GreenYes Digest V97 #149

GreenYes Mailing List and Newsgroup (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:11:32 -0500

GreenYes Digest Tue, 24 Jun 97 Volume 97 : Issue 149

Today's Topics:
displacement in forestry (3 msgs)
FW: NYT story on resource subsidy impact
FW: Recycled Lumber (fwd)
Fwd: Clean Air Act
green cosmetics
Internet Message
Sierra Club goes zero waste?
ZeroCut - what's in a name?
ZERO CUT means what exactly

Send Replies or notes for publication to: <greenyes@UCSD.Edu>
Send subscription requests to: <greenyes-Digest-Request@UCSD.Edu>
Problems you can't solve otherwise to

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 09:56:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: "William P. McGowan" <>
Subject: displacement in forestry

23 June 1997

Mr.. OrrUs many-paged refutation of my admonition that a zero cut
in North America may very well result in an increase volume of timbering
in the Third World illuminated some of the very problems I suspect
whenever I see a simplistic slogan advocating solutions to complex
problems. Because this list server is intended to provoke debate on
issues affecting the environment, I use this message as a means of
continuing that debate.

For those who missed it, allow me to recap the points I raised
and those raised by Orr in response.

The essence of my point was that a Zero Cut policy of AmericaUs
national forests could very well result in increased pressure to cut
timberlands in countries where forest management practices are a great
deal worse than they are in the United States.

Mr. Orr refuted my point, arguing that RdisplacementS of ending
cutting in one place (the First World) does not result in more cutting
elsewhere(the Third World).

Interestingly, Mr.. Orr did not dispute the essence of the point
I raised, rather he merely cast doubt on its origin. Claiming that the
displacement theory is mainly a rhetorical device used by the American
Forestry Industry and the National Forestry Service, Orr relied on the
poor standing both institutions have within the environmental movement as
his proof that displacement does not in fact occur.

But then he tripped over himself, identifying free trade as the
real villain in the debate, and by doing so actually ended up supporting
my original concern that displacement of cutting in the United States
could result in increased cutting elsewhere in the world, where forestry
practices are worse than they are here.

For Orr, free trade is a bad thing when logs from our National
Forests can be exported across national boundaries, a problem which can
only be solved by the repeal of NAFTA and GATT. But if these two trade
agreements encourage the international market for wood, is this not
evidence that the displacement does in fact occur? The market for wood,
Orr readily acknowledges, is GLOBAL, meaning that unilateral action on
one countryUs part does not end trade in a product, it merely affects
prices and the flow of trade in a similar product elsewhere. A glance
back at the economic history of oil in the 1970s demonstrates this
point--when oil stops coming from one place, pressure is placed on other
economies (and environments) to compensate for the loss.
This is Global Economics 101, and while many of my good friends
in environmental businesses claim that capitalism is bad, history shows
us that it has been the most influential element in the history of the
world for over five hundred years. Willing capitalism away, or saying
that the Rsystem must changeS does not achieve the goals of reducing
resource depletion.

So what is MY solution? First, we need to respect the power of
capitalism and use it to achieve our goals. In essence, we need to
internalize costs that are currently externalized. In this sense, I
agree with Mr.. OrrUs assertion that we as a country are giving away
timber at prices far below the market through subsidies to the timber
industry. We should make it impossible for the Forest Service to sell
harvesting rights at below market prices, and we should also get the
Department of Agriculture out of the road building and surveying
business. If a timber company wins a bid to harvest timber in our
national forests, then they should absorb the costs of getting it out in
an environmentally acceptable manner. In a similar light, if a group of
environmentalists want to buy the rights to harvest a stand of timber and
then leave the parcel untouched, then the administration should let them
do it.

Second, if we are serious about stopping the cutting of forests,
then as a nation we should approach the bodies governing global trade,
and here I mean GATT, and propose revisions that increase the tariffs on
wood harvested in a manner that does not support healthy forests. This
would work like the ban on the trading in ivory--though the history of
that agreement does identify the problems of such an approach. By
acting unilaterally, we take ourselves out of the debate, while working
within the international trade structure, we can actually lead the world.

