Deforestation Of The World
The tree is a natural compliment to man. The environment
we share is so designed that man needs trees and trees need man. With every breath we take oxygen into our lungs then exhale
carbon dioxide as a byproduct of respiration. The trees around us, in turn, use photosynthesis to absorb the carbon dioxide
During photosynthesis, the tree combines carbon dioxide
and water with chlorophyll to form a simple sugar which is food for the tree. The by-product of this process is oxygen. Thus
trees generate the oxygen we need to live, just as we generate the carbon dioxide the trees need to live.
Humans and trees are somewhat alike in their design. We
have red blood flowing through our veins. The blood carries the oxygen and metabolized foods that we consume through our bodies.
Trees have sap flowing through their veins located just under the bark, or skin. The sap, like our blood, carries nutrients
from the soil and leaves, produced by photosynthesis, through the plant.
While humans are free to move from place to place on the
planet, we are somewhat like the tree in that we are rooted to the Earth. Attempts to travel into space have proven this.
We cannot exist a very long away from the planet because we need the air, the food and even the gravitational pull of the
Mother Earth to stay alive and healthy. We have also learned that we probably cannot reproduce when we are away from the planet.
People who live close to the soil, the aborigines, Gnostics
and I think many family farmers, understand the sacredness of the ecology provided by the Mother Earth. When we lived among
the Native Americans in the Southwest we were surprised to see how the people respected the Mother as a living, breathing
When we offered a visiting Hopi priest a meal at our table,
he did not eat until he took a portion of the food from his plate outside, and returned it with reverence to the planet.
It was consumed by the birds, animals and crawling things of the soil.
It was said that the aboriginal people never cut a tree
without first asking permission of the Mother and explaining why that tree was needed. With them, nothing is ever wasted.
This perfect balance between man and nature remained relatively
intact until very recently in human history. Something changed about three hundred years ago at about the time we
invented steam engines, learned to smelt steel, and launched what has been known as the industrial age.
Since then we have gone through two world wars, started
mass producing automobiles, houses and plastics. We left the farm to work in the cities. Instead of the simple life we now
life a hectic, speeded up life style. Everybody is in a hurry. We have turned into consumers. We have stopped tending the
garden. And we have overpopulated our planet.
We no longer think of trees as a part of our world. They
are now either a lawn ornament, or a source of wood with which to build homes, or burn in our fireplaces. Most people don’t
even want to burn the wood to keep warm. To them, the fireplace fire is just another pretty ornament.
Factory farms, those massive industrial food manufacturing
facilities that have developed to provide food for the masses of stuffed, overweight farting humans that crowd every free
space on our planet, regard trees as obstacles. Thus trees are bulldozed into piles and burned to clear more land on which
to grow more genetically modified food.
We have so crowded the planet that people are building homes
in forested areas. For them, it is an effort to get away from the overcrowded cities. But in so doing, they have encroached
on the forest homes of the wild animals of the Earth. Not only this, but they have put themselves at great risk of being caught
up by, and starting forest fires, that now rage freely through millions of acres of prime timber.
Our carelessness at tending the garden also is showing up
in strange new diseases that are ravaging our trees. Beetles and other crawly things that feed on trees are being imported
into the United States from all over the world. Entire species of trees like the Elm, Horse Chestnut and Ash, are being wiped
out within a few years as these pests gnaw their way across the land. Something now is attacking the oak trees and the ancient
redwoods of California.
The worse event has been the careless destruction of our
great rain forests all over the world, as land is cleared for homes and farmland, and greedy lumber barons seek what wood
they can still find to sell for building construction. But wood is getting in such short supply now that lumber mills are
starting to find ways to turn sawdust and glue into boards and two-by-fours. Unfortunately, the glue is full of lethal formaldehyde.
The fumes leach into the air of the homes and buildings we erect, making people sick.
As the forests disappear, the oxygen production is reduced.
Also the smoke, ash and other noxious gasses from industrial waste are filling the already oxygen thinned air. People are
developing more and more lung problems. Asthma, emphysema and other illnesses are now too common.
Here is a brief review of the deforestation that has occurred
in the world:
In the Himalayas, too many people are trying to live on
too little land. About 40 percent of the forests were destroyed since 1955, mostly for fuel and to make room for agriculture.
India once had boasted more than 1.6 million square kilometers
of primary forest. Of that, about 95 percent has been destroyed.
North Africa one was known for its great forests. The region
now is desert. Ethiopia’s forests have declined from 40 percent to just three percent of the land.
In Indonesia, an estimated 16 million hectares of forest
have been turned into sterile wasteland.
Canada has lost 60 percent of its old-growth forests to
The United States has destroyed 85 percent of its forests.
The primary rainforests are completely destroyed in India,
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Haiti. Most also are gone from the Ivory Coast. The forests in the Philippines and Thailand are
about 50 percent destroyed.
The only rain forests still standing relatively intact are
in Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and New Guinea. But the loggers are at work here as well. It is estimated that these prime forests
will be gone within the next decade.
The human race is in the process of self-strangulation. We
are cutting off the natural oxygen supply to our planet.