Without trees, there would be no life on Earth – at least, not one habitable by humans. It is as simple as that. NO TREES, NO HUMANS. It is worth repeating!
Egypt, before the dawn of history was teeming with trees. Of these trees are the petrified forests that are near the Giza pyramids and beside El Mokattam plateau. The Egyptian Pharaohs planted trees and took care of them. They brought ebony wood from the Sudan, pine and cedar from Syria. They planted sant trees, sycamore, lotus fruits and willow.
The Egyptian temple was conceived essentially as a stone model of the creation landscape. The orders of columns, however, were designed not as direct representations of plant life (the palm, lotus, and papyrus bundle), but as stone reproductions of idealized landscape features.
From the earliest times, trees have been the focus of religious life for many peoples around the world. As the largest plant on earth, the tree has been a major source of stimulation to the mythic imagination. Trees have been invested in all cultures with a dignity unique to their own nature, and tree cults, in which a single tree or a grove of trees is worshipped, have flourished at different times almost everywhere.
One of the many reasons for this simple life-and-death equation is the highly significant roles that trees play in the Earth’s eco-system, as well as in the many subsidiary ecosystems on which its teeming multitudes of creatures depend. Not least are the contributions of trees in the creation of the Earth’s atmosphere and regulation of its climate. In relation to this: Trees Provide Oxygen!
For a majority of us, common sense dictates that oxygen is one of the most basic, and most important necessities for life. While we all need to eat, drink and sleep in order to survive, it is the simple act of breathing, filling our lungs, and our blood, with oxygen – that, which is most necessary for life.
Virtually every patient’s room in a modern hospital is equipped for the administration of oxygen. Every emergency room is required by law to have the same equipment. Deep breathing exercises are prescribed for patients with lung problems and for persons recovering from surgery. The narrow applications of these techniques is very unfortunate. They should be routine for every person. But, again, the average person takes their respiration for granted.
And in combination with that fact, we have been steadily destroying forests for the past 500 years. Since the beginning of European colonial expansion in 1492, 10 billion acres of forest have been cleared – more than half of the 18.5 billion acres at that time.
That leaves 8.5 billion acres remaining, with devastating consequences. As a result, the bulk of planetary oxygen-production has shifted to algae, unfortunately greenhouse-gasses are produced more quickly than they can be absorbed.
For all of human history until around the dawn of the age of fossil fuels, with the discovery of coal, oil, and other fossil fuels, our population and industry have swelled and our carbon-emmisions have soared exponentially. With increased technology and population growth, there has also been deforestation at an increasing rate. As a result, there is now a dangerously high amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
According to a study conducted by scientists from the Scripps Institute there is less oxygen in the atmosphere today than there used to be. Scientists, climate experts, governments and international organizations have all agreed that 350 ppm is the upper limit for CO2 in the atmosphere. Beyond 350 ppm, the planet can no longer support human life. The problem is, we’re already at 390 ppm, and rising by 2 ppm per year.
These are not just numbers. They represent the life-support systems of the Earth.
On human terms, it is as though we suddenly discovered what the natural human temperature is, and simultaneously realized that we have a life-threateningly high fever. In other words, we’re living on borrowed time. The science of Climate Change has been proven beyond doubt, and is happening much faster than experts previously thought.
Oxygen is the most vital element for the human body. So why is it then, the one element of our health that we all take for granted. The answer is simple- while we are breathing one breath after another, we just presume that we are getting enough of it!
The truth is though, that this is not the case. 200 years ago the quality of the air was much higher with an oxygen quantity of 30%. Today though, as a result of global pollution and the depletion of our natural resources the air only contains 19% oxygen and in some cities as low as 10% oxygen.
It is no coincidence that diseases such as cancer have increased dramatically in the last one hundred-and-fifty years. While oxygen deficiency is not the only cause of these ailments, it is still an influencing factor.
The use of ozone in the treatment of cancer addresses the problem of cellular hypoxia, or oxygen starvation, and has wide systemic effects. The efficacy of this treatment has been proven over the last fifty years in Germany.
It is a proven fact that oxygen deficiency eventually leads to disease or illness of some form. “Insufficient oxygen means insufficient biological energy that can result in anything from mild fatigue to life threatening disease” as quoted by Dr W Spencer Way- who wrote in the Journal of the American Association of Physicians.
New research shows oxygen depletion in the atmosphere accelerating since 2003, coinciding with the biofuels boom; and climate policies that focus exclusively on carbon sequestration could be disastrous for all oxygen-breathing organisms including humans says, Dr. Mae-Wan Ho.
