January 25, 2019

Tree Plantations (Part 1 of 2)


Here in the New York metropolitan area it’s appropriate that the most obvious tree plantations are those desecrated to the pseudopagan-Christian-consumerist ritual of sacrificing young virgin conifers to the Santa-Jesus fusion god. These little trees are spruces, firs, pines.
The more intrepid pine and spruce plantations join the hardwood marches of poplar, willow, acacia, beech, oak, alder, mahogany, neem, teak, eucalyptus, rubber and many others expanding their empire over gross ranges of what used to be natural forest, wetland, grassland.
These industrial monoculture tree plantations are a key weapon of the onslaught of industrial agriculture. They eradicate natural forest and wetland, dry out the land as part of an inexorable campaign to turn all forest and wetland to desert. Plantations (and agriculture as a whole) do this through deforestation and climate change driven to a large extent by the burning of these habitats and destruction of their carbon sinks. Eucalyptus and pine plantations especially are designed to bring fire. The destroyers use fire to burn down the land and release a massive hemorrhage of carbon dioxide and methane. Then the plantation itself is a fire trap. Wildfires are a constant of eucalyptus and pine plantations.
Tree plantations drive the habitat destruction which exterminates everything from microbes to insects to amphibians to birds to mammals. Most of those driven extinct were never known to science. The plantations are potent weapons of mass extinction and the destruction of carbon sinks. Natural forest is the most capacious sink. Wetlands also hold vast amounts of carbon and when destroyed release it especially as methane, the greenhouse gas which ultimately will play most decisive role of all in dictating how far global heating will go and how deranged climate chaos will become. So far wetlands destruction is the number one man-made source of methane, although that’ll change fast once the great Arctic methane feedback, which will be triggered by the warming from agriculture’s habitat destruction among other massive carbon emission sources, kicks into high gear.
An industrial plantation itself is a dead zone just like the anoxic zones of the Gulf of Mexico and other hemorrhage points for agriculture’s nitrogen deluge, or like the vast doldrums of floating plastic spreading across the oceans, the real islands of capitalist license the libertarians babble about.
Industrial trees are automatic destructive invaders in three ways. Their existence in the first place requires the prior destruction of much of the natural ecology. Their ongoing maintenance requires ongoing suppression of it.
And then these plantations are automatic destroyers of the genetic diversity of the trees themselves. Many of the most colonized tree types – pines, eucalyptus, willows, poplars, oak, birch and others – naturally cast their pollen on the winds across large areas, and different species within a genus freely hybridize with one another. When non-native species are grown in industrial regiments amid natural centers of origin or diversity, these massed and pampered invasives assault the natural genetics.
For example China is a center of poplar, willow, and pine diversity and has vast plantations of introduced species of these which continually contaminate the native species. Acacias are native and diverse across the tropical and subtropical Americas, Africa, southern Asia and Australia. But the different species native to these continents have been introduced and colonized promiscuously across all these zones so that everywhere native acacias must wage civil war against invasives for land and genetic integrity.
We haven’t even gotten to GM trees yet, but non-GM plantation trees already comprise a massive invasive campaign of genetic contamination, homogenization, and general biodiversity death.
Then there’s the purely invasive trees. Eucalyptus is native only to Australia but has been introduced and industrialized everywhere that’s warm enough for it to grow. Everywhere it quickly escapes control, becomes naturalized and aggressively drives out native species while working to transform the environment to a dryer, hotter state by draining the water from the soil. There’s many examples of such aggressive, destructive invasives – pines in South America and Africa, rubber in Africa and Asia, oil palm in Asia are just a few of the worst.
The Chilean forestry model is morbidly typical. This Pinochet campaign is ongoing and being escalated to this day. The destroyers wipe out the native forests and the human communities who depend on them and replace them with eucalyptus from Australia and Monterey pine from North America.
In spite of media lies almost all plantation land is taken over from natural forest or by taking agricultural land out of food production. In both cases this drives further deforestation and destruction of marginal land. Direct logging and tree plantations exist at the direct expense of natural habitat and human food. We can add that to the long, long list of proof that the corporate “feed the world” propaganda of the Green Revolution and the pro-poison activists is a big lie.
This campaign of land-grabbing and land destruction is a monumental robbery of the people’s land. It physically drives out native peoples and small farming communities and destroys their natural societies and economies, their traditions, their spirit ways, their languages and cultures, their way of life. Here too the campaign of ecocide replaces diverse nature with a dead zone. Brazilians call the metastasizing eucalyptus plantations “green deserts.” Ecocide always goes together with genocide.
