Which environment on Earth is home to the largest number of life forms, relases incredible amounts of oxygen into the air that we breathe, plays an essential role in the water and carbon cycles, nourishes and protects the soil, has an impact on climate change, is the sole means of subsistence for hundreds of millions of people, and is the source of many of our medicines?
The answer isn’t necessarily obvious – because few of us are able to see the forest through the trees. For many, the forest is a source of raw materials, energy, and food, as well as land that can be cleared and cultivated. The disappearance of forests is not something that moves us. Yet it is imperative that we open our eyes to the world of the forest, that we consider the whole and not just the parts. Our individual and collective survival depends on it. We must experience the forest; we must love it.
Alex Steffen is one of the world’s leading voices on sustainability, social innovation and planetary futurism. He is a writer, public speaker and strategic consultant.
Alex was Executive Editor of Worldchanging after he co-founded the organization in 2003 until 2010.
Tijana BlanusaAreas of Interest:Role of urban greening in the mitigation of heat island effect. Gardens and microclimate. Understanding physiological responses of ornamental plants to water deficits. Improving the establishment of ornamental plants.http://www.reading.ac.uk/biologicalsciences/about/staff/t-blanusa.aspx
Kathleen WolfHow does place and physical environment influence human behavior? What attitudes and values do people have regarding open spaces in urban and urbanizing environments? How might the study of human ecology help us to improve environmental and ecological systems in cities?http://staff.washington.edu/kwolf/KW_CV/
Lynne M.Westphal We understand the importance of habitat for wildlife, yet humans need good habitat, too. Trees, rivers and streams, parks and other open spaces all play a significant role in creating good places to live. So, my work is important because it helps planners, municipal employees, elected officials, NGOs, tree advocates, and all other interested people understand how to manage natural resources to improve quality of life and achieve environmental justice.http://nrs.fs.fed.us/people/Westphal