Opinion Page Editor,
The Chronicle Herald,
Dear Laurent ,
I enjoy the Opinion section of the paper under your editorship. As a resident of Nuttby Mountain where clearcutting is all around me, this topic weighs heavily on me. wish to submit the following piece to the Opinion page as a Readers’ Corner or Op. Ed. article.
In response to today’s report “Union warns of huge job losses if mill closes” I wish to wonder a bit more deeply than the union has. I always thought that trucks would work the same regardless of what they were moving. The service industries could serve environmentally- friendly businesses instead of the environmentally unfriendly businesses, My grandfather changed from being a horse teamster moving logs in New Brunswick, to being a horse teamster moving commodities in Massachusetts. The trucker to whom Donna Crossland spoke, said he wouldn’t have any trouble finding a new trucking job.
I wonder how many jobs, closing that mill down, would be saved and how many jobs, getting rid of the pulp mill would help create? Fishing, sports fishing, sports hunting, waterway tourism, eco tourism, upland tourism (which had been decimated), genealogical tourism (who wants to visit a cemetery or ancestor’s former home surrounded by or including clearcuts), ordinary tourism, herbalists, medicinal industries, scientific work with real sustainability in mind, maple syrup industry, flooring industry, value-added wood industries, and real lumber industry.
I am sure the rarer real hardwood will get, the more valuable it will be. The rarer water’s value, being quickly ruined, certainly has to be considered. One also needs to take into consideration the service industries for each of those above industries and take into consideration service industries lost while those areas keep getting polluted and the forests raped. I wonder how the value of properties might go up if they weren’t surrounded by clearcuts.
I wonder how many people would be saved or health improved, without those unnecessary pollutants and with the forest being the best means of clearing pollutants out. I wonder how much better the Earth would be, having atmospheric Carbon and Nitrogen kept in the forest, with soils cooled and shaded so they wouldn’t lose their long stored carbon and nitrates. I wonder how much better off the soils and, consequently, the water would be with their systems protected instead of allowing the leaching and erosion to take place.
All and all there are certainly many more jobs gained than lost and more people living longer as a consequence. Financially the Earth would be better off with environmentally friendly jobs–and wouldn’t the people be as well?
Retired Public Educator; BSc Engineering, University of Rhode Island; MEd Acadia University
Earltown Mountain, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia B0K 1V0