… Take Care of Your Planet
By Jeff Salter
This week, we’re considering this fragile planet earth and how humankind – after many generations of DISregarding its ecology – can contribute to its rejuvenation. Some people call it Earth Day, but I prefer to regard it as a time for us to stop, look, and listen to what the Earth is telling us. Earth to Jeff … a bit less hazardous waste, please.
One of my writing colleagues (Sandra Sookoo) had inquired, earlier this week on her author page, what we might do – with one year and $10 million – to help get this planet’s ecology back in balance. My answer focused on redwoods.
Redwoods & Sequoias
As a kid, I saw within California’s expansive Sequoia National Forest, several national parks featuring ancient Redwoods. Even at that young age, I was appalled at how callously they had been destroyed, sometimes for rather (it seemed to me) trivial reasons. In one example, they sawed down a tree thousands of years old just to make a dance floor!
I don’t have any specifics worked out, but if I had one year and $10 million, I think I’d like to do something special with the ancient Redwoods.
I guess my efforts would include:
* about $3 million on education about the past abuses, some stats about how prevalent the redwoods once were, how old they actually were, how large they grew, etc.
* about $4 million on protection of the Redwoods still living (including protection from fires, pestilence, diseases, and indiscriminate logging).
* about $3 million on ecologically safe tours for school kids … to let them actually experience the majesty of those redwoods.
Did you realize (I did not) that Redwoods and Sequoias are NOT the same species? Here (from the Sequoia National Forest website) are some of the differences and similarities:
Giant Redwoods … are the tallest trees in the world, reaching heights of up to 378 feet tall. Their base can be up to 22 feet in diameter and they can weigh up to 1.6 million pounds. Live up to 2,000 years old; have branches up to 5 feet in diameter. Bark grows up to 12 inches thick; can reproduce either by seed or by sprout.
Giant Sequoias … don’t grow quite as tall but can still reach a very impressive height of up to 311 feet. While not the tallest, giant sequoia trees are the largest trees in the world. Their base can be up to 40 feet in diameter and a mature tree can weigh as much as 2.7 million pounds. They live up to 3,000 years old; have branches up to 8 feet in diameter. Bark grows up to 3 feet thick; reproduce by seed only.
For a look at my environment column, at about this time last year, please click here:
It contains a bit about my upbringing, and a link to a wonderful song by the New Christy Minstrels.
What are your chief environmental concerns?
What do you think about Earth Day and other times set aside to focus on ecological issues?
Do you recycle?