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Mankind’s Debt to Trees

Abstract

Before the growth of civilization, early mankind venerated old trees and the primary forest, and treated them with respect in almost all ethnic and religious traditions. They sensed the healing energy that is still found in forests and woodlands. There are many reasons today why reviving such an attitude would be ecologically beneficial to the future welfare of the human species. Not least of these is the growing realization that if we are to save the world of Gaia and her natural ecosystems from human expansion, we must act now! We need to immediately reverse massive deforestation and its impacts on the natural world, and plan for the evolution of at least some landscapes back to a resemblance of their primary state, and particularly for those small areas where a minor miracle allowed such primary ecosystems to persist. The veneration of old trees, and those few wild areas left on the surface of the planet not yet  transformed by human activities, are precious psychical resources that revive in us the collective memory of our own species. Visiting a primary forest opens long memories and responses dating back to the early days of mankind. Conserving these areas is an ethical responsibility we owe to future generations.