I Love Trees

I have always loved to be where there were trees. I feel good surrounded by trees. When I want to feel peaceful, besides meditating, trees and being around green helps me feel peaceful. I remember in biology when I learned how trees give us humans oxygen, and we humans give them carbon dioxide, my love for trees grew more.

Now I live in a state where cutting down trees changed the entire state’s economy when leveling the forests was no longer an option. It was a difficult transition for the loggers here. I think the spotted owl became the culprit to stop the logging, but because we stopped logging in many areas in the Northwest, we might have also helped to curb some global warming on the planet.

Here are some facts about trees. There are some good reasons to at least be thankful for trees, even if you don’t go around hugging them.

https://www.ncsu.edu/project/treesofstrength/treefact.htm

In Western Canada, cutting down trees became a huge fight between loggers on one side and native people and environmentalists on the other. The fight began in 1993 over the Great Bear Rain Forest. The Great Bear Rain Forest Agreement was finally signed on February 4, 2016 in British Columbia. The agreement protects 85% of the old growth forest from logging. This fight became known as the “War in the Woods”.
This is a fight we Americans from the USA can learn from. Take a listen. It took more than 20 years to resolve this fight.

http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-08-03/great-bear-rainforest-model-how-save-trees

In the state of Oregon, for example, this fight is still going on to protect the forests here. From the website: Oregon Wild, here is a view of what is still happening now.
http://www.oregonwild.org/forests/forest-protection-and-restoration/common-sense-vision-oregon-forests

Of course, I cannot leave out the fact that trees help mitigate global warming because they soak up carbon monoxide. From more up-to-date studies of global warming, we learn that reforestation and tree planting really work well help our planet with global warming. This article from The Guardian helps to explain more about reforestation.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/nov/29/planting-trees-climate-change

I remember years ago a person who I was taking a course with me was showing a group of us how to hug a tree, and the trees we were hugging were sequoias in Muir Woods outside of San Francisco. (Now it is probably banned, because it became too prevalent.) At the time, I felt very awkward and foolish. I just did NOT get it! I was not an old (or even youngish) hippie, back then (I am now). I do not go around hugging trees now, but I do not consider it foolish at all. You do not have to go to an old growth forest to get the “good” vibrations that a tree or trees give(s) off.

Science Proves Hugging Trees Is Good for Health

Where I was born, we usually had to plant trees because it was so dry. I love my family, but I am not able to live close by because of several reasons. One of them is that there are NOT enough trees around where my family lives and because of drought, many of them are dying. One place I lived, many years ago was Arizona, and I was not particularly happy there at all. Today I’m a happier person because I live in a place that has plenty of evergreens and all kinds of trees. Green trees are part of what I need to make me smile a lot. In that kind of green, I feel immersed in nature and closer to my source.

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And Our Children Shall Lead Us

For the title of this blog, I borrowed and altered the Bible quote “…and a little child shall lead them” from Isaiah 11:6.

These 21 children are fighting for their and our future. I had the good fortune to spend nearly three hours waiting in the airport with one of these children, Levi Draheim. He is the youngest plaintiff in a lawsuit, and he will be 9 years old in July. (He is in the vest in the front row.) As a former teacher, I enjoyed having several conversations with Levi while I waited for our plane.

Levi is part of Our Children’s Trust, a nonprofit, which is suing the U.S. Government and Fossil Fuel Industry for damaging the environment because of the high CO2 levels and global warming that has ensued. On March 12, 2016, the “Rolling Stone” said this about the lawsuit:

“…the complaint lays out how the government has known since the 1960s that carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels directly contributes to global warming and a destabilized atmosphere, and yet continues to aggressively promote and subsidize fossil fuels extraction. This endangers the health and wellbeing of youth and future generations, .. and violates the plaintiffs constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.”

The federal judge, Magistrate Thomas Coffman, in Oregon ruled against the U.S. Government and the oil companies and in favor of these 21 children and Dr. James Hansen in March this year.

“When these kids spoke up, Big Oil companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Koch Industries got scared and through their trade associations joined the U.S. government in trying to stop the lawsuit.” This was part of the statement I got from the Our Children’s Trust website after I signed their petition. These are some of the companies these children are fighting against. Wow!

If you would like to stand with these children, you can sign a petition to support them on their website: http://ourchildrenstrust.org/.
I posted a copy of the petition on my Facebook page on Monday, April 25.

To read more stories about several of the children, who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, you can go to the following website:

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2015/08/14/

Levi’s mother, Leigh-Ann Draheim, provided the photo that was taken in March 2016, which I used for this blog, and the websites for which I am very grateful.

The 21 children who are part of the Our Children’s Trust are speaking out for all of us on this beautiful earth. I am deeply grateful for their courage and leadership. Their actions inspire me and give me great hope concerning the future. Besides writing this blog, the other thing I can do is back their actions in whatever way I am able.

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Collective Denial

I have spoken of my own personal denial before. It helped me get through my younger years.  It has not served me well as an adult. When I moved out West two years ago, one of my new refrigerator magnets that I bought is:

magnet

self explanatory

Instead of writing about my personal denial, I am going to bring up something about collective denial. It amazes me that some people still deny Global Warming. This year where I live it was the hottest July on record! It has also been extremely dry.  Here is what some of the trees look like in a park close to where I live.

distressed tree

Distressed tree

This is NOT a fall photo; this damage is from high temperatures this summer and no or very low rainfall.

tree summer 2015

Distressed tree (close up)

Imagine if trees gave off Wifi signals, we would be planting so many trees and we’d probably save the planet too. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.”    – Unknown

More distressed trees:

distressed tree

Another distressed tree

I’m sure you noticed, too, that these are grown trees, not tiny saplings.

“Humans are the only creature in this world who cut the trees, made paper from it and then wrote “Save Trees” on it.”  –  Unknown

pine tree

Distressed pine tree

These trees are in a well established park that relies on rain water. Last summer the trees did NOT look like this.

If you want to read something about the importance of  of trees in stemming climate change, check this out.

https://www.arborday.org/globalwarming/treeshelp.cfm

Of course, Global Warming is effecting more than trees, and these effects on trees are coming from our changing global climate. I’m sure many of you reading this blog may have similar concerns to my own. I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut on this one. This is a BIG one for ALL of US and requires some changed behavior from all of us and requires us to work together for or at least towards viable, life sustaining solutions. Where I live, many people walk and ride bicycles. If I ride a bike, I have to buy a special kind of bike. Part of my new personal plan may be to drive less, and try to ride a bike more.
From NPR is this story from July 19th about Los Angeles.

http://www.npr.org/2015/07/19/424341975/as-california-drought-wears-on-la-starts-to-lose-its-trees

 

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