Re: Availability of cheap natural gas applauded (Letters, March 2)
I was astonished by letter-writer Andy Neimers outrageous claim that we in B.C. can continue to emit greenhouse gases because our forests will absorb all of this fossil carbon. He has got his facts entirely wrong.
As reported by multiple sources, including the CBC and the UN, B.C. forests are now net emitters of greenhouse gases. This was clearly evident from data reported by B.C.’s own GHG emission inventory of 2021. This is due to mountain pine beetle-caused die-off, slash-and-burn forest practices, and massive forest fires.
B.C. forest fires of 2017 and 2018 alone sent 209 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere. These were more than three times the emissions from other sources.
So no, our forests do not absorb nearly enough GHGs to offset our use of fracked fossil gas.
Even worse, anthropogenic climate change from burning fossil fuels has so badly impacted the entire ecosystem that forests worldwide are now net emitters of GHG because of record forest fires in B.C., western North America and Siberia. In recent years, even the Amazon has gone from a carbon sink to a net emitter due to destructive land use practices and fires.
We must immediately cease using fossil fuels for home heating to mitigate catastrophic climate change. Electric heat pumps are far cheaper and can also cool our homes in the dangerous heat waves we can expect to occur here more and more frequently.