It was summer, one of those warm summers with less mosquitos, the water temperature was perfect and the sky was clear blue with pieces of softly cushioned clouds dancing 3000 meters in the sky. The wind whispered soft things whilst I was running barefoot on the beautifully uneven ground filled with life. I was traversing amongst lingonberry and blueberry bushes with my feet hurting, from occasional stepping on pine, I felt free and alive. I was ten years old, visiting my favorite place in the world, my family home in the middle Swedish Lapland's wilderness. I was always longing for the summer, where we would annually visit that paradise.
Watching the wild unravel itself. Here we had been spared from deforestation and everyday you could see wildlife and flocks of birds thriving in their habitat. You would hear owls or the black throated loon making its beautiful soothing sound right when the final light of dusk kissed the mountain before the new day awoke right behind you and darkness never fell. From the back of the house, in the early mornings you would see rare sightings of lynx prowling around. More often we would be visited by bears, moose and reindeer from the kitchen window. That place was so filled with life. A beautiful rich paradise, the home of my ancestors who lived close to the earth with respect and humbleness towards it.
Moving forward to this year, 2020, this summer has been like most lately where the season never really came nor have we really moved into autumn/winter. The seasons are out of balance. This is not normal. This year there was not a peep from the black throated loon. I haven't heard that sound of my childhood for 15 years, it just gets more and more silent. The forest that once stood there tall in its glory, was wiped away and replaced with fast growing fir and pine in long uniformed lines. There was no life. Not even a single ant was walking with me in that fabricated plantation of trees. This is unfortunately a result of man's greed and wanting to tangle and tame an ever thriving planet in order to gain more profit in a contrived system. This is a common practice throughout the world. Entire masses of land are clear cut to make way for rapid corporate economic growth. Clear cutting is where you clear entire sections of forests, for their resources.
Forestry usually follows, where a corporation would plant extra resources like trees to grow rapidly which are then clear cut once again. This destroys natural habitats and ecosystems, putting many species of the forest on the red list.
The UN states today 1 million species are close to excision world wide and that number is growing every day. With the exploitation of the land at this speed we see today that this number will be much higher in just a few years.
In Sweden there are 2000 species on the extinction red list due to the aftermath of the human footprint. People who think they walk in a forest in Sweden are most likely walking in a plantation. Sadly, most would not even know it’s not a natural forest. If you walk in a natural forest once, you will never forget the difference.
As Leif Öster suggested in the book “Omtänk'' there is a problem within the illogical legal system and the forest conservation laws have to be rethought. If you pick a single endangered flower, you will be prosecuted, however if you clear the entire land which is home to the flower, no charges will be brought upon you. This kind of action on ecosystems needs to be criminalized and we as individuals need to educate ourselves and make demands from politicians. Purchasing land for preservation is also needed. If you’re already a landowner, see the value of conservation rather than letting it be clear cut. I believe this is the most beautiful and profitable investment someone can do right now. The profit may not be economical at the start but it will be one step closer to saving the world and what could be more valuable than that?
The global discussion of climate change finally has the spotlight on it, but it casts a dark shadow.
When trying to solve the problem a new one is created, called renewable. Renewable is excellent and sounds positive. It would be, if it also could be proven that all renewable techniques are sustainable.
For example, when moving on from oil, we start looking for another solution to continue our ways of living by implanting the use of biofuels. Bio Fuels are for the biggest part made out of living plants and organisms which means that in order to create these fuels you will need an enormous amount of crops and biomass (trees) in order to meet the demand on fuels. And when it comes to forestry, pine is the most profitable tree to use. Therefore this tree is the most used in monoculture of forestry.
This alternative solution is not sustainably renewable as we are led to believe. To replant trees with rapid growth of the exact same sort, repeatedly, will impoverish the land and the fauna which are the keystones for sustaining natural life. This strategy is set to fail so simply as it's not truly sustainable, it does not consider biodiversity which holds the key for our ecosystem and for us to be able to live on a healthy planet. I believe the solution is not to take away the lungs of this planet and continue to release carbon dioxide via biofuels. It’s not a long term solution, with more devastating effects on the ecosystems. There are thoughts on using “Thinning” as a technique, but this also doesn’t come without its problems faced by corporations being a barrier. Thinning is where you would only use selected trees for your purpose rather than clear cutting entire sections.
We need a diversity of life on this planet every single being and organism plays a role for life to flourish, and we need to see, respect and honour that. Our role as human beings is not to rape our mother who continously provides for us.
It should be to support her and let this planet be the thriving paradise it is meant to be. Maybe we have to sacrifice some of the expectations that we have in our modern society. There are so many ways we can live together with the earth instead of against it without lowering our wanted living standards. We just need to learn first to connect and be thankful.
It’s time to look at the grander picture when discussing sustainable solutions. A solution will never be truly sustainable if it is inflicting on something’s thriving potential. We can bring together the brightest minds on the planet to work on solutions that have no ecological effect rather than tangle and control it, this will be the game changer. I want people to be inspired to look through the veil of illusion. Questioning and thinking things through. We need to view life with a bigger purpose than running through life searching for that fake gold, because in the end, you can’t eat gold.