In various regions of the world, huge tracts of trees are perishing. Scientists have observed that a common factor of their often sudden demise has been increased heat and drought.
Across western North America, for instance, forest die-off has been especially disastrous, with 70,000 square miles being lost in the Canadian and US Rocky Mountains to beetle infestation as warming temperatures cause the insects to move to higher and higher altitudes.
In Australia, a recent report stated that nearly a third of the trees had died in a 20,000 square-mile savanna area, while a study in Russia of 9,400 square miles of tree-covered land also observed significant losses, with hot, dry conditions in forested regions like Siberia bringing extreme wildfires in eight of the last 10 years.
In Africa, climate change is being identified as the cause of demise for local trees such as the quiver tree, camel-thorn, and the giant 30-foot-tall succulent known as euphorbia.
Although when alive, these wondrous lungs of our Earth are continuously absorbing carbon dioxide, US Geological Survey ecologist Dr. Craig Allen, who has studied forests around the world, warns that as the trees perish, they actually become a source of greenhouse gases. We thank Dr. Allen and all international researchers for this reminder that our own well-being is truly linked to the health of the world’s forests.
May we all attend now to their silent calls of distress through our own swift adoption of more life-sustaining ways. Supreme Master Ching Hai has long highlighted the need to care for the ecosphere, including the world’s trees, and shield them from the tolls of global warming, as during a videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan) in July 2008.
Everyone knows by now that protecting the environment, protecting the animals, are actually protecting ourselves. So we must protect the environment.
We should have more rules, more guidelines, to protect natural habitats. Because sometimes we overlook the long run effect. Then the consequence is very, very detrimental to ourselves and to the planet, just like what we are facing right now.