Remembrance of Trees Past
Of the forest lost over the last 10,000 years half has been lost over the last century and we are still losing forests at a rate of about 10M hectares per annum. The design gives a nod to the thought that we may one day have so little genuine old growth forest that they will become involuntary memories echoing down subsequent generations. What a tragedy for us, our children, their children and all life on Earth if we continue down this path without the pleasures and life support (for all-the-us on Earth) possible thanks to forests.
Humanity has the superfast world wide web whereas nature has the slower wood wild web as one tool in its arsenal to redress the balance. Maybe another reflection on the benefit of Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman’s thinking slow when it comes to planetary survival. Earth as a planet will survive even if we cut down more than 99% of the forests but human civilization will have collapsed well before then – and then the forest will rejuvenate!
We need to be more enlightened in our guardianship of trees (the Hawaiin Lama is a native dry forest tree aptly signifying “enlightenment” that evokes learning, knowledge, and understanding).
A good overview of deforestation can be found from the World In Data here
A concerning update on recent trends in forest can be found in this April 2021 podcast from the Australian Broadcasting Corporations Science Show.
A short introduction to the wood wild web is on an Australian Broadcasting Corporation podcast here
and OneEarth is an organization mapping the WWW network of fungi and bacteria and the another interesting one is the Society For The Protection Of Underground Networks.
A couple of good books to read include:
(a short New Scientist CultureLab podcast is here)
Merlin Sheldrake (what a great name for the author of such a book don’t you think?). He has conjured up a good youtube video here
Author Jonathon Drori outlines how trees are crucial to every aspect of human life – let alone all the other biodiversity we have on the planet! Discussed on the ABC’s Blueprint for Living podcast series here
(His subsequent book “Around The World In Eighty Plants” is discussed in this ABC Late Night Live podcast here]
If after listening or reading about the world's forests saddens you then bring some peace of mind or at least relaxation by listening to Enya's "The Memory Of Trees" or Deep Forest - the album based on Michel Sanchez's idea. The youtube link is here