Protecting Forests & Other Ecosystems

by Don Fitz

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is pouring into the atmosphere at an alarming rate. During the first three Green Time episodes of December Jim Scheff, of Kentucky Heartwood, explores the deep interconnections between forests, carbon and climate. All three include footage from “A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert” which emphasizes rights of indigenous forest dwellers. In the first show, Scheff cautions against losing sight of the importance of forests for a variety of species, medicines, spiritual uses, and subsistence gathering.

The second show of the series looks closely at Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), which claims to use market incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by the destruction of forests. It asks if such international agreements actually make the problem worse. Scheff explains how a forest differs from a tree plantation and how forests can be changed from being a carbon sink into a carbon source.

The third show explores how economic growth can hurt forests. How could ideas like the Green Economy or Green New Deal actually further climate change? Scheff explains terms like “externalized cost” and why the carbon market is called a “shell game.”

The fourth show features James Meinert of New Roots Urban Farm and Paul Krautmann of Bellews Creek Farm discussing how pesticides and herbicides affect biodiversity and how to use food scraps and weeds to build soil. They ask the importance of non-crop species and look at the centrality of soil to gardening and farming. Footage from “Nicotine Bees” includes interviews with Dr. Vandana Shiva, Dr. Charles Benbrook and Walter Heafeker.

In the final episode, Jay Fish, of UMSL’s Campus Honors Environmental Research Program, and Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Jon Wingo discuss multi-organizational efforts to restore and reconstruct pieces of prairie. Preserving Missouri’s prairies means preserving the rich biodiversity of plant, insect, mammal and other life in the state. This Green Time includes a Bill Krekeler movie on their efforts.

Green Time now airs on KNLC stations in four Missouri areas. It appears in St. Louis at noon on Saturdays and 5:30 pm on Wednesdays on Channel 24-1. It also appears at 8 pm on Mondays in St. Louis (Channel 24-2), Springfield (Channel 39), Joplin (Channel 36) and Marshfield (Channel 17).

December Green Time programs air on Saturdays, Mondays & Wednesday s on these dates:

    • December 1, 3 & 5: “A Darker Shade of Green;”
    • December 8, 10 & 12: “REDD Alert;”
    • December 15, 17 & 19: “The Future of Forests;”
    • December 22, 24 & 26: “Organic Agriculture;”
    • December 29 & 31 and January 2: “Native Grassland Conservation.”

Also see Green Time on greentime.tv and facebook.com/pages/Green-Time-TV/186014811491714 If you would like to help produce Green Time TV call 314-727-8554 or email fitzdon@aol.com.