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July 29, 2005

Interesting Research.

Interesting piece of research out today.

Millions of pounds in overseas aid are wasted every year planting trees in dry countries in the belief that they help attract rainfall and act as storage for water, scientists said yesterday.

In fact, forests usually increase evaporation and help to reduce the amount of water available for human consumption or growing crops, according to a four-year study.

Research on water catchments on three continents says it is "a myth" that trees always increase the availability of water.

Even the effects on stopping flooding seem to be minimal:

Other "water myths" the study knocks down are that trees, particularly plantation trees, are always beneficial in preventing erosion and stopping floods.

Prof Calder said the study showed that there might be some benefit with plantations taking up water in most years, and reducing annual floods, but in major 1-in-20-year floods, the benefits were "negligible".

Of course, in such studies we always have to look at where the money is coming from, do we not? Environmental science isn’t science these days, it’s proaganda from one or other of the participants in the debate. So this must have been funded by loggers yes? Or ranchers, or international corporate agribusiness? For only these people would twist what we already know so grievously for their own purposes?

Oddly, no.

according to the study, funded by the Department for International Development.

Yes, that’s right, the bunch led by the third Viscount Stansgate and the people from whom Owen is on sabbatical. Quite obviously beyond any form of ideological reproach then.

July 29, 2005 in Environmentalism | Permalink


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I see that some of this research was carried out in Costa Rica. Not by any stretch of the imagination could Costa Rica be called a dry country. There is a reason it's called rain forest.

Posted by: David Gillies | Jul 29, 2005 5:29:04 PM