However, I believe that in order to appreciate the ozone one must first understand fully the critical role oxygen plays in human life. Oxygen is by far the most important necessity of human life. It performs hundreds of tasks in the body, but the two most important are energy production and detoxification.
Most of us suffer from a lack of oxygen. Whether from improper breathing poor diets, air pollution or lack of exercise, our cells are being deprived of this vital element and thus weakening our immune system.
Cardiovascular physiologist Dr Arthur Guyton MD has been quoted as saying “All chronic suffering is caused from lack of oxygen at the cell level”.
Human beings normally breathe air that is 20.9 percent oxygen by volume under normal atmospheric pressure conditions. When the concentration of oxygen decreases even slightly by a little more than 1-2 percent, people immediately begin to feel the effects.
Oxygen makes life possible, but it can also take life away. Each of your hundred-billion brain cells, uses oxygen to stoke the fires of consciousness. Your brain’s need for oxygen is more than ten times greater than the rest of your body. Although 20-25% of all inhaled oxygen should go to your head, many obstacles can considerably reduce the amount of oxygen that actually reaches your brain cells.
There are a variety of causes that lead to oxygen deficiency. Leaking materials from storage tanks, natural gas lines, process valves and more release gas that displaces oxygen in poorly ventilated areas or confined spaces. Decomposing organic matter, such as animal, human or plant waste, produces methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide that displace or consume oxygen. Even corrosion, such as rust, or fermentation or other forms of oxidation will consume oxygen and pose a hazard.
“Oxygen can clear your head, help eliminate toxins and give you a mind high.” Andy Davison, exercise physiologist.
Oxygen starvation is caused by poor breathing, de-oxygenated and refined foods, smoking, lack of exercise, environmental pollution and carbon monoxide poisoning (especially for those living in cities i.e. most of us) and the natural reduction in ambient oxygen that has been taking place since the Cretaceous era as confirmed by Science News November 7th 1987.
Today, cutting edge researchers believe that even relatively healthy people may have trouble extracting all of the oxygen that they need from the air. In fact, the air itself is becoming more and more polluted, making oxygen extraction more difficult. Physiologists understand that breathing polluted air, or breathing air that contains less oxygen, puts tremendous stress on the human body
All metabolic processes in the body are regulated by oxygen. Our brains process billions of bits of information each second. Our metabolic processes work to rid our bodies of waste and toxins. Even our abilities to think, feel and act require oxygen-related energy production.
Oxygen also plays a vital role in proper metabolic functions, blood circulation, the assimilation of nutrients, digestion and the elimination of cellular and metabolic wastes. Sufficient oxygen helps the body in its ability to rebuild itself and maintain a strong and healthy immune system. You know how important water, vitamins, minerals and enzymes are to your health and vitality. Although you can actually exist without food for about 40 days, and water for about seven days, without oxygen, life ceases to exist in only minutes.
Oxygen in the blood stream nourishes the body’s cells, creates energy and helps break down waste products and toxins. It creates immune system defense and it regulates the body’s pH balance. Oxygen plays a crucial role in the fight against disease. It has been proven that diseases such as Cancer thrive in an acid pH, so it is imperative that we oxygenate our bodies and maintain an Alkaline pH if we wish to maintain our health and wellness.
The fact is that in order to be suitable for life – any life; from plants to people, a planet’s atmosphere must have gradually higher densities of oxygen, dependent on the complexity of life supported. Thus, to sustain intelligent and complex life, such as us, an atmosphere requires high levels of oxygen.
Ahead of us we have the possible destruction of forests, vital in maintaining oxygen levels necessary for life, in the control of carbon dioxide, and in water cycle balances.
“A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 lbs./year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings.” “On average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four.” – Canada’s environmental agency, Environment Canada
At this rate it is obvious that in some cities we will render the “air” unbreathable. Diana Beresford-Kroeger, a botanist, says, “the abuse of forests and pollution of the oceans has caused them to produce only half the oxygen (they produced) 10,000 years ago.”
Thankfully, trees deliver countless economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual benefits to people, communities and nations. Perhaps, by reforesting the planet, we can usher in a new golden age of civilization – one with greater health, wealth, and happiness than the one we now know.
As Colin Tudge has stated, “In the future of humanity, and of all the world in all its aspects, trees are key players.” Trees provided the foundation for our current civilization, and they can serve as the cornerstone of a new one – but only if we plant them, on a massive scale, starting now.
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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