The trees and the air have been in a sweet-sounding give-and-take relationship since the beginning of time. However, humans make this relationship complicated!
At first, we just hang around with them and enjoyed both their company, until we became the third party that tore them apart. We played around with the trees and ruined them. We took for granted how the air would feel.
What Have We Done?
We fooled around burning fossil fuels and sending them into the air. We enjoyed too much the luxury industrialization is providing us that we forgot that slowly we are killing our atmosphere. The fumes from the factories destroyed the ozone layer, sending us back the acid rain. The comfort of riding vehicles that give out fumes is hard to resist. We have become the laziest creatures that hate walking even a short distance. In our greediness for higher yield in our fields, we forgot to care for the earth and our environment. We sprayed all these chemicals so that our crops would be plentiful and healthy. Yes, they may have become prolific, but are they really healthy for our body and our environment?
We love the smell of fresh air, so we spewed all kinds of air freshener to make it so. We failed to consider the fact that these are made of chemicals that could be harming not just our body but the surroundings.
Can you imagine how many foreign particulate matters we are sending up in the air every minute? All this stay in our atmosphere for an extended period of time. They are the poison that is slowly killing our environment, the air we breathe, the wildlife, the vegetation, and soon (could be) the humanity. The Earth is now crying out for help!
It’s Time To Listen And Respond To The Summoning Of The Earth
When I was younger, I used to run to the thick trees for shade. It is where I used to play hide and seek with my friends. But gone were the days. Now, when it rains or when the sun shines at its maximum, there are no more trees to shelter me. We still have to travel for hours to the countryside for my kids to enjoy playing under a tree. How I miss those days when trees were just everywhere.
In school, we learned how the leaves of the trees and every plant absorb certain gases and particulate matters that pollute the air. They filter the air, somehow reducing the pollution levels. The thick bushes also serve as the trap for the pollutants to hit the ground. They can be like roofs (shields) on our heads when we are walking on the busy roads. As we aged, we’ve ignored, forgot, and not cared anymore. Yet, we say we become wiser as we age.
As of 2015, it is said that we have 3.04 trillion trees on the planet. If you think that number is enormous, yes, it is. But it is not enough to protect us all (current population of 7.6 billion, 7.2 billion back in 2015). The North American Forest Commission calculated that there were two-thirds of the trees back in 1600. Every year, we cut down 15 billion trees while replanting only 5 billion to replace them. This is how wise (foolish!) we have become. This is the reason why the number of trees has dropped significantly (10 billion trees each year). How are we going to replenish them? How can we save our ecosystem? What will happen to us if there are lesser and lesser trees to absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the years to come?
A study revealed that thousands of years ago before humanity came between the trees and the air, earth housed twice the said number of trees we have now.
Time To Realize
What would be better than the natural fresh air that the environment provides us? What would be healthier if we nourish our bodies with foods that are produced by the fertile soil? What a joy it would be for our children to experience how it is to run and hide around the bushes rather than just sitting and staring at their gadgets. What more sweet sounds to hear than the singing of the birds flying in the sky, taking their rest on the branches of the trees.
Many groups are taking their share in restoring the once harmonious relationship between the trees and the air. Don’t you think it’s time to do your part, too?
Crowther et al. (2015, September 10). Mapping tree density at a global scale. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14967