Sunday, 8 January 2012

Two Billion Trees and Counting

Finished January 7
Two Billion Trees and Counting: the legacy of Edmund Zavitz by John Bacher
I learned a lot from this book about the state of trees, forests, and the environment in Ontario. I had no idea of the wastelands in the province at the beginning of the 20th century and the fight to convince those in power (government and corporations) that it benefited everyone in the long run to have well-managed forests. So many of the arguments made by Zavitz and his fellow forestry advocates echo those around global warming and other environmental concerns (tar sands anyone?) today.
I guess there will allow be those who see the short term profit and not the long term sustainability which leads to greater profits in the end, not to mention better living conditions for all.
A book every politician and voter should read to avoid making the mistakes of the past over again.
This book follows the life and career for Edmund Zavitz (1875-1968) and his influence on the environment, specifically reforestation, in Ontario. We see the progress and mistakes, the political manoeuvrings and the passion, the shortsightedness of some and the long term effects. This is an important book for Canadian environmental history.

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