Letter writer Sarah Chesterman is urging society to protect nature, noting old growth forests provide homes for animals such as this endangered western screech owl. (Special to The News)

Letter writer Sarah Chesterman is urging society to protect nature, noting old growth forests provide homes for animals such as this endangered western screech owl. (Special to The News)

LETTER: Maple Ridge resident urges people to value trees for more than money

Preserving old growth forests are vital to the survival of humans, letter writer says

Dear Editor,

Dare I say the issue of whether or not to save B.C.’s old-growth forests should not be the decision of any human(s) putting short-term personal gains ahead of larger considerations, ie. nature’s revival/survival?

To pretend these are not dilemmas facing government leaders today is to deny the overwhelming body of science that has been telling (and showing) us the catastrophic results of our century-long ever-increasing crudely executed/heavy-handed ‘harvesting’ of nature’s once-rich, now-reaped bounty — of which intact rainforest ecosystems are the ‘lungs’ thereof.

Literally, B.C.’s untouched 1,000-year-old primary (unlogged) forests — of which only approximately three per cent remain intact — are among the world’s only climate-balancing wilderness ecosystems left to cover the herculean CO2-sinking/oxygen-emitting job that once was shared among myriad forests all over the globe.

Having picked earth almost-dry of its invaluable ‘resources’ without ensuring their ongoing regeneration (‘sowing what they reaped’), in the process humans have left behind gluts of waste that continue to accumulate as long as those inefficient processes are still being used to ‘harvest’ what we need/use to live.

It’s true: the systems we’ve developed/installed — and now rely on heavily to ‘keep us going’ — are the same mechanisms fast-tracking nature’s demise.

Yet nature provides everything we need to live. Doesn’t it follow that protecting nature should be our top priority?

Scientists have issued yet another dire warning that the measurable outcomes of continued reliance on our clunky old wasteful ways include warming temperatures which will lock in place further degradation of our life-support system – nature itself.

Governments cite ‘jobs’ as a key reason for continuing to permit/subsidize industries with the most devastating impacts on nature’s balance — of which deforestation is among the worst, not due solely to emissions (which are high when huge old trees release the total CO2 they’ve sequestered over centuries) but to the ensuing loss of forests’ countless priceless benefits, as our ultimate protectors/safeguards against the harmful human processes endangering whole populations.

(Jobs are needed that work to restore nature’s balance: jobs that exacerbate the status quo all have expiry dates.)

Fact: the oldest intact forests are what’s staving off the worst effects of climate change: the droughts, famine, fires, floods that threaten mass upheaval on a dime — brought to the brink by Big-Biz’s ‘all-in’ last mad pillage for profits (by ‘extraction’/logging/pollution/whatever they can get away with) before public pressure forces governments to shut ‘em down.

Thus govt’s delay on legislating old-school harmful practices out before nature-restoring replacement systems are put in, could be exactly what tips nature into irreversible decline..

It only makes pragmatic sense to protect our sole defense against this decline at all costs — along with all non-human species whose lives depend on keeping these [whole] old forests intact. Without their essential habitats, biodiversity will go extinct — and guess who will be next.

At this point, the prospect of letting these important ecosystems be cut down is as unthinkable as demolishing the Great Pyramids for the price of their stones. As someone said, it’s psychopathic – no matter who is doing the cutting.

Sarah Chesterman, Maple Ridge


• READ MORE: Scientists urge province to stop cutting old growth

• READ MORE: What exactly is ‘old growth’

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