Thursday, 15 June 2017

Trees - they are our only hope.

I love trees.  I could tell you all about the five trees in my garden and thoroughly enjoy the process of blogging this week.  I could tell you all about the campaign I helped to launch in 2010 that raised funding for over 1,000 at an ecology park on the River Wyre. I don't need to write about that though, because I suppose many of you will have already seen them as you walk up the drumlin.  I hope that many of them will still be there when your great-great-grandchildren walk up the same hill, 60 years from now.

That is the wonderful thing about trees.  If we leave them to their own devices they out live us.  They are something that we can confidently pass on to future generations. That is; if we don't tear them down to build on the land where they thrive; if we don't pollute them until they no are no longer able to breath in carbon-dioxide and produce live-giving oxygen; if we don't decimate their populus to plant palm-oil trees, for the snack-food and cosmetics industry.

A Rainforest Action Network field investigation team has documented new evidence of large-scale, illegal rainforest destruction within habitat critical to the survival of the Sumatran elephant, tiger and orang-utan. RAN’s research has uncovered supply chain connections that link the rogue palm oil company responsible for the deforestation to major global brands through their shared supplier, Wilmar. The companies implicated include PepsiCo, McDonalds, Nestle, Unilever and Procter and Gamble.

I have been aware of the deforestation of Indonesia since reading an article in National Geographic in 2008. I was so affected by the destruction of orang-utan habitat that I wrote about it and spoke out against it. I also began a lifetime commitment by changing the products that I bought, completely cutting out any that had palm-oil content. It is harder than you would think - there are so many everyday products that contain palm-oil. Years ago I switched to vegetable suet, believing it to be better for my heart than beef suet.  I had no idea that the product is made from palm-oil and that orang-utans were being mercilessly killed to make sure that is a profitable crop.

I don't want to preach.  If you, like me, feel strongly about the rainforest, about the survival of the other species with whom we share this wonderful earth, there are many things that we can do. There are petitions to sign, we can lobby MP's, more importantly we can look at the content of the products that we buy and stop fuelling the destructive cruelty of the multi-national profiteers who are destroying our planet. So before you chose a pack of Dorito's or a can of Pepsi for your mid-movie snack, consider that the manufacturers of those products get rich at the expense of innocent, fragile wildlife.

Anyway - plant a tree, even a small fruit tree helps the ozone layer, provides nectar for birds and bees and the fruit will taste better than the ones in the shops. Did you know that if you have the freehold to your property, you can be buried in your own grounds?  Did you know that, after your death, your body can be put into a pod with a tree sapling and then you can provide the nourishment to help it thrive?  It makes cremation seem such a waste.

I wrote the poem at a Wordpool workshop last autumn and have waited for the right moment to share.  

Ode to a Tree
I bathe in your shadow,
striped by filtered light,
the gentle breeze bending as it curves around us.
A strange couple,
me,  just seven and a half,
 you more than a century.
What knowledge
passes from one to the other?
A child and tree.
Thanks for reading,  Adele   


Steve Rowland said...

A rightly indignant blog. Trees take years to grow and minutes to fell. We are so destructive. I really like the poem. Did you know that George III used to walk in Richmond Park and shake hands with the oaks? ;-)

Adele said...

And they said he was a madman. What did they know hey?