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Thread: Aerial photo blog - Sprol

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003

    Aerial photo blog - Sprol

    "Sprol is a planetary sightseeing blog. Visit some of the worst places in the world via satellite imagery. Our mission is to use the powers of space imaging to show people the visual macroscopic effects of our decisions and behavior."


    Interesting effort / approach.
    found from NY Times website article with Ads by Google.

    Advertiser Links are contextually relevant advertisements provided by Google. These ads are created by companies that want to have their ads appear next to relevant content, based on a set of keywords they specify. These listings are administered, sorted and maintained by Google.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
    Aug 2001
    Gale Crater
    Yeah, that's a pretty cool site. This article shows the plumes of smoke emitting from Indiana's coal-burning power plants. Thanks!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
    Jan 2005

    Who funds sprol?

    Pulping The World, Part 3: British Columbia

    "Vancouver began exporting lumber in 1865. Since then, they’ve built quite an operation, and as a result British Columbia is responsible for half of the production of Canada, making the country the largest exporter of forest products in the world. They’ve managed to do this by selling below cost."

    Bullshit. Define cost. It didn't cost anyone to plant the trees, replantings are MANDATORY upon harvesting and very, very well managed, and forest stewardship in BC is generally recognized as the best in the world. Having come from an outdoorsy family I have travelled extensively throughout this province and it is in no danger from forestry. If anything, forestry provides a link to the environment for most of our citizens. School children commonly visit clearcut sites as well as natural forests and a great deal of discourse results.

    "The felled trees are floated to the mill along the Fraser river. Upon arrival at the sawmill they are cut into boards, generating mountains of sawdust. Then the cut lumber is stacked onto barges.

    Floating logs, which cover the Fraser river at times, are listed as one of the local hazards that boaters and users of the river must be aware of."

    Mountains of sawdust? How negative a term! It's not as if its thrown away. Every ounce of that stuff gets used. Particle board, paper, insulation, blah blah...

    Further, I've never heard of serious accidents or injuries as a result of logs in the river. Log booms aren't just left to drift by themselves - when in transit they are towed, and when in storage they are secured in place.

    "In Canada, the timber industry is subsidized by the government. In economic terms the Canadian Government is liquidating their resources at a fraction of their true value in order to ensure full employment. This causes some in the United States to cry foul, and in fact has led to more than one NAFTA oversight committee.

    “Provincial governments grant an annual allowable cut to sawmill owners at whatever low price is necessary to maintain full employment in the timber industry. These sawmills usually pay a fraction of the price that American sawmill owners pay, creating a great disparity that is beginning to wreak havoc with the timber industry in the United States.” Jimmy Carter, New York Times, March 24, 2001 via Fair Lumber Coalition"

    Nice of them to provide evidence for the claim. I love blind assertions. Their assertion that NAFTA ruled in their favour is actually wrong - both NAFTA and the WTO have now twice ruled in favour of Canada regarding lumber duties imposed by the USA. The WTO and NAFTA have also ruled that the USA must repay the estimated $5 billion in duties collected, but the USA has flatly rejected this order.

    So how about this. British Columbia is thriving, and forestry is and always has been a strong part of our economy. Billions of dollars pour into provincial and federal coffers from the lumber industry. The province of BC is experiencing an almost $3 billion surplus and the Federal government has tallied up an impressive $7 billion surplus in only the first three months of the year. We charge our lumber industry more than enough for the privilege of logging Crown land. British Columbians care about their land and their forests, and thousands of them are employed with lumber companies in good conscience. Forest practices south of the border are none of our concern and we would appreciate respect of different ideas and methods.

    ""…every year the logging companies make billions of dollars in profit by clear cutting old-growth forests, but the taxpayers are footing the bill. Whether it is for restoration of damaged salmon streams, direct government subsidies, resource giveaways, or the social and financial costs of dislocation due to “cut and run” policies, the people of Canada are actually paying to have their forests destroyed. In B.C., the timber industry enjoys a $2.5 billion per year subsidy." Jobs and Trees"

    Gadzooks! What poppycock! Salmon streams are protected here more than humans are. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is notoriously overzealous. As for a "subsidy," I think it must be more the case that careful stewardship of natural forests yield cheaper logs than treefarming, where land must be privately purchased and trees grown over time. BC is generally very fertile, as a large part of it is temperate rainforest, and plant life will grow absolutely anywhere. Trees sprout like dandelions and crabgrass, growing from a foot tall sapling to a ten foot behemoth in single summers.

    ""Canada has been called the “Brazil of the North” because of its timber industry. In the province of British Columbia the government has handed out land to the forest industry in the form of Tree Farm Licenses and Timber Supply Areas with no public input. Just four groups of companies in a complex web of ownership control 93% of the trees logged in B.C.’s public forests." Jobs and Trees"

    The Brazil of the North? I've never heard that term. Seems a bit extreme, doesn't it? We're not slash and burning forests. Any reasonable person with an education in ecology would recognize this as preposterous, but worse, as minimizing the real damage taking place in Brazil due to mining, lumber, and agricultural outfits.

    "As we’ve pointed out, exporting raw materials is no way to build an economy. The government would earn more tax revenue by adding value to the wood products locally, instead of subsidizing the rapid destruction of the forest for wood chips and raw timber. It’s created a strange situation where in an area covered in forest, it can be difficult to find wood:

    "People who make high-value items out of wood frequently have trouble finding the the raw material they need in B.C., a province covered in trees. The supply situation is also tight in Alberta. In terms of economic development, this strategy verges on lunacy. Far more jobs can be created per tree if fibre is transformed into window and door frames, flooring, furniture, musical instruments and scores of other finished products rather than sawed into raw lumber and exported by the trainload." The Report Newsmagazine"

    The BC industry has had to resort to increasing raw log exports in order to survive severe US import duties. Funny enough, those duties do not apply to raw logs - only milled timber. How convenient. How about this neat loophole - US companies operating in BC can log, mill, and export lumber to the US only to have their duties repaid to them by the US government. Convenient, again.

    ""Today, the province’s timber industry survives, but it is in a state of crisis. The epicenter for all of the tension and emotion surrounding the practice of clear-cut logging is found on the West Coast.""

    Tension exists because we care about our forests and people actually talk about it - it doesn't mean the problem here is worse than anywhere else. Clear cut logging is actually a fairly environmentally friendly idea given that it allows primary succession to begin and proceed thru to higher level succession. They key is the SIZE of the cut and spacing between other cuts.


    I think I've had enough of these folks. Their "commentary" isn't terribly inspiring. I've seen more varied and intelligent discussions of real ecological issues come out of elementary school classrooms. This is politicking, and a poor showing at that.

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