Tree plantations like any other mode of deforestation destroy forest and bring desert. They poison the soil, water, and air. They wipe out wildlife communities and drive free peoples off their land. The goal, as with all campaigns of ecocide-genocide, is to annihilate all diversity and impose social and ecological monoculture. The goal is to replace humanity and Earth with a planet-wide dead zone.
This includes literally burning down everything but the tree factory, as with the apocalyptic fires of Indonesia to clear the way for oil palm plantations, or the metastatic spread of industrialized eucalyptus and pine which become veritable fire trees as their massed forms dry out the land and cover it with resinous tinder. These plantations escalate wildfire ranges and extremes, as in Chile, Portugal, Spain, and elsewhere around the world.
Industrial plantations bring destruction by all the usual insults of poison-based agriculture. They use huge amounts of fossil-based fertilizer, denude the soil, are drenched with fossil-based herbicides and insecticides. These poisons suffuse the land, air, water, the bodies of plants and animals, human and non-human, and our homes and food. Tree plantations add a new level of attack to the poison onslaught toxifying the entire environment.
Per standard disaster capitalist practice, the promoters of poison claim that spraying and genetic engineering are necessary for plantations to withstand pest and disease outbreaks. In reality tree plantations, like all monoculture, clear the ground for pests and disease by destroying the balancing ecological webs that naturally keep potential pathogens under control. Therefore tree plantations, like all of industrial agriculture, select for pests, disease, and antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Plantations also select for pests and disease because these always quickly develop resistance to the poisons targeting them, whether these are sprayed or engineered into their tissues. As always it’s the non-target insects, birds, and microbes, especially those which beneficially predate on pathogens and pests, who suffer the worst damage from agricultural poisons.
Where the plantation trees are types native to the region, they help concentrate and multiply already existing pests. Where the trees are exotic, they bring new pests and disease previously not present, and open up new niches for native pests.
Tree plantations escalate the concentration of agribusiness power and reinforce the control-seeking, exploitation, destruction, dispossession of human and non-human animals and non-crop plants, and waste. Civilization does this for the sake of power and destruction. It organizes itself into corporations and governments to carry out this ecocide-genocide program.
This mode of “forestry” reinforces the colonial model by setting up sacrifice zones in order to generate raw material for the global elite consumption maw (mostly for the parasite cities). Contrary to another common lie, tree plantations don’t help to preserve natural forest. On the contrary they clear their way by destroying forests, then replace the destroyed forests with their dead zones while driving illegal logging, ranching, agriculture, and subsistence farming to deforest more land. By helping to prop up civilizational gluttony for commodity oils, pulp, lumber and other tree products they drive further destruction of forests (and therefore sinks) to meet this artificially jacked-up demand.
Nowhere is this more true than the “biomass” onslaught. This is the wholesale destruction of forests and wetlands to produce tree-derived biofuels and wood pellets for electrical generation and heating, all the while massively destroying sinks and emitting carbon, and doing so under the rubric of “the climate”. This atrocity is at the core of the entire climate-industrial propaganda and practice. It was officially enshrined under the 2015 Paris Sham and is lavishly subsidized by governments. The process of mass destruction of natural habitats and sinks and their replacement by tree plantations is the core action and purpose of Paris. I’ll expand on the Earth-murdering goal of Paris in an upcoming post.
A tree plantation is a total wash, all for gluttony and destruction for the sake of destruction. It is purely alien to the Earth, just as modern civilization is purely a parasite squatter-vandal which gives nothing to Gaia, only takes, wastes, destroys. Tree plantations comprise a prefect epitome of this productionist-technocratic system in all its evils.
In Part Two we’ll discuss GM trees, how they escalate these evils, and the added harm they bring.


  1. […] opposing the cynical opportunist program to engineer blight-resistant American chestnuts.   In Part One we discussed the evils of industrial monoculture tree plantations. They are purely alien to the […]

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  2. […] Contrary to the lies of governments, corporations, and fake “environmental” NGOs, monoculture tree plantations and other monocultures are very weak sinks with little capacity. To destroy a natural forest and […]

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  3. […] envision a world where ALL natural forest will be eradicated and where all logging will be done on industrialized tree plantations. This will be a world of radically higher atmospheric CO2 concentration, higher temperatures, […]

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