Third, I would try to identify an alternative means of funding
the National Forests before ending the flow of revenue generated by
timber companies that win the rights to harvest. Granted, these
companies are paying less than the fair market value for the services
(roads, surveying, reforestation) they receive when they harvest, but to
end all cutting would mean zero revenue flowing where there had at least
been some. The present trial run of charging fees for allowing public
access to the Los Padres National Forest demonstrates this problem
perfectly: no one wants to see cutting in the forests, but then no one
wants to have to pay a fee to use them recreationally either. Though it
is nice to assume that the tax payer will see the validity of more taxes
to pay for things like the forests, the current tax rate makes public
acceptance of such increases dubious at best.

Finally, we have to acknowledge that Zero Cut will have
consequences for the people who can least afford them. Domestically,
housing prices will rise with the elimination of wood in our structures,
and these price increases will disproportionately affect the poor in our
society--it is called regressivity. Internationally, ending of cutting
here will mean more cutting on the fringes of rainforests, where native
peoples are being displaced at an already alarming rate.

Getting back to original point of contention--does displacement
in forestry occur? Economics would suggest that it does. The world
economy is growing, and with this growth comes a voracious appetite for
more wood structures, boxes, paper products, and the like. By itself,
growth is not a good thing for the environment, but when coupled with a
rising per capita income, growth brings an environmental consciousness
and the ability to pay for the programs such attitudes demand.

Bill McGowan
Rincon Recycling


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 10:19:05 -0700
From: Carolyn Chase <>
Subject: displacement in forestry

> Finally, we have to acknowledge that Zero Cut will have
>consequences for the people who can least afford them. Domestically,
>housing prices will rise with the elimination of wood in our structures,
>and these price increases will disproportionately affect the poor in our
>society--it is called regressivity. Internationally, ending of cutting
>here will mean more cutting on the fringes of rainforests, where native
>peoples are being displaced at an already alarming rate.
++ What about alternatives? There are many places in the world where wood
is not a good choice and never has been for building. We became addicted to
because timber barons build an industry in it. What about bricks? adobe?
concrete blocks?
straw bale, recycled plastic? Many of which are even cheaper than
subsidized wood.
We just replaced a rotting, termite destroyed wooden bridge into
my home with Trex and I am very very happy.....WE previously replaced a
rotting wooden
deck flooring with clay-based tiles........don't have to worry about fumigation
alternatives, fire etc. and it looks great and like it will last forever.
I have never really understood why wood was good in California where fires
and termites make it long term problem Here we the County is looking at
banning wood shingles.....after 60 homes were destroyed by fires catching
simply on the roofs. The point is that wood has been pushed by a successful
sales and industry
sturcture, why can't we get that structure behind better products?


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 13:09:00 -0700
From: "Adams, Jesse" <>
Subject: displacement in forestry

>>What about bricks? adobe? concrete blocks? straw bale, recycled
plastic? Many of which are even cheaper than subsidized wood.<<


Good discussion on the forest thread, keep it up, ya' question
Clinton's Clearcut Chainsaw Massacre policies are sick (along with a gob
more...regret now I voted for him...)...wish I had time to chime
in...could go on for weeks......;-).

Continuing your "alternatives" materials thought as noted above....Mike
Reynolds (the architect) built Dennis (the actor) Weaver's home in CO
out of scrap tires...!! Reynolds has built quite a few fully, or near
fully, self sufficient (solar) homes using mostly scrap w/rammed earth, cans. bottles, etc. The bricks,
adobe, concrete blocks would have to be mined, processed, yadda, yadda,
yadda. The tires are going to be there like it or not and they are darn
difficult to "recycle"...the re-use angle appears to be better than
using them as a fuel in cement kilns, etc.

CA for instance has a pile of tires near Westly large enough to keep
Habitat supplied with the major structural component (tires) for the
next 50 years....



David Orr...good to see you back on-line!!

Jesse (CIWMB)


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 14:44 -0800 (PST)
From: "Lacaze, Skip" <>
Subject: FW: NYT story on resource subsidy impact

This is from a daily EPA update. It seems related to the
Zero Waste/Zero Cut discussions on the list.

