things we don’t have to consider living in the wetter uk!! but for how long?

So for life at the blockades, and a taste of these amazing acient forests check out my last three Tassie posts, and my video from the Florentine:

‘Carry on up the Flozza’
‘Blockade over the Weld River’
‘Trouble of Tasmania – Pirates of the Weld’

And a website I found with more info on Climate Chaos & Tassie

Also check out the Tassie, Weld & Florentine photo sets on my flickr.

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