Slash and burn...
Oct 18, 2012 | 864 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’m as guilty as you are on this one, but something happened recently that caused me to rethink my wicked ways. Oysters are grown up and down our West Coast in all the little bays from California to Alaska and over the last few years they’ve had a serious problem. Nurseries start the baby oysters then ship the fry to the growing beds along the coast, but for the last couple of years the fry have been mysteriously dying. But that mystery has finally been solved.

The waters of the Pacific Ocean are growing so acidic that the baby oysters can’t extract enough calcium from the waters to make a shell! The oceans act as a balance for the atmosphere, pulling carbon out and storing it in the waters, but they can’t keep up with the amounts we are putting in and it’s becoming a big problem – for us. Burning of all forms puts carbon into the atmosphere, whether it is gasoline, coal, natural gas or tamarisk trees. I need to rethink how I deal with the tree prunings I work with and I believe the BLM, Park Service and State Lands also need to rethink the “slash and burn” technology they apply thoughout Utah and the West.

This week, the “sloughs” are being burned, putting up many tons of carbon into our atmosphere. Trees, reeds, grasses all store carbon in their tissues (solution) burning them releases carbon back into the atmosphere (problem). We are all part of the problem but it shouldn’t be government policy to exacerbate that problem.

Guilty your Honor....

—Andrew Riley


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