When you look at a tree what do you see?
I see a home for birds. The giver of oxygen for me to breathe. A mechanism to hold the soil in place. A bestower of shade. A delight of rustling sound. The bearer of amazing scents. I pause at the textures of bark. Sometimes I see faces looking back at me.
How much is a tree worth? One might ask for what: fire wood, carpentry, mulching a garden? NO — my question is how much is it worth if we leave it in place? How much is it worth to us as a species for trees to prevent soil erosion and produce oxygen and to store carbon dioxide and to convert carbon dioxide and to cool the planet and to release water vapor…. How much is a tree worth to produce nuts and fruit and compounds for medicine? How much is a tree worth in tourism dollars? How much is a tree’s leaves worth as they compost back into the soil? How much is a tree worth to cool the land as its canopy shades the ground below and reduces the greenhouse gases from above?
What would the world be like if there were no more trees?
Before we can start making changes — we first need to know what the questions worth asking are.
Happy Earth Day — Everyday!
If you wondered about how to apply a value to nature this TED talk may interest you.