|12-03-2006, 12:53 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
The Man Who Planted Trees
I read the story "The Man Who Planted Trees" by Jean Giono when I was in elementary school, and I think it was probably the start of my love of the outdoors and my eventual attempts to preserve it. If you haven't read it, it is a beautiful story a traveler making his way over the alps and encountering an Italian peasant living alone who decided to heal a devastated land, eventually replanting an entire forest over the course of his life. You can find it online through Google.
The story is fictional, but I wonder how true the ideas presented in it are.
Environmentalists always tell us to plant trees. They say that they provide shade, absorb the carbon dioxide which causes global warming, clean the air, and stop soil erosion. I wonder though, can they really save devastated lands? And if so, why haven't we harvested their magic and fixed the world?
I know that people have had success on a smaller scale in turning waterless, salt ridden wastelands into prosperous farm land through the use of trees and good farming techniques. I recently read an article about 3 Europeans who went to the middle east and turned a waterless desert into a prosperous fruit vineyard.
My question is, can this be done on a larger scale? Would more water be taken from the oceans to provide for these new wet areas?
Many people believe that the dryer middle section of our country is in danger. Underground aquifers, created over millions of years, have been mostly drained in under a century for agriculture. Much of the great plains are treeless though. Do you think that the trees could reverse the decline?
Beyond the US though, what can be done about deserts and poor agricultural land, for instance. Are they naturally occurring and necessary, or only existent because of a lack of trees?
If you're familiar with Roman history, one of the main reasons for the 3rd punic war was the Roman's amazement over the rich agricultural lands of Northern Africa, lands which by the late Middle ages had partially become arid deserts. The Roman coastal road which stretched from the Tip of the pillars of Hercules through Carthage and a ways toward Egypt once ran through rich farmland, but today, whats left of it often run through sand dunes.
Why did these lands recede? What can be done about it?
If we can truely reclaim lands with trees, why haven't there been efforts to replant all the wastelands of the world?
Your thoughts? How do you think we can make a difference in this?
I offer these two links to further add to the discussion:
In India, One Man Creates A Forest
Trees For The Future
Last edited by Andrew Michaels; 12-03-2006 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Added Links
|12-04-2006, 03:04 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
When I first read this story, it reminded me of something I read on another website.
====From the website here====
"PAUL ROKICH IS MY HERO. When Paul was a boy growing up in Utah, he happened to live near an old copper smelter, and the sulfur dioxide that poured out of the refinery had made a desolate wasteland out of what used to be a beautiful forest.
When a young visitor one day looked at this wasteland and saw that there was nothing living there — no animals, no trees, no grass, no bushes, no birds...nothing but fourteen thousand acres of black and barren land that even smelled bad — well, this kid looked at the land and said, “This place is crummy.” Paul knocked him down. He felt insulted. But he looked around him and something happened inside him. He made a decision: Paul Rokich vowed that some day he would bring back the life to this land."
Read the rest of the story here
|12-04-2006, 05:05 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
'The Man Who Planted Trees' is a truely inspirational story.
A very good example of permaculture. And yes, the human race could turn its total interest towards creation, rather than destruction. But I feel that for the majority, it's going to take a global disaster to motivate them to get involved (then again, many disasters have already happened concerning the well-being of nature).
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