Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Big Forest Lie

Harvested like corn - how long will it be here?
This is the biggest lie for the title of a law I've ever seen (Click to link):

This law promotes neither forest health nor better rural communities. It simply allows chemical and fiber companies to slash down what remains of our depleted "forests," that have been broken to the condition of little more than scrub and plantations.

Forestry has long ceased to be about wood. The actual wood harvested is poor, thin and increasingly expensive. Forestry is about "value-added product." Buying a natural product at hunger prices, tearing it to pieces, and reselling it at hugely inflated prices - and none of the communities being robbed receiving the profits. The resulting products are invariably poor-quality and toxic; for example, corn is a comparatively healthy food when consumed cooked by humans; high-fructose corn syrup turns it into a substance deleterious to human health. Chipboard and thin veneers and knotty plywood are poor construction materials.

Corn is a huge sucker of nutrients - so are forests. But corn is fertilized. And even now, it is becoming more and more difficult to grow both these products, with its huge demands on nutrients and water. Corn results in rivers full of toxic levels of nitrogen, repeated clearcuts result in smaller, weaker, ultimately failed environments. 

H.R. 1526 will lead to the future collapse of the local communities, because it will falsely lead them to continue to think they can live as they did in the 19th century or the 1950's - making them ignore what they really have to do to save their own future. These people hate the national parks and forests, because they've been fed propaganda, and believe in a terrible history as good. They want to be able to take the national heritage and turn it into personal products. They can't see what they're doing, they can't understand what they will lose.

I suspect the hatred for the national forests and parks up here has been jump-started by the Elwha getting their river back. The tribe was treated like dirt in the 19th-century. Like wolves here, and bison on the plains, they were supposed to disappear to make way for a "superior race." They've struggled for decades to get their river and their homeland back. They're telling the true story today. 

The "history" about conquest and genocide, human, animal and environmental, is still presented as noble and admirable - in this day and age, as the reputations of Custer, Buffalo Bill and Columbus are revealed for what they actually were, genocidal monsters and even a slaver.

But gradually, people like the Elwha are telling what really happened, reminding us of weeping elders, driven families and destroyed graveyards, of ruined rivers and shattered land. If we're going to grow and become a mature people, we need to relegate our past to the shelf of shame where it belongs. We have to face it, apologize for it, and reform our future behavior. And truly understand what the future has to be. 

The forests are not a field of corn. Treating them like corn will ultimately destroy these communities, within a generation or two. And, because forests produce what we breathe, along with the oceans, it will destroy all of us. Ignoring what this bill is doing to America is suicide for us - and for the planet.

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