From: GROUP LIBRARY-HQ 202-260-0748
To: Skip; Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Enviro-Newsbrief 06/23/97
Date: Monday, June 23, 1997 1:48PM

Enviro-Newsbrief June 23, 1997

The following is a daily update summarizing news of interest
to EPA staff. It includes information from current news sources:
newspapers, newsletters, and other publications. For more
information, contact the EPA Headquarters Library at (202) 260-
5921, or e-mail LIBRARY-HQ.

**Viewpoints expressed in the following summaries do not
necessarily reflect EPA policy**


Subsidies Hurt Environment, Critics Say Before Talks.
The New York Times, June 23, 1997, pA3.

As world leaders converge in New York for talks on the
global environment, a growing number of experts say that
government subsidies to industries have not only wasted money
that could be used to clean up the earth, but have contributed to
the degradation.
Subsidies for energy suppliers, water services, road
building, agricultural and fisheries and other activities have
side effects that have caused $500 billion to $900 billion
according to a varied group of experts.
These payments can sometimes make commodities too cheap.
Other goods and services become artificially more expensive, in
effect taxing consumers while bolstering inefficient industries.
For example, according to one estimate, in Germany it costs
the government more than $70,000 a year to keep each coal miner
at work extracting a fuel that further degrades air quality.
"There's something unbelievable about the world spending
hundreds of billions of dollars annually to subsidize its own
destruction," says a report from the Earth Council, which is
based in Costa Rica, and the Institute for Research on Public
Expenditure in the Netherlands.
The report is entitled "Subsidizing Unsustainable
Development: Undermining the Earth with Public Funds." It
recommends re-examining all subsidies to eliminate those that are
Subsidies do not appear to be a priority with any of the
countries attending this week's summit.
The issue of subsidies is not easy for politicians to
address since they are often used to secure votes or mute
"Many of these subsidies are kept in place through political
pressure, campaign donations or even bribery," said the
Worldwatch Institute in a report entitled "Paying the Piper:
Subsidies, Politics and the Environment."
David Roodman, author of the Worldwatch report concluded
that "more than $500 billion a year of consumers' and taxpayers'
money is spent by governments to subsidize deforestation,
overfishing and other environmentally destructive activities."
The attack on subsidies is particularly noteworthy in third
world countries where groups are resisting years of demands by
the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that the
support be eliminated or reduced.


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 14:23:09 -0700
From: Robin Salsburg <>
Subject: FW: Recycled Lumber (fwd)

Anyone interested in an investment opportunity??


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 02:37:27 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rene Voss <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: FW: Recycled Lumber


I received the following message from an entrepeneur. The time for =
implementing the idea of recycling or reusing lumber may have come for =
folks like Mr. Krugh. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) should also =
look at a way to try to certify this type of lumber as "sustainable" =
since it doesn't even come from a forest. If anyone can help put him in =
touch with some investors, please send him some contacts or forward this =
message to others.

I had a conversation with a project director of AMLI, a firm that =
constructs high-end apartment complexes in Atlanta. He said that some =
of the 25+ year old complexes are starting to be torn down and the =
lumber in these building must be worth a fortune. Low cost labor =
(welfare to work) could be used remove nails and even 2x4s could be =
reused in new building projects. There could be a fortune made in =
selling nothing but recycled lumber.

I hope this works out.

Rene Voss

From: Randall M. Krugh
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 1997 3:11 PM
Subject: Recycled Lumber

Dear Rene':

Massive amounts of lumber are wasted every day all across the United =
in the construction business. Recycling and fabricating reduces the =
of material sent to the landfill and avoids landfill disposal costs. The
concept is popular with the EPA and the public. Additionally, and most
importantly, it conserves our forests! I intend to collect, recycle =
fabricate this wasted lumber, on a national level. There are many =
for this product and tremendous potential exists for establishing a
profitable business with low risk and long term returns. Operating =
is required for Intranet computers and software in this start-up =
If you know someone who might be interested in investing with me on this
project, I would appreciate your assistance by introducing us.
Thank you in advance.


