Carbon, Trees and Cumbria’s Forests

by David Murray on 24 October 2012

in Opinion

When I was at school way back in the fifties we had a great young biology teacher, “Mr. Douglas” (no first names then!). The school was in a big industrial town but on the fringe so that we could easily go out in groups for our ecology lessons “in the wild” as it were.

We were taught the importance of oxygen for animal life. We were also taught the importance of carbon dioxide for plant life. There was no mention of “greenhouse gases”; the term had probably not been invented then. Carbon dioxide was not portrayed as an undesirable alien chemical, and carbon was not yet hated as a pollutant.

Carbon was revealed as the element around which our entire life system is built. Carbon dioxide, once excreted by animals, became the foodstuff of the plant world. Sadly, today a scientifically semi-literate population seems largely to have lost any positive understanding of this amazing natural system.

Instead of demonising carbon, we need to understand its vital role. We are all carbon-based life-forms, both ourselves and the grass and the trees.

It is, of course, possible for any system to get out of balance; it is the balance that matters.  The following linked article explains how our forests contribute to maintaining the balance.

Read it here.

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