LETTER: Does mass timber help or hinder carbon reduction?

From reader Rod Retzlaff

I recently listened to an interview on the CBC where Michael Green, the man who coined the phrase “mass timber” was promoting his product by claiming that using wood to build big buildings would help save the planet by replacing concrete and steel, which contribute to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

According to Mr. Green big wooden buildings could store that carbon pent up in the wood, for years to come, thereby reducing our carbon footprint. But what about the waste wood generated in the form of slabs, sawdust, branches etc., much of which is burnt on the clearcut? Wouldn’t that be a carbon contributor?

How about if we just left the forest standing, allowing the living trees to store even more carbon as they grow? Come to think of it, don’t living trees actually reduce the carbon on an ongoing basis?

Clearly, trying to sell mass timber as an environmental silver bullet is pure nonsense. Corporate think, like canning our natural gas to send it to China to save the planet. How stupid do they think Canadians are?

Rod Retzlaff

Glade

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