The primary purpose of Resolute’s legal action is to silence us. Complex litigation can be overwhelming, diverting staff time and resources that should be devoted to our mission and our work. Which is exactly what Resolute wants. But far more ominous and concerning is that if Resolute continues with this lawsuit, it will open the door for other companies to try to muzzle and intimidate their critics through spurious lawsuits designed specifically to intimidate and shut down their critics. But if this lawsuit is dismissed, it sends a strong signal that these types of aggressive tactics won’t work.
In late May, shadowy private investigators started showing up at the homes of former Stand.earth employees, frightening them and their families by parking in front of their houses for days at a time and asking questions while refusing to explain themselves.
The stories of these intimidating experiences started to multiply – we heard from staff as far flung as the Southeast US to Canada’s West Coast. And then we learned why: the largest logging company in Canada, Resolute Forest Products, was filing a lawsuit against Stand.earth and Greenpeace. And not just our organizations, but individual staff members, including myself. Why would you sue non-profit employees? They’re not known for being flush with money. Nor is Stand.earth. You do it as an attempt to intimidate and bully. And that should come as no surprise, as we now understand the Resolute’s law firm is the same one President-elect Donald Trump is using to threaten to sue The New York Times for releasing his tax information.
I too have been to resolute's web page and it is good. To answer your question... yes. It is in their interest to paint the most lovely picture of what they are doing (fool you) in order to continue with the status quo, which is to make massive profits at the expense of the environment, and the future of the myriad communities who would be supported by that environment.
I know websites can paint a whole different picture. Are they trying to fool me?
Our paper products do not have to come from clear cutting boreal or other temperate old growth forests. There are alternatives that a company could explore if they were inclined to get out of destructive mega logging, and focused on sustainable paper production: hemp being the primary candidate. Besides that, much more sustainable forest practices exist, and can be certified as such. Tagari press which puts out the Permaculture books of Bill Mollison is an example of a publisher who chooses only to get paper from certified sources.
Resolute is just another in a long list of companies that enable me to write letters, send cards, read tangible books, wipe my butt, choose paper bags over plastic ones, display art.......so as a consumer, I can't be hypercritical.
A tree seedling planted, is not a forest giant, and a industrialized tree farm landscape is not the forest destroyed in the process of extracting the timber. If you grew up where I did (the North Coastal Rainforest in a logging town), your perspective might be different. For my entire life, I've seen expansive valleys laid completely to waste by companies much smaller than this; I've planted trees in the blistering dry heat while the cool moist forest sits just to the side, or miles away. The devastation is incalculable. If you have not been there, you may not be even able to imagine it. While I support efforts to reforest, the actual forest company and government plan is not to create forests (diverse ecosystems) but tree farms on (relatively speaking) short term rotations.
Their website outlines their practice of reforestation and sustainability.
Yes, when you put it that way, I can understand your point of view, but being guilty by association is part of this global world, and nobody is immune to that, especially if you act on a large scale. Trumps tactics and his use of a law firm and that law firms ethics to take on such predatory cases makes them more liable to be focused on and used as such, then someone like yourself, or myself. It doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make me feel amazing about doing it, so I feel that your are quite right to point it out, and I appreciate being called on it, but I'm not going to take it back, partly because I don't know how to retract it and partly because it made you look, and partly that's the point of using such a catch headline, right or wrong. I hope that that doesn't offend you enough to get past that small indiscretion in relation to the greater issues at hand--please see the closing paragraph of this post.
I'd have to agree with Miles here. Trump had nothing to do with it. I'd hate to think that I could be judged by the actions of a lawyer(s) I hired in the past.
The law was meant to prosecute those involved in organized crime, and in that sense, in this case, it is preposterous, ridiculous, and the company and it's lawyers should be held accountable for defamation of character. The lawsuit itself, if judge poorly by the system, would prove a devastating blow to those voices who are trying to criticize or otherwise point out the wrongs done by powerful interests on this continent; the precedent this could set would be catastrophic for civil society. The fact that the parameters of the law allow for such extractive and exploitive practices in the first place should be viewed as organized crime, not the pointing out of such crimes.
Is it the lawsuit or the law mentioned that is an issue? Both?
