The Pursuit For Preservation Environmental Paper

947 words - 4 pages

The Pursuit for PreservationSome sixty-five million years ago, just after the demise of the dinosaurs, a small rat-like species of mammal (now known as a prosimian) left the ground and took to life in the trees. Eventually after fifty million years had passed, this creature returned to the ground as the ancestor of man. The period spent in the environment of the trees was of great formative importance because it promoted many physical changes. These changes included a massive increase in body size, the development of paws into hands and 3D color vision. (Clifford) The physical changes were mapped by an increase in the size and the capability of the brain. Thus, prosimian developed into simian. ( The increase in stature led to changes in posture which enabled some simians to stand upright. Eventually one of these species was able to walk on two legs. It was these changes that led to the descent from the trees and eventually to homo sapiens; therefore, it can be seen that without trees the evolution of prosimian into man would never have taken place. Without trees we would not be here. (O'Neil)The development of human civilization has been dependent on wood-based technologies. Where would we be without the discovery of fire, agriculture, the wheel, the use of metals, spinning, weaving, water and land based transport, building, and printing? Our technological culture could not have developed without wood. How has this situation come about? In part it is because in developing into an organism that has had great evolutionary success the tree has created a material with many useful properties. At the same time, because trees have been so successful in colonizing large areas of the surface of the world, they now find themselves in competition for living space with a very recent newcomer. So we burn trees to make room for ourselves. Thus, mankind has had a relationship with trees which has developed over millions of years. In the future, too, if we permit it, trees will continue to provide great benefits to mankind. This relationship, which now embraces ethical as well as spiritual and material values, deserves detailed consideration.Trees exert a powerful emotional influence on many people. To many of us a tree is a thing of spiritual sustenance and renewal. The tree is the embodiment of mankind's condition: birth, life, death, regeneration and rebirth. The rising sap is the spirit of life and seeds and fruit are the symbols of fertility. As wood is so useful to man it may seem surprising that man has been so profligate with this natural legacy. There are a number of distinct reasons for this. One is that man has used up timber in manufacturing objects with complete disregard for the consequences. Another is the use of wood for heating and cooking. In some parts of Africa, and in Nepal, for instance, there are few trees left because the local...

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