This past winter, relaxing in New Mexico, I finally began to understand the basic underlying rationale for my concerns with the science of forestry. These haunting concerns have been with me now for almost 60 years, yet understanding and expressing the reasons for these concerns has evaded me. I have seen major advancements in science and technology that should have provided a more optimistic future but, failed to do so. I have observed unbelievable advancements in genetic engineering, to produce more wood fiber per acre and develop disease- resistant species but, the destruction of our natural surroundings continues. Daily, we read about efforts to reforest areas where tree cover has been lost for a variety of reasons yet, deforestation continues at an unacceptable rate. Catastrophic events such as wildfires, insect infestations and disease epidemics seem to become more prevalent rather than less and grow in magnitude. Why?
This winter, my research led to a more detailed look at our natural world through the eyes of our Native people and some of our religious scholars. The result pushed me to appreciate the need for a much stronger understanding of the story of creation. What is it that allows this mystical complex life on our planet to function? It finally became apparent that no matter what segment of life you focus on, there is one single element that supports the proper functioning of the multitude of life systems on Earth, DIVERSITY. Without diversity there are no life system that can survive. Even civilizations and societies require diversity to function.
With all of our educational advancements and scientific achievements, humans have not found the processes required to replenish or re-build the diversity that is a vital part of our natural world. This is the reason scientific advancements have resulted in accelerating the destruction of our natural world. We plant and grow trees like corn and wonder why catastrophic events continue and the acreage effected continues to expand. Forestry is far more than a simple agricultural process. The loss of diversity has devastating impacts on our Earth community and Life communities. Dr. Berry states," It is clear that the primordial intention of the Universe is to produce variety in all things from atomic structure, the living world of plant and animal forms, to the appearance of humans where individuals differ from one another more extensively than in any other realm of known reality".
This is the reason science cannot provide for the future without the assistance of our religious community. The separation of the scientific (secular) and religious (sacred) world, I believe, will continue to produce unacceptable consequences for both!