Forest: a bunch of trees. A product. A profit source for shareholders. A place where something useful might be built.
Forest: a living community of interconnected lifeforms, above and below ground, that breathes oxygen, captures and stores CO2, communicates across distance and shares nutrients within a community of tethered trees and shrubs; an evolving habitat and nutrient-rich shelter for birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians; a generator of topsoil and sponge for holding and slowly giving back water or holding it in place until it can percolate into the soil and rock groundwater below.
Our generation is in the midst of deciding which of these definitions will turn the engines of our economy with relationship to wooded places, public and private.
Civilizations past have disappeared after abusing their forests. Our generation is on the verge of making the same mistake in a matter of a few decades and around the globe. This could be The Big Oops.
FOREST and CIVILIZATIONS
Why Did the Mayan Civilization Collapse? A New Study Points to Deforestation and Climate Change | Science | Smithsonian
Amazon Deforestation, Once Tamed, Comes Roaring Back – The New York Times
The Rise and Fall of Civilizations | UCSD.edu
“Just as has been documented for many past civilizations, the inevitable consequences of our current lifestyles will be societal collapse accompanied by tremendous human suffering. The difference between past civilizations and ours is only quantitative: this time, resource depletion is occurring on a global scale.”
False Forests | Mother Jones