You might be able to believe that the largest logging corporation in Canada has very deep pockets, and an assigned budget for such things; they stand to win greatly by being able to continue as they are. In the case of Forest Ethics, who run on donations... the comparison is laughable. I haven't found the lawsuit, but I imagine hindering business operations, or... what they view as slander but is actually someone/some group exposing the truth about what they are doing.
Lawsuits can be costly to both sides, considering time and money. The only ones who really win are lawyers. Why would a company spend time or money if they can't possibly prove basis exists? What are they suing for? Libel, slander, trespassing, hindering business operations?
I agree that in this case Trump should have nothing to do with it, and I would hope that the Judge would have enough sense to view the case as bullshit in the first case, and in the second case view it in the light of laws greater than corporate law which legalizes criminal capitalism for the sake of a so called (tragically misnamed) economy.
If this goes before a judge, he will (hopefully) hear the facts and be able to make decisions on those facts, regardless of the lawyers, the lawyers' past clients,etc.
Have you ever seen modern industrial logging? In 1816 it was axes and handsaws, and horses, and Resolute was a small company. Now it's Feller Bunchers, Processors, and/or other giant machines working alongside fallers with large powerful chainsaws, and fleets of logging trucks and processing plants. The cutting of forests in Canada has increased at an exponential rate since the dawn of industrial scale logging, and is currently threatening 1/2 of the bird species on this continent. While I understand your criticism of Greenpeace, and I have had similar views in the past and still hold some and have been watching them since I was a kid in the 70's, I have been involved in and supporting Forest Ethics which became Stand.earth, for more than 5 years, and not once did I feel that way about their methods and ideals.
You say that Resolute Forest Products: "are absolutely raping the boreal forest", "are attempting to bully Stand.Earth and Greenpeace...by suing them...using a law..."
I'd have to ask, since I've never been there, are they doing something different in their forest management that now is seen as "raping"? Or have you always seen it as such? They have operated their business in that region since 1816
I can appreciate that.
In order to see the whole picture, I would have to hear from both camps. I don't have enough information yet.
In my experience living in logging towns for most of my life (I'm nearing 50), the thing that closes down logging is improperly managed forest practices, policies, and cut and run corporations. Point in case, Mcbride, and Valemount, in my current valley had multiple thriving mid sized mills, and the provincial government deemed it somehow appropriate to create laws that favored larger corporations doing all of the logging and milling, and as a result, the local mills were forced to either close, or sell their operations to the large mill companies. The further result of those that sold their operations, were closed door meetings that shut out the locals and closed the mills anyway. All the logs in this valley, but a very scant few to mom-and-pop operations, or smaller mills, are trucked to Prince George or Kamloops-hundreds of miles to either. That is what is what shut down these mills.
I have seen logging operations stop in a number of areas over the years and communities that depend on this renewable resource take a economic hit.
All I have is hard facts. I've seen it all first hand, too often, and it's in my face everyday on the highway with trucks going to the big mills.
I have too few hard facts to make a rational opinion.
To me, to be quite honest and not meant to offend you, this is a non-argument. Who cares to compare the diversity levels... when 50% of North America's birds are threatened by such practices. Why do we need to compare it to the Amazon or Indonesia. Sure it's fracking crazy what is being done in the tropics, but that does not mean that we should ignore our own backyard. It's a non-argument. These sorts of statements are perpetrated by those with a bias towards industrial development of the North and are distractions from the atrocities that are being senselessly committed in the name of profit, and nothing else. I've seen it all, and heard it shouted at meetings by people who knew deep down that they had been duped. They admitted as much after the mills closed.
I know that the northern forests do not have anywhere near the biodiversity of the tropical forests.
In the case of Stand.earth, I find that Alex's statement does not reflect the situation with Stand.earth, who as a group tend to be quite level headed and rational, engaging their 'adversaries' as if they are potential collaborators throughout the process.
Expect to see more of this we versus them in the next few years.
Rational thought will be replaced with raw emotions!
we go toe to toe challenging some of the world’s largest companies to do better, to stop destroying forests, to address climate change, to not put people and our planet at risk. This is never comfortable – not for us taking on companies that have more revenue in a few hours than we fundraise in a full year. And it’s not comfortable for the companies we take on – who often want to do the right thing but have simply not prioritized it. Over the years that approach -- moving major companies from conflict to collaboration -- has yielded extraordinary, long-lasting successes. We have been able to protect millions of acres of old growth forests, partner with indigenous people working to gain control over their traditional territories, and challenge and defeat outdated and dangerous fossil fuel projects.
