We Must Respect The Old Ones

The Christian Science Monitor tells us about some of the world’s greatest environmental heroes:

The oldest trees in a forest aren’t just passively clinging to the carbon they’ve drawn from the atmosphere and stored as leaves and wood – they’re capturing CO2 at a pace that increases with each passing year.

That’s the surprising result from an exhaustive new study of tree growth and carbon storage, a key element in Earth’s carbon cycle and a focus of international efforts to draw up a new international climate treaty.

For years, conventional wisdom held that even if old-growth trees weren’t felled by fire, disease, lightning, or chain saws, they retained no additional carbon as they entered their golden years. They were valuable as storage bins for the carbon they had taken up and stored as they grew. But few counted on old-growth trees to continue sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere in their senior years.

As a guitarist and bassist I am always working with the sounds of big beautiful wood boxes; as a woodworker I have responsibility for the felling of some of those trees. We need to move more slowly in our drive to deforest the world.

Somehow it made me think of the Jefferson Airplane and their early piece of environmentally-informed rock, Eskimo Blue Day:

Fire eating people
Rising toys of the sun
Energy dies without body warm
Icicles ruin your gun
Water my roots the natural thing
Natural spring to the sea
Sulphur springs make my body float
Like a ship made of logs from a tree
Redwoods talk to me
Say it plainly
The human name
Doesn’t mean shit to a tree
Snow called water going violent
Damn the end of the stream
Too much cold in one place breaks
That’s why you might know what I mean
Consider how small you are
Compared to your scream
The human dream
Doesn’t mean shit to a tree

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