The Chinese Woodpecker

chinese woodpecker

On the west side of the hemisphere “woodpecking” or deforestation spread like the plague amputating drastically “the lungs of the planet”, the Amazon.

In the eastern Siberia, in the Zabakailsky region, the same ecologic scourge is devastating and is threatening the famous Taiga, the coniferous forest, to disappear.

Hectares of pines, larches, aspens and birches are conveyed with a cadenced rhythm to the new specie of woodpecker, the flamboyant Manzhouli—A town that reflects the exponential economic growth of China. Its main source of prosperity is timber.

What caught my attention is the total volume of wood ILLEGALLY traded (2 million cubic meters a year). The most incomprehensible is that this ILLEGAL trafficking occurred, is occurring without the awareness and the consent of the highest authority, the government. Even if Russia’s 17.1 million square kilometers surface could justify the ignorance of the government, I’m skeptical.

Nonetheless, the environmental catastrophe ensued is such that if no action is taken within 5 years, the Taiga will simply vanish from the geography of the Russian Siberia.

Sources say that both parties at each extremity of this illegal trade are linked to mafias who exploit “bandit villages” misery to deliver the product required.

China, like most of industrialized countries, is experiencing its industrial revolution at the expenses of the poorest populations. As each economic development, it will slow down, overheat or explode. Meanwhile it greedily consumes any natural resources.

In this juicy deal both unscrupulous Siberian and Chinese are to be pointed the fingers at. What about the final consumer responsibility? The one at the end of the chain of consumption could be you, me! What is the percentage of wood imported from China to the US and consequently ends up in our living rooms or bedrooms?

As I passed by a Chinese style “Antique” store, I was wondering how it was still possible to the market to provide Chinese furniture? Could it be the answer? Because we are the demand.

1 comment for “The Chinese Woodpecker

  1. dan
    April 16, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    this is pretty interesting. are you concerned about the woodpecker, or the present paradigm of the industrious, and free capital gaining human?
    i suppose the relationship to deforestation, and the ignorance of our governments (along with us as the denizens of society), is parallel to the diabolical business practices of all nations pulling away from the pack.
    men are simply men, until they evolve into nations of incorporated tribes… and with the power and capabilities that come from such vertical organization and integration…
    we seem to get a little out of hand.
    and the bird pays the price.
    as does our free and clear conscience; collectively do we feel guilty?
    about the bird losing its home, and the planet losing its air?
    i think we’re a little too busy right now to ponder longer than a few minutes seriously about any of this!
    but quick, hand me another roll of toilet paper… i gotta go.

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