And, do you know, I almost missed it! It was only late that day that I remembered, when I saw an email from CASSE reminding us all that Earth Day is 45 years old.
Although I'm sceptical of these 'days' and 'years', and especially 'decades', I've been caught up in a few over the years. CASSE says that
"The first Earth Day mobilized huge numbers of people to become active in efforts to curtail pollution and protect important ecosystems like forests. As we approach Earth Day this year, the founder of the Rainforest Action Network, Randy Hayes, and other visionary leaders are calling for a doubling of the native forest canopy on the earth. They are circulating a petition calling on all people to work together to achieve this goal."
This seems unequivocally a good thing. This is the petition:
DECLARATION TO DOUBLE NATIVE FORESTS
To Everyone Seeking a Just and Ecologically Sustainable Society: Doubling the Size of Native Forest Canopy Will Help Us Get There
To live in harmony with the planet and each other we need the courage to act on a shared vision of a better world. And we need to act NOW.
- We, the undersigned, put forth these collective thoughts and invite others to share their visions.
- We know forests are a fundamental expression of the natural world and are key to supporting all life on Earth.
- We have witnessed how the destruction of the world’s forests degrades the quality of human life and undermines the prospects for productive and vibrant economies.
- We know that carbon-rich natural habitats are critical to the restoration of natural climatic patterns.
- We believe we must reverse the frightening concentration of greenhouse gases–now at 400 PPM–and get back to pre-Industrial Revolution levels of 280 PPM.
- We believe that this dramatic mathematical U-turn is our only hope of preventing the blue sky from turning into a toxic furnace.
We, the undersigned, call for:
A halt to all deforestation.
A doubling of the native forest canopy in less than two decades. Furthermore, we call for this with the intent to:
- Increase meaningful employment by planting native trees, restoring natural habitats, and removing unneeded roads.
- Help return the natural balance of greenhouse gases and foster a healthy society.
- Maintain natural functions to purify the air and water and support the web of life.
- Finally, we call upon all people–our communities and our business and political leaders–to work together to achieve this goal.
Such a courageous step could help lead us to a future no longer driven by overconsumption of natural resources, technologies that needlessly damage the environment, overpopulation, and political economies that foster problematic consumption.
When heading for the edge of a cliff, the solution may be as simple as turning around and going in a different direction. Native forest protection and restoration is key to this sensible U-turn. A shift to a better world is within our grasp, but we must collectively envision and enact it. This is the great U-turn we seek.
Randy Hayes, Executive Director Foundation Earth
Eric Dinerstein, Director, Biodiversity & Wildlife Solutions RESOLVE
Don Weeden, Executive Director Weeden Foundation
Andy Kimbrell, Executive Director Center for Food Safety
Brent Blackwelder, President Emeritus Friends of the Earth
I have reservations about this notion of "harmony", and about getting back to pre-industrial levels of CO2, but I am in favour of trees, so I signed it, here.
If you're seeking an antidote to all this, look no further than this.