Randall M. Krugh
President / Krugh Construction
NW Ohio =20


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 20:14:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Fwd: Clean Air Act

In a message dated 97-06-21 07:12:22 EDT, (Lynne
Elizabeth) writes:


Forwarded message:
From: (Lynne Elizabeth)
74200.746@CompuServe.COM,,,, (mccormick),,,,,, 74634.3126@CompuServe.COM,,,, (Christopher G.
Blum),,,,,, (Diane Gilman),,,,,,,,,, (George Basile),, (Wayne D. Nelson),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
(Margot McDonald),,,,,,, (John Roulac), 76422.2340@CompuServe.COM,,,,,,,,,,,,
Date: 97-06-21 07:12:22 EDT

>care to sign on below?
>Please support the EPA's attempt to get rid of soot and other particulates
>in our air. If you'd like to participate in this petition drive, add your
>name to
>the list below mine, forward it to like-minded friends with e-mail, and
>copy it back to <<>>, which is compiling the master list.
>Our elected officials in Washington are about to decide the fate
>of our air and our health. The Clinton Administration and the
>Congress are making critical decisions to affect your health and
>your children's health in the next few weeks.
>Please sign the petition below and forward it to your friends today.
>Tens of millions of Americans breathe unhealthy air. Two of the
>most dangerous and common air pollutants -- ozone smog and fine
>particle soot -- have been shown to trigger asthma attacks and
>other acute respiratory illnesses.
> * High levels of ozone in 13 U.S. cities were
> linked with more than 10,000 hospital admissions
> for respiratory illness and more than 30,000
> emergency room visits in 1993 and 1994.
> * More than 40,000 premature deaths are estimated
> to occur each year due to particulate soot pollution.
>Your support will help counter the influence of powerful
>Washington, D.C. lobbyists. Polluters like Exxon, GM and
>Texaco are spending at least $40 million, in campaign
>contributions and advertisements, to stop tough protections
>against smog and soot. Here's what a couple of their
>well-heeled lobbyists have said:
> "The effects of ozone are not that serious...What
> we're talking about is a temporary loss in lung
> function of 20 to 30 percent. That's not really a
> health effect."
> -Richard Klimisch, V.P. at American Automobile
> Manufacturers Assn., Washington Post, Nov. 27, 1996
> "People can protect themselves. They can avoid
> jogging. Asthmatic kids need not go out and ride
> their bicycles."
> -Oil Industry Lobbyist, National Journal, Jan. 4, 1997
>Tougher health standards for smog and soot are supported by
>hundreds of national, regional, state and local groups including,
>The American Lung Association, The American Academy of
>Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, Physicians for
>Social Responsibility, League of Women Voters, United
>Steelworkers of America, Sierra Club, Clean Air Network, Natural
>Resources Defense Council, and the State Public Interest Research
>Groups (PIRGs).
>Sign the petition for clean air and forward it to your friends
>to ensure that we send a strong message to DC. Here's how:
>1) List your name, city, and state.
>2) Send a copy to as many friends as you can
>3) c.c. the petition to <>.
>For more information, including what else you can do, go
>To protect our air and our health we need stronger, not weaker,
>clean air standards. We call on President Clinton and the U.S.
>Congress to resist polluters attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act,
>and instead to strengthen health standards and protect our kids >and our
>1. Chris Chatto, Santa Barbara, CA
>2. Margie Alt, Boston, MA
>3. Chris Mullin, Boston, MA
>4. Adam Ruben, Boston, MA
>5. Rick Trilsch, Washington, DC
>6. Ed Mierzwinski, Washington, DC
>7. Jonathan Darnell, Santa Barbara, CA
>8. Nikki Reidt, Santa Barbara, CA
>9. Faye Park, Santa Barbara, CA
>10. Pete Smith, Denver, CO
>11. Martha A. Marks, Riverwoods IL
>12. Laurene McLane, Issaquah, WA
>13. Abe Ringel, Issaquah, WA
>14. Lizbeth Seebacher, Seattle, WA
>15. Don Falk, Tucson, AZ
>16. Paul Hawken, Sausalito, CA
>17. Matt Petersen, Santa Monica, CA
>18. Lynn Simon, San Franicsco, CA
19. Lisa McManigal, Basalt, CO
20. Lynne Elizabeth, Berkeley, CA
>State PIRGs:
>Please forward to friends and cc to


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 13:10:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: green cosmetics

Does anyone know of any reports/studies on greening efforts withing the
cosmetics industry?


