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Climate change revisited

This is obviously a hotly contested issue. But before we get into "what does this have to do with woodworking?," let me clarify my thoughts.

I totally agree with those who point out that the earth's climate has been in a state of change since day one (whenever that was). This is a basic fact of planetary evolution and cannot be denied. At the same time, we have polluted our environment to an extreme level. We have exploited precious resources to the point of exhaustion. We have dumped billions of tons of crud into our atmosphere and our oceans. This is having a seriously detrimental effect on our climate and out health. This is also a fact that cannot be denied.

So you might make a case for the idea that what we are currently experiencing is nothing more than "normal planetary changes over which we have no control" and you would have a point. Even if we concede that point, there is still no question that we are foolishly and callously contributing to the accelerating nature of these changes.

As to woodworking, do you think the disappearance of Cuban mahogany and Brazilian rosewood was caused by "natural evolution?” Are you really happy about the fact that now we are having a hard time sourcing good materials and are having to accept woods that we previously would never have considered using? Do you not care that the sheet goods you cut up every day contain hazardous compounds that are harmful not only to yourself but to your employees and customers as well? Can we really claim that we have been good stewards?

I think not.


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Wherever you stand on the question of climate change or global warming, there is no denying that our sources of fine hardwoods is rapidly diminishing.