The mighty Guardians of the Pacific Northwest have stood in all their splendid glory since the age of the dinosaurs. These glorious natural monuments are as ancient as they are beautiful. I’m speaking of the Sequoioideae, more commonly known as the Redwood Tree.
Nature can be a healing and beautiful place. This weekend besides spending time with an amazing, fun crew and good friends. I was in awe of the Pacific Coast, far removed from any city, and experienced the mighty Redwood Trees. These are some of the oldest and largest trees ever to exist. They once covered most of the Northern hemisphere. Over the last one hundred sixty years, humans deforested 95% of these majestic trees to build cities, furniture, and railroads. Photos don’t do them justice. You can only truly feel their magnificence in person.
The last few remaining Forest of Sentinels are protected. I have been working in the environmental and green space for many years. Environmentalists get it wrong when they claim we are trying to save the Earth. The Earth has existed far longer than most can fathom. We must maintain its natural balance for all the humans and animals who share this planet today can continue existing. If climate change tips that balance over and cause more mass extinctions, humanity may face its doom. The Earth will be fine in the long run because it’s a self-correcting organism. The Earth has survived asteroid strikes, supervolcanoes, coronal mass ejections, global ice ages, and a proto-planet smashing into it. Humans will be the ones that have to worry about climate change, nuclear war, and pollution.
We all can contribute a tiny bit to maintain the planet’s health. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. The people of Earth must hold corporations, wealthy elites, and political leaders’ feet to the fire to ensure humanity has a long future ahead. They are most responsible for the ecological challenges faced by humans since the industrial age. Just 100 plus companies are responsible for over seventy percent of carbon emissions.
New analysis finds the Global North is responsible for 92% of all excess global carbon dioxide emissions, while the Global South bears the brunt of the devastation.
War, fossil fuel burning and extraction, dumping of toxic waste, deforestation, and oil spills have caused massive damage to the ecosystem across the globe. It’s all in the name of profit. Hurricanes, massive floods, megadroughts, never-ending wildfires, and famine caused by the climate crisis aren’t waiting to happen in the future. It’s happening right now. We have to act now! A grassroots movement to curb the climate crisis has begun. Change won’t come without more grassroots organizing. We can’t wait on the Powers That Be to change their minds and do the right thing on behalf of humanity, nature, and the planet. We must force their hands. I want future generations of people to be in awe of the natural beauty of the majestic Redwood Forests. With or without us humans, #mothernature will keep moving forward.
The famous comedian and philosopher George Carlin once said, “The planet is fine; the people are fucked.”
We can adapt and change the way we do things as a civilization. Our society and political systems aren’t static and fixed. In the past, we created all types of ways to coexist and live together, even in harmony with the natural world. We can’t let a small group of powerful and wealthy individuals march us toward a future where humanity will collectively look at 2020 as the good ol’ days. I, for one, what a different future, and know another world is possible. Earth has provided us with all we need. It would be the ultimate cosmic shame that humanity squandered our potential gifts and caused our own extinction. As Carl Sagan famously said, about a picture from a distance spacecraft showing Earth as a tiny blue dot amongst a sea of darkness.
There is perhaps a no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
Being amid the massive and towering Redwoods did make me feel like an ant. But simultaneously, I realized how all living things are connected. We are a part of nature, and nature is a part of us. No matter how much humanity tries to conquer, destroy, or tame nature. Gaia will be far more eternal than humanity will ever be if we continue down the path of inaction on climate change.
Will the great Redwoods survive this ecological crisis, and will future humans gaze up at those colossal trees in awe as I did on a warm fall day in 2022? Only time will tell. I was just honored to spend a little bit of time in the vastness of nature. I am a better human for it.