Jennifer Hyde
Sustainable Solutions


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 20:51:31, -0500
Subject: Internet Message

I am forwarding this message. My appologies to those who have
already seen it on other lists.

<< Start of Forwarded message via Prodigy Mail >>

From: Roger Featherstone
Subject: Internet Message
Date: 06/23
Time: 08:17 PM

Return-Path: <>
Received: from ( [])
by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id UAA129580;
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 20:19:37 -0400
Received: from host by (SMI-8.6/SMI-SVR4)
id UAA12563; Mon, 23 Jun 1997 20:14:50 -0400
Received: from by (SMI-8.6/SMI-SVR4)
id UAA09921; Mon, 23 Jun 1997 20:04:40 -0400
Received: from ( [168.143.10.
34]) by (8.8.5/8.6.5) with SMTP id UAA15772 for
<>; Mon, 23 Jun 1997 20:07:07 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 20:08:35 -0400
Precedence: bulk
From: Roger Featherstone <>
Subject: ACTION ALERT--Call Your Senator to Stop % Depletion
Susidy for Mining Industry
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Pro Version 3.0.1 (32)
X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.0 -- ListProcessor(tm) by CREN

Dear activist,

The following is a "First Alert" on an amendment to eliminate the
Percent Depletion Allowance for hard rock mining. This subsidy would

cost us taxpayers $1.4 billion over the next five years.

Please call the Senator on list below and ask them to support Senator

Bumpers. Stay tuned for more developments on this issue.


Roger Featherstone
GREEN Director

FROM Cathy Carlson

RE: Mining the Federal Tax Code--- FIRST ALERT!

Senator Bumpers is going to offer an amendment to eliminate the
"percentage depletion allowance" for hard rock mining when the tax
portion of the budget deal comes to the Senate floor- maybe late this

week. Timing is still up in the air.

Elimination of the percentage depletion allowance for hard rock
minerals on public lands and patented lands was included in the
President's budget to Congress. However, it is not included in
the House or Senate Committee bills under consideration now.

Following is a fact sheet on the percentage depletion allowance.


Please call your Senator and ask him/her to support Senator Bumpers'


Please use the fact sheet for talking points.

The Capital Switchboard number is: (202) 224-3121

Please target the following Senators:

Abraham (MI),
Ashcroft (MO),
Bingman (NM),
Brownback (KS),
Baucus (MT),
Chafee (RI),
Cleland (GA),
Coats (IN),
Daschle (SD),
DeWine (OH),
Frist (TN),
Grams (MN),
Hagel (NE),
Hutchinson (AR),
Jeffords (VT),
Roberts (KS),
Roth (DE),
Santorum (PA),
Snowe (ME),

Stay Tuned for more details!


Mining corporations operating on public lands today (National Forests,

lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, and some
or lands that used to belong to the public, deduct a significant
percentage of the value of the minerals produced before paying

Mining corporations get several bites out of the taxpayer for mining
public land

These corporations mine gold and other minerals for FREE from
public lands because the government charges no royalty on
production under the Mining Law of 1872.

These corporations paid just $5.00 per acre to buy the lands
the federal government under the Mining Law of 1872, until
Congress imposed a moratorium on land sales or "patenting" under

the Mining Law in 1995.

Then these companies write off a significant percentage of the
value of the minerals taken from these lands, before taxes.

What is "percentage depletion allowance" for minerals?

Section 613 of the Internal Revenue Code allows hard rock
companies to deduct a portion of the gross value of their
production from their income before income taxes are assessed.

This deduction is called the "percentage depletion allowance."

