Canada: How Forest Ethics and NGO’s failed to protect the last ancient forests

Environmentalists in BC are thoroughly divided by the RSP approach to
the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR). The RSP GBR model became the Canadian
Boreal Initiative model, which led to the FE Mountain Caribou model
which is now becoming the Encana Gateway & Tar Corridor consent model.
The divisive approach was begun long ago when the staffed and funded
ENGO’s signaled capitulation of all forest tenure related disputes for
our Vancouver Island forest & environment issues.

Vancouver Island by the staffed ENGO’s signalled intent to negotiate
with the forest industry for only apparent and emblematic achievements
within the GBR and only on behalf of US funding foundations. This
lucrative foundation funding for our “new” environmentalism was
predicated on the ENGO’s eschewing populist ad-hoc initiatives, civil
disobedience and activist tactics. These accessible old activist
methods were the foundation of our environmentalism and they were once
the populist green heart and soul of Greenpeace. It is disturbing to
discover (from Martin’s email) that Greenpeace in Germany now consents
to abandonning civil disobedience and activist tactics and replacing
them in British Columbia with PR strategies playing into a framework
of corporate dominance. The RSP enviros spent the last 14 years
enjoying the foundation funded rice bowl of dilatory psuedo public
process for the GBR. The coastal forest industry intended this
interminable PR process to deliver incrementally staged public consent
for a new deal for coastal logging –allowing the forest companies to
very profitably highgrade the best and most ecologically critical
remaining timber from the alluvial zone forests. The RSP enviros
were positioned by government and the forest industry to frame and
equate ancient forest highgrading with ecoforestry in order to allow
the current forest tenure holders to persist in the undiminished
benefits of forest exploitation without risking the reallocation of
public harvesting privileges to satisfy longstanding First Nations’
claims for sustainable economic entitlement. Appropriate, equitable
and ecologically sustainable alternatives to this forest industry
preferred solution have not been articulated, evaluated or considered
by the RSP enviros, the BC public, the BC government, FN’s or the
forest industry. The current urgency regarding finalizing the GBR deal
has little to do with the coastal forest industry and everything to do
with the BC government’s accelerated initiative to apply this corrupt
and fake environmental “solutions” model to lead greenwash and consent
for the tar sands Gateway pipeline corridor, legalizing coastal super
tanker traffic and accelerating coastal zone exploitation initiatives.

Posted via email from Deane’s posterous

Comments (4)

ValerieJanuary 5th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Sounds horrible. Too bad its hogwash (which we should be as careful about as greenwash)! Tell me another example of enviros achieving 2 million hecatres (5 million acres) of full protection of old growth forest in one go, and tell me what is wrong with the other 400,000 hectares (1 million acres) now off limits to logging through new logging regulations in the Great Bear Rainforest. If the standard for success is only if all old growth forests everywhere are protected immediately, then we will all be depressed, unsuccessful revolutionaries. Should more old forests be protected? Of course, for species and ecological function including the climate balance. This article is full of ridiculous dis-information that reads like a paranoid conspiracy theory with lots of big words. It should have been fact checked before being re-printed/posted. Enviros in BC are not thoroughly divided over the Great Bear Rainforest (don’t mistake some pissed off individuals on a list serve for a majority). There is some disagreement over what tactics and strategies are working to actually get large tracts of forest protected. If civil disobedience is the only tactic our movement considers legitimate then the movement needs to check its head (and I have done C.D. many many times and would again if it was the best strategy to achieve my goals).

Deane’s Response: This article represents the views of a significant number of Forest Advocates who have been protecting British Columbia forests for 30 years longer than Forest Ethics has even existed. Most of all Forest Ethics’ hostility and swagger towards the more experienced and technically gifted elders of BC forest defense community is self-evident.

ValerieJanuary 6th, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Please do not mistake differences of strategic opinion with disrespect for the good work of many people who have been environmental advocates for decades. Also please respect that many of us working for ForestEthics and many who support the Great Bear model have been working as forest conservation advocates for decades (as long or longer than many of our critics). We work with many excellent scientists in the field and it is outrageous to so cavalierly discredit their work. We are not discrediting the work that you do. This is a strategic difference about the art of the possible. It would be interesting to understand, given the position of First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest, how you feel more conservation than the 2 million hectares protected and set asides under EBM regulations could have been achieved in time to actually protect large tracts of intact forests before they were logged.

