The last tree

The forest was the original home of our kind, and trees were both shelters and providers. If you sit at the foot of a venerable oak or a majestic cedar, opening your senses to the bark and the sap, you may also learn something unique because trees remember in ways no electronic device can remember. When the last sapling has vanished, the hidden memories of men will vanish as well, and the virtual universe we fabricated will keep us enthralled in a story that never was.

— From Whisperings of the Protogenos: a mystical journey

Dear reader.

Have you ever wonder about the prominent signs around construction sites that announce boldly: “For every tree cut down in this emplacement, two new trees will be planted to make up for the loss.” The future location of the lucky saplings usually remains a mystery. Also undisclosed is the likelihood it will take a quarter of a century for the young trees to reach the size of their predecessors whose ancient reign of wood is replaced in favor of a modern regime of concrete, steel, and glass. No doubt, the replacement trees will enjoy only a few years of their youth before making room for that indispensable parking or high-rise. But of course, two new trees will be planted…

Beech, in Windsor Forest, etched by Wm. De la Motte after himself, 1805 -wllcomecollection

Beech, in Windsor Forest, etching by Wm. De la Motte after himself, 1805 (source: wellcomecollection.org)

Here are the reliable facts: “urban forests are in decline, according to a study released this year [2012] by Forest Service researchers. By analyzing aerial photographs of tree cover in 20 [US] cities, they found cities suffer a net loss of 4 million trees annually.” (source: governing.com)

The tragedy of the loss of the urban canopy comes into relief when considering this week’s alarming news: “Carbon dioxide — the gas scientists say is most responsible for global warming — reached its highest level in recorded history last month, at 410 parts per million. This amount is highest in at least the past 800,000 years, according to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Prior to the onset of the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels had fluctuated over the millennia but had never exceeded 300 parts per million.” (source: usatoday.com)

Our existence is a threat to our existence, and we will deservedly succeed where nothing else manages in obliterating the human race while wishing to preserve it.

— From Whisperings of the Protogenos: a mystical journey

 

 

 

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