The percentages are established in the federal Tax Code. Many
hard rock mining companies have a depletion allowance of 22%;
i.e., lead, molybdenum, platinum and uranium. Gold, silver,
copper, and iron ore have a depletion allowance of 15%.

The percentage depletion allowance subsidizes the mining industry.

Using the percentage depletion allowance, mining corporations
deduct far more than the total capital investment over the life

of the property. Mining companies can continue to claim a
deduction even after all the costs of producing the mineral are

recovered. Then it is the profits from the minerals taken from

public lands that are shielded from taxation.

These generous depletion allowances reduce the effective tax
rates for the hard rock industry, and provide incentives to
increase exploration and output.

The Joint Committee on Taxation Report, "Estimates of Federal
Expenditures for Fiscal Years 1995-1999 estimated the excess of

percentage depletion over cost depletion is $1.4 billion for
years 1995-1999. This is the subsidy mining corporations are
receiving today using the percentage depletion allowance.

Eliminating the percentage depletion allowance for mineral production

on public lands, and on lands patented under the Mining Law, would
reduce the mining industry's subsidy by $468 million over five years.

Roger Featherstone -- Director
GrassRoots Environmental Effectiveness Network
A project of Defenders of Wildlife
1101 14th St. NW, Suite 1400, Washington, DC 20005
(202) 682-9400 x290 fax:(202) 682-1331 e-mail:
check out our web page at:
For correspondence regarding our listserve and GREENLines
contact: (NOT

<< End of Forwarded message >>


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 19:43:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Sierra Club goes zero waste?


I think you're onto something here: why not have the Sierra Club office in
San Francisco go zero waste? :-) A demonstration project, of sorts... I
hesitate to suggest it for the DC office, since it's on Capitol Hill which is
built on waste; it might be hard for the DC office to avoid the stuff!

But seriously, I think it's an intriguing idea to make that an objective. It
would be nice to get the club to go tree-free on paper, as a start. Last
time I was in the copy rooms, I only saw Eureka 20% recycled paper.
Obviously, there's work to do in that area.

We would definitely need help from a lot of Sierra Club members and other
environmentalists to accomplish this, but wouldn't it be fun?

David Orr


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 11:08:30 +0000
From: Pat <>
Subject: Unsubscribing



Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 11:54:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tedd Ward <>
Subject: ZeroCut - what's in a name?

David, Wooody, & GreenYes,

I like Zero Cut as a slogan. You can always give the "zero commercial cuts
on public land" translation to anyone who asks. I like the tone of the
discussion, and think we all agree, ultimately. I fully acknowledge that
forest practices are not my area of expertise or that of most of the
recyclers associated with GreenYes, so we need education on these issues so
we can build trust that we are in fact all moving in the same direction. I
fully agree these are complimentary policy pursuits. Let's rock the nation.


At 02:46 AM 6/22/97 -0400, you wrote:
>Re: "Zero Commercial Cuts" sounds like either a nonprofit barber shop or
>a public radio station pledge break slogan. I think Zero Cut is still
>Take care,


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 14:16:38 -0700
From: Robin Salsburg <>
Subject: ZERO CUT means what exactly

Excellent!!! Let's get the Sierra Club to adopt Zero Waste not only as =
its guiding policy to promote solid waste legislation, education, =
actions, etc., but also to adopt this as the way they do business. We =
just had the Zero Waste conference in Monterey California where we =
worked to have a waste free conference. =20

What a great project for this coalition (Zero Cut and Zero Waste) to =
work on. What do you think...

Robin Salsburg
Sent: Saturday, June 21, 1997 12:53 PM
Subject: Re: ZERO CUT means what exactly

So, Tedd and David, are we seeing a potential coalition between Zero
Waste and Zero (Commercial) Cut?

Well, as far as I know, we HAVE the agreement for a coalition already, =
least within the Sierra Club! It only needs to be fleshed out and =
along to the other groups, and the club needs to officially recognize=20
zero waste as its policy. Let me know what I can do to help on any of=20
these fronts!



End of GreenYes Digest V97 #149