Between The Forest and Greed Within the past decade there has been a rising “environmentally conscious”movement.The spectrum of issues in contention by environmentalism has expandedvirulently and is reaching its zenith.Public dissatisfaction with theenvironmental movement is forming, as the movement has taken the fight for theenvironment too far.Donella Meadows is an environmentalist who has yet tofully think about the issue she is arguing.In her piece “Not Seeing the Forestfor the Dollar Bills,” she takes an almost infantile approach to the loggingindustry and the concept of clear cutting.The monetary motivations behind thelogging industry is her explanation for clear cutting, trying to portray thelogging industry as a cold money making machine.
This of course neglects thefact that the reason logging generates capital is because the world needs wood. There are several economic and environmental issues that are considered whenloggers enter and area.Haphazard clear cutting of forests, while it maybe whatMeadows would like us to think, does not happen.With every industry, everyaspect is carefully debated and analyzed for the short and long term outcomes.Any industry that capitalizes on earth’s resources figuratively signs apact with the earth.This pact bonds this industry to the earth and requiresthat any harvesting of resources is not done so with haste and waste.
There isa symbiotic relationship between the two.For the industry to exist there mustbe a constant supply of the resource.Without a constant supply the industrydies.Now, many people believe that the logging industry’s objective is to cutdown all the trees that are currently standing.As horrific as this scenariomay sound, it is far from the truth.
Without trees to cut down there is noindustry.The logging industry is not so foolish as to rampage the forests andcut down all the trees.As they cut, they plant.
Replacing forests withsamplings may look inadequate, but over a long period of time these samplingswill become a new forest.The earth as we know it today has been in existencefor millions of years.Even if newly planted tress take a century to grow backthat is only a pinpoint on the time line.The millions of acres of forestedland left untouched currently will not be engulfed by blades and tractorsinstantly.
It will take time to cut down the trees, as it will take time togrow them back.Meadows seems to have a misconception of industries and the service theyprovide.All industries, whether it be recycling to logging, are trying tomaximize their profits.
If this means moving their plants off shore, so be it. These industries provide the world with services that we need to operate as anadvanced civilization.She claims that the remaining old growth forests are onprotected federal land.If this is the case she has little to complain about.
The remaining portion of what she is trying to protect is protected.At thesame time she is also claiming that old growth forest can not be recreated. This seems far fetched from the eyes of an historian.Referring back to thehistory of the earth, one can assume that before humans inhabited the land thatforests burnt to the ground leaving nothing but charred remains.Yet forestsstill exist today.
Now, when they are threatened by fire, we save them insteadof allowing nature to take its course. Meadows gives the reader a choicebetween “the forest and greed”.If her choices were accurate one would probablychoose the forest.The problem lies in her choices.They are given to thereader from only one perspective.
.. hers.When an argument is based upon a onesided view it loses strength.It only leads to flaws and the eventual dismissalof the argument.
In any debate one should look at the topic from the opposingside before approaching it from one’s own.In every country, forests are considered a valuable resource.Theyprovide us with wood to build homes and paper to communicate.With a constantlygrowing population, the need for homes becomes greater and thus the supply ofwood must also increase.
The real choice that should be analyzed is “the forestor your home”.Many alternate forms of building materials are phased into thesystem as need be, but the need for wood will always exist.Knowing that theworld will continue to cut down trees, the only solution to the forest depletion,is reforestation.A forest ecologically engineered with the proper plants andbacteria may not be perfect initially but it will someday become an old growthforest.The animals that live in these forests, will learn to adapt.
The fewanimals that don’t adapt will probably die off or move.One may say that is acold way to look at the problem, but thousands of species have become extinctand this process is called evolution.Whether evolution is accelerated by manor comes in due time by nature, the outcome is the same.I would propose that ahuman life is more important than any other life on this planet, and that takingcare of humans is a higher priority than that of animals.
Meadows has yet tounderstand the logging industry and what it is trying to accomplish.Her pieceis based on fear and poor preparation and that is why the choices she gives thereader is inaccurate.