I believe trees are the answer to many questions about the future of human civilization and the preservation of the environment.
I believe trees are the answer to many questions about the future of human civilization and the preservation of the environment. Questions like, “What is the most environmentally friendly material for home construction?” “How can we pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and how can we offset the greenhouse gas emissions caused by our excessive use of fossil fuels?” “How can we build healthy soils and keep our air and water clean?” “How can we provide more habitats for wildlife and biodiversity?” “How can we increase literacy and provide sanitary tissue products in developing countries?” “How can we make this earth more green and beautiful?” The answer to all these questions and more is “trees.” Trees show us there can be more than one answer to a question, and sometimes the answers seem to contradict one another. But I hope to demonstrate that just because we love trees and recognize their environmental value doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use them for our own needs. Over the past 10,000 years we have converted nearly one-third of the world’s forests into cities, farms and pastures, the best one-third in terms of fertility and productivity. As long as the planet’s human population was reasonably small compared with the vastness of global forests, deforestation remained a very local issue. But as numbers grew and more land was cleared for crops and grazing animals, we began to take our toll on the natural world. During the 18th and 19th centuries, forests of the industrialized European countries were rapidly decimated and wood soon came into short supply. We began to learn how to farm trees in the same way we had learned to farm food 10,000 years earlier. The art and science of silviculture, more commonly known as forestry, emerged in central Europe as a way to increase the wood supply to feed the growing demands of industry. Up until about 250 years ago, forests had merely been exploited and the land was either converted to farm land or left to grow back on its own, often with trees not as stately or useful as the ones that preceded them. Now people began to replant harvested areas with new trees of desirable species for timber production. Over the past 200 years the forested area of Europe has tripled from about 10% to about 30%, due almost entirely to the transition from pure exploitation to forest management. Via National Post – By Patrick Moore