Mao and Deforestation

From the 10 February 2011 New York Review of Books, p. 27, essay by Roderick MacFarquhar on Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962 by Frank Dikötter, Walker, 2010:
“Dikötter’s accounts of the tornado of destruction that the GLF [Great Leap Forward] unleashed continue with … the environment, including the decimation of forests to provide fuel for the backyard furnaces and for homes and construction. As he remarks: The damage varied from place to place, and even in the archives statistics are political artefacts rather than objective reflections of reality. What is certain is that never before had such a large diversity of forests, from the bamboo groves in the south to the alpine meadows and boreal stands of fir and pine in the north, suffered such a prolonged and intense attack.