Climate change warmed up Canada’s winters for so long that pine beetles destroyed billions of trees across Canada’s vast forests. Those trees are dead or dying. They will release billions of tons of CO2 when they rot. What to do with beetle-infected pine trees? Build skyscrapers out of them of course. Or is that plyscrapers?
The Guardian reports that this could provide a huge economic and environmental incentive for Canada to convert to building all new towers from wood, locking that CO2 away for centuries!
One other important breakthrough came in British Columbia, a Canadian province half-covered in forest. Since 1996, more than 16m hectares have been destroyed by North America’s native mountain pine beetle, which releases a blue-staining fungus into the wood, halting the flow of nutrients and water and the killing the tree.
The province faced the prospect of billions of these dead lodgepole pines triggering a huge release of carbon dioxide – until a means of using this undesirable blue-stained lumber for building was realised. British Columbia promotes its use through the Wood First Act, passed in 2009, which requires all new, publicly financed construction projects to first consider wood as the primary building material.
Guardian October 2014