DEBATE OF '98- Earth's forests are shrinking

Martin Flower sylvestris at
Tue Apr 21 03:26:59 EST 1998

Joseph Zorzin wrote:
> Increasing world population means less forest land. Is this a problem?
> What should we do about it?

"Increasing world population means less forest land."

No, I don't see why this is the case.

I live in a large city in a densely populated country
(London/UK).  London is surrounded by protected
undeveloped agricultural land "Greenbelt", which is
designed not to have houses built on it.  However,
this land is far from "green" : it is barren, intensive
agricultural land, producing food at uneconomical costs.
In my opinion, what this land needs is trees.  The more
people there are the more trees they will need.  

We need trees 

 * to protect the countryside, 
 * to insulate cities from each other
 * to recycle carbon-dioxide
 * to help manage water resources
 * to reduce noise
 * to hide ugly buildings

The priority in Europe today is not to produce more
food.  It is to contain urban development, to provide
space for people and reclaim the land that was
deforested over the last 6000 years.  

Today, it no longer makes sense to subsidise european
agriculture.  But it does make sense to subsidise
forestry because the people need the trees.

Martin Flower
sylvestris at

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