Nearly every company we have ever challenged in a campaign has come to not only change its ways, but to appreciate that we helped them make better decisions for the environment, for people, and for their companies. Moving through conflict – a real adult disagreement – to eventual collaboration demands the best of us and of our temporary adversaries. But this summer, we learned that not everyone can handle agreeing to disagree while working toward our common values
Perhaps that was the intent of Stand.earth in creating the headline, but my personal intention was to use their subject line which I figured would catch the eye and get people to look, nothing more.
It is clear that the subject line was created to attract a liberal audience who is more likely to be anit-logging.
This made me think of Masters of War by Bob Dylan. Here's a quote from the lyrics:
Just like the H-bomb, in every sector of the economy, people can and do invent toys that can harvest once and leave total destruction in their wake.
You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
(underlining by pokachinni)
The Boreal forest in the interior contains species that are not generally long-lived. In this region, nature is a clear cutter. Forest fires, blow down and bug infestations regularly lay waste to the forest. Although these things happen regularly, they are not generally the sort of event that clears all biomass from a valley.
I don't see allowing a forest to burn as a waste, since it is the natural way in that region; I believe that we should thoughtfully consider the forest ecological patterns (fire included) as the primary teacher here, rather then impose our concepts of waste to it. The boreal forest is huge and i'm not against fighting forest fires, but they should be allowed to burn some forest, just as nature intended the succession to happen. To try to replace forest fires with clearcuts is completely ridiculous, and presumptuous in my mind. Here's a quote from the Boreal Forest Wikipedia:
I don't like to see resources wasted, and I do see allowing forest to burn as a waste. That's why I favor small block clear-cutting
I would add that fire also stimulates the growth of fire tolerant species, which can withstand the fire or rapidly regenerate an ecosystem in the wake of a fire, unlike clearcut forestry.
However, the effects of forest fires and insect outbreaks differ from the effects of logging, so they should not be treated as equivalent in their ecological consequences. Logging, for example, requires road networks with their negative impacts, and it removes nutrients from the site, which may deplete nutrients for the next cycle of forest growth. Fire, on the other hand, recycles nutrients on location (except for some nitrogen), it removes accumulated organic matter and it stimulates reproduction of fire-dependent species.
I agree. I had a hard time sympathizing with the city of Fort McMurray. The town that I work out of has cut all of the dead pine (Mountain pine beetle infestation) surrounding it. The 2 key problems with towns or rural residents being in forested areas is that their structures are flammable, and fireproof water systems/firefighting plans are not mandatory.
Human settlements , completely surrounded by mature boreal forest, are a disaster waiting to happen. We have lost two towns since my trip. I think the federal disaster relief money put into these places, was a waste of money. If a town can't find a way to protect itself, it shouldn't exist. Fort McMurray is an oil town with one of the highest income levels in the country. That they couldn't see the need to do something in the forest surrounding the place, is shocking to me. I see the bailing out of this place, as a subsidy to the oil industry.
I think that this is very true. I personally do not think that people should not live in the boreal forest, but that firebreaks are necessary, as is water support, and fireproof building. Personally I think that the Canadian population needs to decentralize out of the urban centres (we are the most urban population per capita on Earth), and moved to the rural, including Boreal Forests Zone locations. The villages, towns need to be built with permaculture design (with Earth Care, People Care, and reinvesting the surpluses into the system).
It's Time to rethink human settlement in the Boreal forest. And it's time to put in many firebreaks, whether they be native trees or not.
True that the company will not remove debris that it can not profit from. These are often bulldozed or excavated into large pointing heaps and burned in late fall or early winter (a practice known as slash burning) Here's a CBC article about it: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/province-wide-slash-burning-sparks-controversy-1.3652496 [ The focus in this article is on wood pellet industry wanting access to the fibre rather than hugulkutur or bio char which is where I would go with it... ] or the debris is left helter sketler and shattered which most often creates a drying of the woody material, which when combined with the disturbed ground covers and exposed drying soils, leads to a much greater fire risk than more selective small scale harvesting practices.
I can't imagine that they take all the stuff they can't use. What happens to the stuff that's too branchy, too sparse, or not the right species?I would guess that even in a clearcut, this stuff gets left behind, simply because there isn't any benefit to removing it.
