We must first realize that many of the cultural values of our Western society, were carried forward from the Medieval European time period. During this time period, the survival of the human individual was a major challenge and the society was dominated by the male image, (a patriarchal society). This was also a challenging time for the Christian Religion. Much of the emphasis was on the human species and the needs of the individual. Humans were the dominant species, made in the image of God, and were to take dominion over the earth and all living things. We believed Earth belonged to us and the valuable resources of the natural world, were provided by the Creator for our use.
These values and beliefs came with the early settlers that arrived from Europe in search of the "Land of Milk and Honey", 600 years ago. I must, quickly, point out that the work ethic and determination that came with these settlers have created the most powerful economic, democratic society that this planet has ever seen. It is also true that this affluent society and it's unbelievable scientific and technological achievements have had a major impact on this magnificent planet. Many believe science and technology will be the saving solution for the future. History has shown us that the opposite is more accurate. In most instances, advanced technology has accelerated the damage to the natural world.
Slightly more than half of our lands were once covered with trees but today are devoid of trees. The science of forestry must step forward and lead a new effort to keep our remaining forested lands healthy. The United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, once considered a world leader in the science of forestry, could regain it's position by starting the much needed changes required for our future. This means a change in cultural values that drive the science. We must change from a science that is focused on the needs of the human species and the individual's desires to a detailed understanding of the complexity of creation and our dependence upon the natural world for the very sustenance of life! REMEMBER 70% OR MORE OF ALL LIVING ORGANISMS REQUIRE FORESTS FOR LIFE! IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN TO WARN US, BUT LITTLE HAS BEEN DONE TO START THE CHANGE PROCESS!