Joe Sebastian (Angela Denning/KFSK photo)

Opinions expressed in commentary on KCAW are those of the author, and are not necessarily shared by the station’s board, staff, or volunteers.

Downloadable audio.

Hi. My name is Joe Sebastian. I’m back from a long season of fishing. Today, I would like to speak to the Roadless Rule and worldwide climate change.

It is a great irony that old growth trees that are found in large proportion of Roadless Rule-protected lands also absorb large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere. In fact, the Tongass National Forest is considered by scientists the 5th largest carbon-absorption sink in the world. Under the present circumstances, 25% of carbon falls in the ocean, 25% is absorbed by trees, and 50% ends up in the atmosphere. It makes no sense to pretend we can continue with the same backwards behavior like there is no tomorrow.

At this point in time, there is no machine or machinery that draws CO2 from the atmosphere – yet that’s what trees do, old growth trees. Does it make any sense to chop down our friends and allies who ask nothing in the return, while they help us clean up the mess that we ourselves have made?

Does it make sense to let Alcan Timber Inc. or Dahlstrom round log export company gerrymander our Roadless Rule lands into our pockets and clear-cut ourselves into poverty and destitution, meanwhile further poisoning our atmosphere and killing our lone friends and allies who worked to help us?

Enough stupidity is enough. Let the Roadless Rule stand as is. It’s doing a great service for nature, fish and wildlife, Alaskans and humanity. As a post script, if anyone is interested in more, National Geographic Magazine – January 2016 – has an article on Alaska’s Arctic Ocean and how that will affect our present and future weather. Check it out.

To read a longer version of Sebastian’s commentary from KFSK, click here.