How would our world look without trees? Well, it definitely would look plain. Someone might say desolate. But it's hard to tell if theres no humans living on earth. At least it becomes seriously harder. Trees don't just provide us paper, lumber and chewing gum, but they serve a larger purpose. Trees are a crucial element in our carbon cycle and thus in our whole existence. The problem is that our constantly increasing population (currently 7 billion), is continuously cutting these bad boys up. Result? Deforestation. And this phenomena leads to transforming the fairly breathable air today to become totally un breathable. So if we want to survive, we have to:
1. Develop gas masks that would filter the tiny amount of oxygen left in the air
2. Move to mars or to the moon
3. Stop cutting trees
Although I find mars fascinating, I may confidently argue that option number 3 would be the easiest for every average lad and gal to relate to. And even more, we can all be part of the change. If we want to. If you want your grandchildren to see rainforests or you know just a tree in the park. I'm not a extremist tree lover and hugger, but I see that in order to maintain the quality humanity has on our planet, we have to stop cutting trees at this pace. Oh yes and what pace you ask? The equivalent of 48 football pitches of forest per minute. Every minute. Totaling about 15 billion trees per year. We once were a home of 3 trillion trees. Today we have 400 billion. The tree count has fallen by 46% since the beginning of human civilization. You do the math.
What happened on Easter Island?
Easter Island is a tiny 163-square-kilometer patch of land located in pure isolation over two thousand kilometres from the next inhabited spot in the Pacific Ocean. A small group of Polynesians moved to the island in about A.D. 1200. They settled in and started farming. On arrival, the place was packed with 16 million trees some over 30 meters high.
The inhabitants practiced rigorous slash-and-burn agriculture, burning down woods, building stuff and they didn’t stop. Soon the island had lots of people, too few trees and a hundred years later, no trees at all. As the trees went down, so did the Polynesians. The deforestation caused the Easter Island's society to collapse. They killed themselves. Harsh.
The Easter Island is an example of a society that destroyed itself by extensively damaging its natural environment. The fate of the Easter Island could one day be our own. If we abuse the plants and animals around us, we all go down together.
For humanity to thrive or even survive in the future, we have to start respecting our nature. We have to start protecting our environment. And we have to start replacing the already executed damage by planting the source of life. Trees.
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