Then again, most of you probably haven’t ever seen the Amazon, so it isn’t part of your psychological baselines (except as a massive internet store).
It’s easy to feel superior to the people who are deforesting the Amazon, but it might well be that your nation has standing forests for much the same reason it doesn’t have human slaves anymore: cheap fossil energy. As it becomes scarcer and more ecologically dangerous to use, you’ll once again have to decide how many of your trees to burn and how many to let stand. I can only hope it is done as a reasoned decision using intelligent foresight and not in a free-for-all. The Bottom Line: Trees are more important than just a source of wood and fuel; they are crucial to stable ecosystems. At some point in the future, if humans long endure, trees will probably again become the main source of human exosomatic energy.
From Sea Creatures to Gasoline (Oil)
Summary: When we think of flammable fossils at all, we think of oil as slimy sludge, coal as black lumps and natural gas as the invisible substance that smells if it leaks. But these three “fuels” are (in a manner of speaking) effectively stored sunlight from tens to hundreds of millions of years ago , compressed, cooked and refined by Mother Nature. At the dawn of life on our planet, around 3.9 billion years ago, Earth’s atmosphere was mostly methane, CO 2 and water. The first photosynthesizing bacteria and algae, and (much later) plants, changed the E arth’s atmospheric composition and geochemistry by releasing free
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