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Trees and Bushes Are Disappearing

In the USA we have become experts in converting nicely growing young trees into paper products like newspapers, telephone directories, magazines, paper plates and napkins, tetra pack containers, cardboard, etc. that have a very short useful life and eventually become trash. The quantity of paper used in USA is much higher than any other country in the world. In fact some countries like Canada are depleting their forests to meet the US demand for paper. It is possible to reduce the amount of paper devoted to such short-time-uses easily, but nobody seems to care. For example, telephone number data can be installed on the web, and people can access this data on their computer screens without needing a paper telephone directory. But the phone companies want to publish new phone directories every year because they make huge sums of money from advertising revenues. In the same way it is quite easy for newspaper companies to deliver news to their subscribers electronically without printing it on paper at all. However, newspaper companies continue producing their product every day, most of which is junked by the public on the same day it is produced, sometimes without even being read. Why? Because they do not consider saving the lives of some trees to be important. Another product is toilet tissue. We now have bidet-with-vertical-spray, which cleans the human body with a powerful spray of water, without the need for any toilet tissue. It is much cleaner and healthier than toilet tissue. With the simple turn of a cap, this tool produces a powerful stream of water vertically upwards to clean the body. It is a totally hands-free operation that is so pleasant to use. If the majority of households in the developed world switch to bidet-with-vertical-sprays, they will not only save a lot of trees, but also reduce the amount of sewage to be treated substantially. What is the basic reason for our callous attitude towards trees? Mainly because most of us think that trees are there for us to kill and use anyway we like. I give below a poem on the beauty of trees which is my free modification of a famous poem by the American poet Alfred Joyce Kilmer(1886-1918).

1. I believe that there is nothing in this
  whole universe that compares with
  the sublime beauty of a tree.
2. I think that I shall never see
  a poem lovely as a tree;
3. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
  against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
4. A tree that looks at God all day,
  and lifts her leafy arms to pray;
5. A tree that may in summer wear
  a nest of robins in her hair;
6. Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
7. A tree that provides refreshing shade
  to all creatures on hot summer days;
8. A tree that provides heavenly fruit
  to all creatures without even being asked;
9. A tree that provides sweet honey
  to the dainty butterfly;
10. A tree that provides shelter
  to the fireflies glittering in darkness;
11. A tree that heralds spring
  with its sweet smelling flowers;
12. A tree that became coal for man's use;
13. A tree that made the soil fertile
  with the leaves and branches it sheds;
14. A tree that protects the topsoil with its roots;
15. A tree that brings water from the deep folds
  of Mother Earth and hands it to the clouds;
16. A tree that produces life-sustaining oxygen;
17. A tree that is the main pillar of the cycle of life;
18. A tree that dances in the gentle breeze;
19. A tree who intimately lives with rain.
20. Poems are made by fools like me,
  But God, only you can create a tree.

Unfortunately, most present generation humans do not seem to have this kind of respect for trees. We kill them in large numbers daily. Also, the recent growth in e-technology/e-commerce has increased the need for cardboard for packaging enormously, and many trees are killed to make wood pulp with which cardboard is manufactured. In nature many tree seedlings come up, but most of them are killed while mowing, weeding, cultivating, thinning, golfing, skiing, snowmobiling, driving, or other forms of trampling involved in human activities. So, the few that survive and grow in spite of all this mishandling should be harvested only for really essential uses. We need to appreciate that the purpose of trees in nature is to grow and do all the wonderful things that they do as described in the above poem, their main purpose in life is not to be killed by greedy humans for conversion into instant trash.
next up previous
Next: Peace for Humans, Extinction Up: Technology Quo Vadis Previous: Jet Plane Traffic Enhancing
Katta G Murty 2001-09-27