This may be the case in some places and with some species in Ontario, but not here. In the past, in B.C., tree planters were required to kick or scrape the duff away to plant the tree, but that is not the case anymore. The disturbed ground is not needed, but actually serves to dry out the area where the seedling most needs moisture to be held, and also with the system more intact, there is a better opportunity for the seedling to connect with the existing mycelial community.
They usually have biomass on top to move through in order to expose the mineral soil that many species need to germinate and grow properly.
The intent of this thread was not about the carbon/atmosphere situation, but I'm willing to go in that direction. Forest fires are devastating, but they are natural; Unlike large-scale clearcuts, the forest has natural responses to fires. You make a very valid point about the forests becoming unnaturally aged in some cases, but that is not the primary cause of the problems that this thread is about. The massive clearcuts that this thread is about are responsible for far more habitat loss and degradation of the carbon cycle, than all the forest fires combined. The clearcuts dramatically accelerate wind velocities, and ambient local temperatures, having the trees removed eliminates evapo-transpiration which reduces rainfall in downwind forest areas. The large clearcut and road-building disturbance increases surface/ground evaporation, and cause erosion via wind and water on a scale that these landscapes have no natural way to deal with. Next the cut blocks are planted with conifers (and 'competing' deciduous species are systematically cut out) which have a high resin content and are highly flammable particularly as they grow up to create a closed canopy which causes the lower branches to die out, and dry, creating ladder fuel for crowning firestorms. Deciduous species which mix into the wild/natural boreal forests, on the other hand, have very little ladder fuels, and crowning fires drop to the ground after hitting their much less flammable broad leaf structures. Here's a short brief on that: http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/formain15737/$file/BraggCreek-DifferentTreeSpecicesImpactWildfire-Aug03-2012.pdf?OpenElement All of these just mentioned factors have a clearcut system contribute to the increased risk of large scale forest fire events in the future. As I have written, I think that small scale cut blocks would be a good way to go, particularly if they were purposefully creating fire breaks with deciduous bands purposefully left to grow or planted to increase diversity where they aren't present. I also think that prescribed burns are a far more efficient and less destructive way to transition the forest than pushing logging roads into the wilderness and clear cutting randomly (in regards to fire breaks) and heavily, hoping that this will be a fire break, when in fact they are often creating the perfect conditions for future large scale events. This B.C. government commissioned paper provide valuable insight on this, but it's more of a dense read: FIRESTORM
Finally, all that biomass that is recycled through natural means, in situ after insect infestations or blowdowns or what have you, that is also giving up much of it's carbon through oxidisation, meaning it's just going up into the air. This is only accelerated in forest fire situations where you don't only lose lots of nitrogen, but also every bit of carbon that burns and goes into the air. The charred bits and ash represent a fraction of what could be sequestered.
I'm not sure what facts you are referencing, or what statistical evidence you have for your closing statement in this quote, but I can tell you that in spite of the shorter lifespan of these interior species, the potential for ecosystem regrowth is much greater if they are left more or less intact, especially if deciduous species are allowed their place. At no point in my own statements in this thread have I said that harvesting trees for building structures is objectionable (although I think clearcutting for tree based oceanic carbon sinking is beyond ridiculous in my mind), but simply that the nature of certain logging practices are highly questionable, and that their critics have the right to voice that opposition without being silenced through extraneous lawsuits which are set up solely for two purposes: draining their funds and wasting their valuable time.
This has turned into a much more interesting topic than the original tagline, but there seem to be certain factual blindspots. Whether you cut it down and bury it, turn it into a house, or sink it to the bottom of the sea, there is more done to sequester carbon if wood is harvested and pulled out of the situation where it will give up its carbon to the air. We have lots and lots of carbon dioxide. We could have lots more long-lived wood products, and a much faster "refresh rate" of forests, if you will, and that would result in more carbon extracted from the atmosphere, not less.
To be forced to defend yourself and have your finances and time drained against a law that was set up to deal with organized crime, when you are only exposing the true nature of a corporate exploiter and giving them options to continue to profit without destroying the environment, seems to me to make your argument somewhat moot. The presence of a lawyer is not a red flag. The nature of this particular lawsuit is.
to defend yourself should not be seen as tantamount to an admission of guilt. Lawyers work for lots of people. Some are doubtless good, while others may be small, vicious, vengeful little people. If the presence of a lawyer is a waving red cape to you, my guess would be that your eyes have already left the target.