The green boogiemen are at it again today intimating that toilet paper (all varieties, but especially softer ply versions) is evil incarnate and “. . . a lot worse than driving Hummers in terms of global warming pollution.”
The article quotes two neo-socialist organizations (Green Peace and NRDC), and makes the claim that our (U.S. paper companies) manufacturing of tp is environmentally hazardous because we are supposedly decimating what they call “virgin trees” in the process.
Let’s think about this for a moment…
First of all, what are “virgin trees?” Do we view them as, say, different than trees that have been around the block a few times? Do we protect their tender leaves from R rated chain saws? Seriously, a virgin tree in this context is tossed out as if it was a tree that had never been exposed to the touch of mankind. Or, perhaps, they are attempting to make you think it is actually virgin timber ?
Definition: VIRGIN TIMBER -Timber from an original forest that has not been previously disturbed or influenced by human activity. Many consider 150 year old trees virgin.
The use of virgin trees in this article is clearly misleading and here’s why. Toilet paper is generally made from new or “virgin” paper NOT virgin timber. The recipe calls for a combination of softwood and hardwood trees such as (but not limited to) Southern pine and Douglas fir (softwoods), and maple or oaks (hardwoods). The softer wood has relatively longer fibers that wrap around each other; giving the tp its strength (you don’t want tp that falls apart easily at the moment of truth). Hardwood trees have shorter fibers, and using them makes a softer feeling paper. As a result, toilet paper is generally 70% hardwood and 30% softwood and the reality is that these pines, maples and oaks are no more “virgin” than Madonna. Other than the oaks, the trees used generally grow very quickly and, in fact, are replanted faster than they are used. So, this idea that “virgin trees” or “virgin timber” are being decimated to make American asswhipe is, well, asinine…
Then we have the real zinger. Both organizations cited in the article (Green Peace and Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC)), are clearly on record as enthusiastic supporters of biomass fuel development, expansion, and use – aka ethanol or using carbohydrates in lieu of hydrocarbons for fuel. This is hypocrisy hardly to be matched because the article states that use of tp as currently manufactured here in the United States is more dangerous to the now pervasive myth of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming than SUV’s! Ostensibly this is so because trees that are cut to make the toilet paper are no longer functioning as CO2 absorbers, ergo not a net consumer of evil CO2 and therefore part of the global warming problem.
Leaving aside the carbohydrate verses hydrocarbon reality, their position is futhermore untenable because if you buy into the biomass myth you are then committed to NOT plant trees, but rather, on the margin, permanently cut and clear forested areas in order to plant corn, switchgrass, or sugar cane – all of which are not as effective as pine forests (forests in general) at consuming CO2.. In fact, if we used biomass to the extent these neo-socialist nut jobs would like our “vigin trees” would disappear never to be replanted, and our remaining virgin forests would clearly be at risk.
Paper companies, on the other hand, are far better stewards of the lands they forest as they replant (or allow the forest land to regrow through selective cutting) more than they consume, and they do so by market necessity. They know very well that they need (and will need in the future) more trees as demand for their product rises over time. The market for their goods, in this case toilet paper, demands that they reforest and manage their resources accordingly. Which means more, not less, trees and, specifically, those tree varieties that produce the best quality toilet paper.
The green hypocrites are not only engaging in obfuscation and down right misrepresentation here, but their degree of hypocrisy is utterly stunning and heretofore unmatched; there are, it seems, more (green) a-holes every day that need wiping.