“A tree is not a forest. On its own, a tree cannot establish a consistent local climate. It is at the mercy of wind and weather. But together, many trees create an ecosystem that moderates extremes of heat and cold, stores a great deal of water, and generates a great deal of humidity. And in this protected environment, trees can live to be very old.

To get to this point, the community must remain intact no matter what. If every tree were looking out only for itself, then quite a few of them would never reach old age. Regular fatalities would result in many large gaps in the tree canopy, which would make it easier for storms to get inside the forest and uproot more trees. The heat of summer would reach the forest floor and dry it out. Every tree would suffer. Every tree, therefore, is valuable to the community and worth keeping around for as long as possible.

And that is why even sick individuals are supported and nourished until they recover. Next time, perhaps it will be the other way round, and the supporting tree might be the one in need of assistance. When thick silver-gray beeches behave like this, they remind me of a herd of elephants. Like the herd, they, too, look after their own, and they help their sick and weak back up onto their feet. They are even reluctant to abandon their dead.”

From The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben.

When I read this I was reminded of the forests I have encountered where no insect moved or bird sang and all the trees were the same size and age. Any sign of sickness, the place blanketted in petro-medicine or a cull.

The word Forest as used to describe groups of Trees in England comes from the Forest Law introduced in England by William the Conquerer, to fence off land for hunting reserves, that gamekeepers could manage as biotic theatres of the hunt.

As I have written elsewhere this style of land management ultimately became the protected areas of today juxtaposed against the rest of the landscape as domesticated.

Whether strip mined fields packed with soulless heads of corn or plantations of trees stripped of their social lives as part of some grand environmentalist scheme.

These spaces are ripe for disease, fire and any other slightly challenging condition that can explode and rip through. Much the same as pig factories, warehouses of the elderly and schools.

These McSpaces and the McScience that breeds them disgust me. They only harm life in the name of holding the ethical high ground.

Look around you. Are you living in a McSpace? Explore, Research and see who is managing your local park, forest and fields. Listen around you. Are you subscribed to McScience? Research and see who is managing your learning, your knowledge, your worldview.

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