Regina BuenoNovember 8th, 2009 at 8:04 am

Forestethics is another organization that bows to the needs of business in order to stay in business. To defer to ” We work with many excellent scientists in the field and it is outrageous to so cavalierly discredit their work.” is tantamount to make “scientists” into great priests of a “religion called science”. as taxpayers paying for incredible amount of mistakes governments have done with the “support of scientists”, one would think that Forestethics would use a more cogent and clear argument instead.
In the end of the day, even the famous global warming that has created a tax grab (thanks to the likes of Forestethics), is becoming a tad questionable:

Got love stupidity. There is more to this global warming campaign that it meet the eyes. Like Al Gore making millions at the crap and trade scheme to get us all in more debt and another bubble to boot.

That is why I stop supporting the environmental movement. It became a religion. It booted out the people that initially worked hard and questioned the situation (most didn’t have university degrees, only common sense) and the so called movement was taken over by “scientists, lawyers and other university credited yahoos”, interested in creating a “white only industry” where the scientists coming out of university would have another way to get more money from the public and from the taxpayers, with very irrelevant and questionable claims and studies.
The good scientists have been prosecuted, disgraced and discredited by their peers.
Others have been ignored, like Guth in here:

“Guth writes, “Our current property and environmental law,[6] including both federal statutes and the common law, is intentionally designed to promote unending growth in economic activity. It harbors the presumption that economic activity generally provides a net benefit to society despite any accompanying damage it may cause. Grounded almost invisibly in this starting presumption, most of our property and environmental laws permit interference with economic activity only where that starting presumption is proved false, that is, where a particular activity can be demonstrated to fail to provide a net benefit to society. These laws for the most part do not forbid damage to human health or the environment. Rather, even when fully enforced they permit protection of human health or the environment only where the benefits of doing so can be proved to outweigh the costs…. So it is that cost-benefit analysis has become the legal system’s primary tool for deciding when economic activity may be regulated in the interest of protecting human health and the environment.”

But there’s more. As Guth has said, the law does not allow economic activity to be curtailed just because it is harming someone. The law will only allow an economic activity to be curtailed if a cost-benefit analysis shows that the activity is creating more harm than good. And the law puts the burden of proof on the harmed party, or on the government, to prove that costs are exceeding benefits before an economic activity can be curtailed or regulated. If the harmed party (or the government) cannot meet that burden of proof, the law defaults to its starting presumption: it allows the damaging activity to continue.

“This allocation of the burden of proof transforms doubt and missing information into a barrier to legal protection of human health and the environment,” Guth writes. “This explains why industrial interests are rationally motivated under our legal system to invest in the manufacture and spread of doubt and confusion.” [See David Michaels’ book, Doubt is their Product, describing an industry devoted to manufacturing doubt.]

So, if information is missing, or there exists scientific doubt, then the law presumes that an economic activity should continue — even when the law acknowledges that harm is occurring. The default presumption is that the benefits of economic activity always outweigh the costs unless a specific cost-benefit analysis can show otherwise.

This explains why the environmental movement — which has made truly heroic efforts since 1970 — has been unable to stem the degradation of human health and the environment.

Another unspoken presumption of the law is that damage to human health and the environment can continue to grow forever. Guth shows this in in Figure 1. The upper curved line in Figure 1 represents endlessly growing benefits from economic activity. The lower curved line shows smaller (but also endlessly growing) legally-permitted harms from economic activity. The space between the upper line and the lower line is “net benefit” or “net social benefit” or “net social utility” — it is the residue of good that remains after costs have been subtracted from benefits.”

If Forestethics and others were really interested in dealing with the environmental issues of our times, they would not work with business, nor support Gordon Campbell to get re-elected. They would work with other environmental organizations to stop the “growth economic model” and help to stop the globalization of environmental destruction and the poverty that comes with it.

Regina BuenoNovember 8th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

The late Dr.John Gofman is one example of someone that suffered cuts to his funding because he challenge the establishment.
Here is how he worked:

So, the short and long story is: “Most scientists that have no been bought, are still spouting $hit.

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