Re: “Power Struggles” [Winter 2009]

As a long time observer of climate change and occasional lobbyist, I commend you on the Winter 2009/2010 issue of ON Nature.

I share Anne Bell’s concern about burning wood “waste,” a source of biomass, to produce energy [“Power struggles,” page 22]. Plants have lots of carbon dioxide, oxygen, water and sunshine – but minerals are scarce. Plant “waste” is nature’s way of recycling minerals and adding organic matter. Removing “waste” impoverishes the soil on which, ultimately, everything depends.

I also agree with Ray Ford’s observation that it is not the gradual increase in temperatures that will hit us initially, but an erratic weather pattern [“Farming for the future,” page 28]. We are observing this already.

– Frank Pope, Nepean