Temperate Rainforest Crisis
A couple of weeks ago, EF! and the Women’s Environmental Network hosted a tour by British Columbia (BC) activists, Valerie Langer and Garth Lenz. They have been in the front line of the fight to save BC’s Wilderness and the way of life of the indigenous people who live there.
British Columbia is home to the majority of the world’s remaining temperate rainforest (approximately 60% of the remaining forest is in BC, with the rest in Alaska and Chile. 50-60% of the temperate rainforest has already been logged).
The ancient temperate rain-forest runs along a narrow strip of the coast. It is characterised by at least 250cm of rain annually. It is the only truly ancient forest in the world with trees up to 2000 years old. It has the greatest density of life of any natural system in the world.
According to the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which is still law in BC, unceded territory is reserved for native nations (First Nations), and it remains reserved for the natives’ exclusive use. Anyone who “molests or disturbs the natives” has broken constitutional law and is thereby guilty of treason. The natives have never ceded their land to the BC government, but so far all attempts to claim constitutional rights, and stop the multinationals (aided by the government) from destroying these native lands have been thwarted.
Environmentalists describe BC’s Vancouver Island as the Brazil of the North. They have forged alliances with the First Nations in order to strengthen their force in the battles ahead.
British Columbia may seem remote, but millions of cubic metres of it pass through British docks every year in the form of wood and pulp, destined for products on our shop shelves. The main uses of it are totally trivial: Scotties, Andrex, Pampers, Baby Fresh Wipes, Bodyform, Libra, Pennywise toilet roll and other such things (anyone who thinks this is not trivial should ask one of the natives whose land is washing away, whose children are dying because of the rivers poisoned by the pulp mills).
It is our duty, knowing these things, not just to boycott the products but to tell everyone else and to put effective pressure on the corporations responsible for the active promotion of them.
DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!
Scott paper, in response to already mounting criticism, have issued statements that they are gentle on the environment. They claim, for example, that they plant more trees than they fell. This of course is shit, as is everything that comes from the arses of the advertising industry. Even if it were true, the monocultures which are all white humans seem capable of producing are no replacement for what nature has created over thousands of years.
BC Actions are already sprouting up around the country - in Brighton, SDEF! visited their friendly corner-supermarket with a 6 ft. giant yellow chain-saw. Others have loaded up Sainsbury’s trolleys full of Andrex, re-distributing them liberally to all empty hidden corners, or just giving the floor a treat!