I distinctly remember being about six years old and imagining a forest being bulldozed down. This vision came to me from my grandmother talking about the horrors of this situation, and it is so impactful to me because it was my first comprehension with the capacity of wicked, foolish acts from humanity.
The eerie depiction still makes me extremely uneasy to this day, even more so now because I can fully comprehend and speak of the repercussions of the problem. I worry that soybean and corn fields will make up the entirety of the planet, and that wild animals will cease to exist. I fear that there will be no wilderness and no pristine land left.
Here is a link to an article discussing the recent trends of deforestation from PNAS written by Douglas C. Daly. https://www.pnas.org/content/117/40/24609 (Links to an external site.)
The article shares that deforestation has “enormous consequences for health and well-being beyond political borders” like when drought – as a deforestation externality – occurs around the world which in turn affects economic success on a grand scale. When economy is disturbed, that’s when these problems become really clear to the public.
Furthermore, the effects of deforestation do not just cause detriment to the land where the forest is being assaulted, but to the entire world ecosystem because of the connection of each ecosystem type. Rainforest, especially the tropical rainforest, acts as “a buffer against climate change”, which is a concern to the entire globe. So, while we might be growing cheap meat and meeting consumer demand, we are simultaneously destroying the very system that provides us with ecological services that make life happen. I have hope that it will all one day just stop.
As an adult, I now imagine a child crying to her ultra-rich daddy who owns a paper company, begging him to stop tearing down the world.
What is going to make my hope a reality? Well, a chorus of actions. Many individual actions – like people homesteading their own livestock for themselves and their communities, choosing a job that allows one to ride a bike or work from home, or actually implementing a recycling system – will work synchronously together.
When the current system of ravish is replaced with one of stewardship, all will prevail. With a little creativity and culture shift, it is possible for abundance without plunder.
In Soil We Trust,