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A Machine that Makes Deforestation Easier: Do We Need This?

Naturally-Occurring Deforestation from the Tunguska Event, Barren to this Day.
Naturally-Occurring Deforestation from the Tunguska Event, Barren to this Day.

After writing the other day about deforestation and its disastrous effects on the environment, this video came to my attention.

We know what shredders are, and they are nothing new. They come in all sizes, from letter size to car size, which makes it easier to reduce large things into smaller pieces which are easier to classify and separate for processing and recycling. For example, paper recycling starts with shredding, which shreddings will eventually be mixed with a small percentage of fresh wood pulp to make new paper. Also, it keeps your top secret documents from prying eyes, so there’s that. On a larger scale though, is there any practical use for a portable tree shredder or deforestation device?

Now, deforestation is nothing new, and machines to make it easier aren’t new either, but is this the kind of technology that we need to be developing? Currently, the world’s forests sequester more than a trillion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), and that number is declining every year, thanks to logging, road building, cattle ranching, mining, river damming, and slash-and-burn agriculture, among others. According to Earth Policy Institute, the world’s forests are disappearing about 20.5 million acres per year (8.3 million hectares), or the equivalent of a forest the size of Central Park being burned to the ground every two hours and forty-seven minutes. Put another way, imagine the 1908 Tunguska Event, which knocked down 830 square miles of forest, occurring every ten days.

If anyone said it correctly, it would be Leeloo, from The Fifth Element, who said, “Humans act so strange. Everything you create is used to destroy.” Deforestation is also playing a direct role in climate change, as releasing all that sequestered CO2 adds to atmospheric CO2, which hit a new high of 402 ppm (parts per million) last month, the highest in any recorded history. We have plenty of “R” programs (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Refuse, Reject), but we’ve really got to step up our game if we’re going to counteract the “need” to cut down even more forest.

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