The weather outside is frightful.
Truly, cataclysmically, soberingly frightful.
Hurricane Sandy, Frankenstorm, is settling over the east coast of the US as I write this.
The wind has been howling around my home for over two days now, nearly non-stop. The yard is littered with downed branches and trees. It’s been dry as a bone down here in the South from months (years) of drought, while in New York they are bracing for severe flooding, power outages and catastrophic wind damage.
Did we create these new super storms and extreme weather? If so, can we stop them from getting worse or more frequent?
Does everyone even agree there’s a problem, at all?
Watch this very sobering video if you want to see how humans are turning our planet into a no-life zone – This is Cry Wolf – An Unethical Oil Story.
It’s bad enough special interests (ie oil and coal companies, for instance) are ignoring the science and trying to persuade the rest of us it’s all just a plot to raise taxes, using that old self-serving, fear-mongering tactic – But even worse is that, in the midst of increasing ecological disasters around the globe, we’re still actively destroying one of the best natural moderators of our planet’s climate – Our forests.
The forests are our lungs and kidneys, our air cleansers and waste recyclers, our protectors and climate nurturers.
Without forests we have deserts.
But, of course, some see trees not as a living gifts to buffer our living planet from harm, intrinsically valuable just as they are, in ancient, intertwined communities of plants and animals, supporting the vital functions of Earth and climate for the benefit of all, but as inventory to be taken and turned into profits.
Or as obstacles to corporate plantations.
Climate change denial doesn’t just boost the oil industry, it boosts logging operations.
Profit above health. Kind of like our pharmaceutical industry.
Yet our increasingly dire circumstances show us clearly that we’re about to cause our own demise.
Could this all be a switch on that endlessly trotted-out conspiracy idea (the premise that global warming was invented by liberals to drag the country down into socialism), but in truth it is the right, not the ‘liberals’, plotting to further their personal agendas? (To be fair, democrats, normally the salvation of the environment, have fallen from grace as well, caving to special interests on an unprecedented scale.)
If climate denial is not a conspiracy of self-serving fabrication, then the owners of wealthy oil, coal and logging companies should have no issues acknowledging that ‘business as usual’ is wrecking our home and all the glorious life that shares this planet with us. After all, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the well being of our fragile planet, spinning in the lonely vastness of space?
My belief is that we should immediately ban the logging of all ancient forests, whether in the US, the Amazon, the Boreal Canadian tar-sands areas , Russia, China and everywhere – and even mature second-growth forests; stop the cutting of trees for new development in urban areas, and actively replant new, natural, biologically diverse forests (ie not monoculture tree farms) everywhere possible.
Why are our forests being logged into oblivion?
It’s not just the burgeoning masses of poor peoples simply trying to survive by slashing and burning Amazon jungle for a year’s worth of crops. It’s not even rampant development for roads and housing (although those are certainly serious enough in their own right.)
Corporate greed is taking over huge swathes of remaining intact forest systems around the planet and leveling them to raise palm oil and cheap beef. In the process they are wiping out hundreds and thousands of species, orphaning baby orangutans, causing erosion and displacing indigenous peoples.
A lot of what we are so blithely destroying isn’t simply necessary, but often amazingly beautiful. Like the vanishing forest pittas (a jewel-like ground-dwelling bird).
We are losing beauty, biological diversity, balance, vitality.
And all this, not even to help poor third-world people, but to cater to Western and Asian appetites for more of – Everything.
We are creating deserts where there used to be forests.
We are creating no-life zones where there used to be breathtaking, astonishing vitality.
Destroying the ability of our planet to sustain life.
All in the name of selfish greed.
We need our trees to help mitigate (or even reverse) this downward climate spiral. More, saving the forests will save species and ecosystems – and saving ecosystems will preserve our living planet.
So we must also restore healthy oceans and coral reefs.The seas are as important as the forests to the health of the Earth.
But will we step up to the plate in time – or at all?
Man IS short-sighted and greedy – Not just the politicians, not just the corporate giants – The stupid poachers are killing off every last rhino for the horns, even knowing that once the rhinos are gone, there will never be rhino horn again. How brilliant is that? But they have their instant-gratification, future be damned.
It seems the same greedy, limited thinking is behind our current crisis.
I wonder if the rumors are true – That oil giants (and the politicians they keep in their pockets) are manipulating the public against true climate science in order to forestall intervention so they can gain access to still more reserves under the (now melting) ice caps, thereby ensuring a.monopoly in the future – future riches for them, at our expense.
Some have speculated they even deliberately caused the warming with the intent of reaching those reserves.
And of course as long as they can keep us dependent on oil-based technologies, there will never be viable, new, truly green, Earth-friendly energy sources.
There’s already a corporate race to the poles, to stake their claims on the newly exposed ocean beds. What does that tell you?
Could these outlandish suspicions actually be true? Are people really selfish and greedy enough to destroy the planet for nearly all life, just to gain more wealth?
From what I’ve seen lately, closely following everything from the concerted push to eliminate natural predators for the pleasure of human sport hunters, to the nightmarish tar-sand developments in Alberta, Canada, maybe so.
We are like spoiled children, meddling with things we really have no understanding of, but wanting what we want, now, consequences be damned.
I think humans had better start actually using those great big brains we’re all so darned proud of, and make better long-term decisions fast. Or our survivors will not like the impoverished, depleted planet we leave them.
If you haven’t watched the video link included above, please watch this sobering video on how we are damaging our climate, our food supply and our own people, by destroying our remaining forest.