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One of the four pillars of the Green Party is ecological wisdom; and, the Napa County Green Party is concerned that the county of Napa continues to allow the ruinous practice of clear-cutting and bulldozing of land, converting it to new farms.

Napa County is submitting a grant application to the state Strategic Growth Council to establish a Napa County Carbon Reserve Program to offset and mitigate carbon emissions. The overall purpose of local carbon action plans is to reduce and account for the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. We applaud efforts to balance the sequestering and off-gassing that occurs in the county, but the removal of forests is not mitigable. The county is seeking to redeem itself of its irreparable harm to the planet by trading living, breathing and carbon-sequestering forests for non-living and non-accumulating technologies.

The United Nations’ 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that the third largest cause of global warming is the loss of forests. We should not develop, fund nor encourage offsets that result in a loss of the world’s forests. Once a forest is gone, it is gone forever. No amount of energy-efficient light bulbs and solar panels, or replanting of small seedlings is equivalent to a fully functioning forest.

We have requested that the state Strategic Growth Council deny the grant request by the county of Napa until it disallows the destruction of forests that give us life, and we ask that the county of Napa reconsider its plan.

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As the seriousness of global warming is realized in the years ahead, let history not say that we were still justifying and funding the cutting down and destruction of trees.

Lars Christianson, Napa County Green Party, County Council / Napa

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