Given how concerned British Columbians (actually, Canadians!) seem to be with environmentalism -- recycling is as common as breathing -- it is amazing that we continue to ravage our forests and export our softwood lumber to Asia. The truth of the matter is that the majority of Asians aren’t too keen on having homes built from wood. It is found to be fairly impractical material in the long run for a building... and even if this wasn't so, China is one of the world’s main centres of lumber production, so this is a huge waste of Canada’s natural resources! Why do we waste such a precious resources in Canada on an area with more lumber supply than demand? Softwood houses are a Western signature, and it is economically careless to foist this on Asians. Where basic construction is concerned, this material amplifies any noise that takes place in the home (necessitating further soundproofing), and there is always the underlying terror of fire could disintegrate everything in minutes. This doesn’t mean concrete bunkers are the Asian alternative, but the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to houses made of lumber.
Bottom Line: Deforestation and exporting softwood to Asia is a destructive, environmentally-unsound method of sustaining Canada’s economy and a slow destruction to our well endowed natural resources.
* These guest posts are from students in my resource economics class at Simon Fraser University. Please leave feedback on their logic, ideas and style and suggestions of how to improve.