Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Yum Balam
“Now I’ll show you the self-evaluations of people asked how susceptible they think they are to anchoring, causal base-rate errors, the endowment effect, availability, belief perseverance, confirmation, illusory correlation, queuing; all the biases you’ve learned about in this course.”
Until this week, I thought more pain to induce deeper restructuring seemed likely to be provided. The projections of what would be needed to end the lockdowns and return to normal gradually extended the time in which we might expect a vaccine from 18 months to four years, or possibly never. If that is true, my visa will need to be extended, but we can all get precious time to deliberate the shape of the reboot. Universal Basic Income seems a fait accompli. Donut economics and ecovillages are gaining adherents. We just need more time.
“Turns out that the temperate jungle’s million invisible entangled loops need every kind of death-brokering intermediary to keep the circuits coursing. Clean up such a system and the countless self-replenishing wells run dry. This gospel of new forestry is confirmed by the most wonderful findings:. Beards of lichen, high in the air, that grow only on the oldest trees and inject essential nitrogen back into the living system; Subterranean voles that feed on truffles and spread the spores of angel fungi across the forest floor; Fungi that infuse into the roots of trees in partnerships so tight it’s hard to say where one organism leaves off and the other begins; Hulking confers that sprout adventitious roots high in the canopy that dip back down to feed on the mats of soil accumulating in the Vs of their own branches.
“Patricia gives herself to Douglas Firs. Arrow-straight, untapering, soaring up a hundred feet before the first branch, they’re an ecosystem unto their own selves, hosting more than a thousand species of invertebrates. Framer of cities, king of industrial trees, that tree without which America would have been a very different proposition. Her favorite individuals stand scattered near the station. She can find them by head-lamp. The largest of them must be six centuries old. He’s so tall, so near the upper limits imposed by gravity that it takes a day and a half for him to lift water from his roots to the highest of his 65 million needles. And every branch smells of deliverance.
“The things she catches Doug Firs doing over the course of these years fill her with joy. When the lateral roots of two Douglas Firs run into each other underground, they fuse. Through those self-grafted knots, the two trees join their vascular systems together and become one. Networked together underground by countless miles of living fungal threads, her trees feed and heal each other, keep their young and sick alive, pool their resources and metabolites into community chests. It will take years for the picture to emerge. There will be findings, unbelievable truths confirmed by a spreading worldwide web of researchers in Canada, Europe, Asia, all happily swapping data through faster and better channels.
“Her trees are far more social than even Patricia suspected. There are no individuals. There aren’t even separate species. Everything in the forest is the forest. Competition is not separable from endless flavors of cooperation. Trees fight no more than do the leaves on a single tree. It seems most of nature isn’t read in tooth and claw, after all. For one, those species at the base of the living pyramid have neither teeth nor talons. But if trees share their storehouses then every drop of red must float on a sea of green.”
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction Winner of the William Dean Howells Medal Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize…wwnorton.com
“The coronavirus pandemic reminds us that we are vulnerable biological organisms, strands in Earth’s web of life. Due to our special human gifts — notably, our linguistic and tool-making abilities — we have come to think of ourselves as special and apart, more gods than critters. We have used our unique powers to kill off the macropredators that once threatened us — the lions, tigers, and bears. But a micro-predator, far too small to be seen even with a powerful optical microscope, has shown up unexpectedly to remind us that we are still links in the food chain. If something good is to come from the terrifying experience we are all sharing this fiftieth Earth Day, perhaps it will be the reminder that our survival depends not on defeating nature (something we can never really do, because we are nature), but instead on learning to live in a state of intelligent, dynamic balance within Earth’s nourishing yet fragile and perilous complexity.”