Saturday, July 07, 2012
It's Disheartening To Consider We've Used Up These Proud Giants And Brought Them Near To Extinction
What? No, I'm not taking about the trees. There's plenty of trees. I live in western Maine. A tree is a weed. I'm talking about the men. Those men you see working there in the video. They've been hunted nearly to extinction as far as I can tell. They were marvelous.
The forests shown in this film are filled with sequoia sempervirens again, planted by the same men we just watched cutting them down. There are currently around 900,000 acres of redwoods being "actively managed," a modern euphemism for being logged and replanted. They do it more intelligently than they once did, I guess; but there's currently plenty of forest on fire out west that was being "intelligently managed," so that's no guarantee that intelligence involves any wisdom. It's a dirty little secret that you can cut down the trees and use the wood for something useful for people every once in a while, or wait for nature to supply bugs and fires to get rid of them -- but one way or the other, they don't last forever.
They're cutting second-growth trees in California now. 900,000 acres is 1.35 Rhode Islands, for those of you keeping score. Rhode Island isn't that big, you might say, but I wouldn't want to rake it. They leave a bunch of gigantic sequoias alone in National Parks now, so we can go look at them, which is as good a use for them as building another split-level ranch to get foreclosed on, I guess. I don't know where you go to look at men like the men in the video now. They're probably panhandling in San Francisco and drinking mouthwash.
I noticed some inconvenient inconvenient truth at around the six-minute mark. I'm sure they'll airbrush that out of there next time.