Michael Ellis

Last week I sent Ted Turner $10. Now it is not in my usual habit to send donations to billionaires but in this case I thought he deserved it. You see the National Audubon Society had produced a documentary called “Rage Over Trees”, a film about the continued cutting of ancient forests in the Pacific Northwest. At one time these forests covered millions of square miles now there are only tiny remnants left, nearly all of it on public land, our land, and the loggers want to cut most of this.

This film was so threatening to the timber industry that they pressured the sponsors of the program to withdraw their financial support. Ted Turner ran the program anyway and lost money. I sent Ted a note and my symbolic donation and told him to keep up the good work.

Stroh Brewry, Ford Motor Company, Citicorp, and Exxon all succumbed to the pressure. This censorship outrages me. When someone tries to stop the flow of information to the American public you had better look very closely at what is going on.

Now I want you to imagine if someone decided to tear down the Sistine Chapel and use the stones from the Chapel to build a housing development outside of Rome. It would be a disgrace, an affront not only to the citizens of France but to the entire world. Because the Sistine Chapel, a manmade work of art is
unique, it is precious, and it will never be created again.

And an ancient old growth forest is a unique and magnificent work of nature, or God if you will. Once cut it is gone forever and even after five hundred years the forest that replaces it will be different. There is so little of this precious forest that we owe it to the world to preserve it.

Here in the Bay area we have our very own old growth forest it’s called Muir Woods. Over one million people come from all over the world to visit it annually. Forget that these forests are home to the endangered Spotted Owl, red-backed tree voles, marbled murrelets and flying squirrels, the real value is the primeval aspect, it’s a living forest unchanged by man, thousand year old trees growing, dying, rotting, and being reborn. What right do we have to tear down this natural catherdral for a subdivision?

This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.



Posted on

December 1, 2010