when i was a kid

[en] When i was a kid


When I was a kid, I was spending so much time in the forest. Almost every other day I went into the forest. Wandering around, building forts, small forts, big forts. We defended our fort against our “foes” with self-made swords of sticks from the ground. I and my...

By Tim Büning

Published on June 12, 2022, 2:00 am

s were in the forest when you wanted to find us.

When I was a kid, I’d been in the forests. Walking around, entering new areas for the sake of materials for our forts. Deep in the woods, exploring unknown terrain in the hope of a hidden gem, a secret treasure.

Even today I go into the forest. From time to time, no matter where I am or what I am doing, at some time of the week I have to let everything go and move to the forest. I need to smell the trees, the rain, or the dry ground. From time as a kid to now, I am deeply fascinated by the beauty and complexity of the forest. We as humans still don’t know for sure every detail of that wonderful complex ecosystem “forest”. As Isaac Newton said:

What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean.

But nowadays I am getting more and more concerned. Not just because of the forest itself, but especially because of one small detail, that represents so much more than we think.

When I was a Kid and was wandering around the forest, playing with my friends, building forts, and exploring for treasures, as long as it was summer or spring, whenever we looked up above us, all we saw was a huge, huge and almost endless mass of green. All sorts of green, even variations we probably still don’t have a name for. Sure there was some brown from the bark, and maybe a tiny little bit blue from the sky but mainly it was green and all sort of green.

When I was a kid and we wanted to hide, to protect ourselves from the rain or the sun, or even both, we went under one big tree. The leaves were so dense and so rich, that we were perfectly protected.

But now, when I look up in the forest, I see much more blue and maybe white, when it’s cloudy. The leaves left or never were there. It is just fewer leaves, less green. More brown, blue and white.

And that’s not something I just made up, and no, it is not something happening only or just in the forest I grew up. It is happening globally, everywhere scientists observe the same as i.

And the problem is not that I miss this green roof above my head. I sure do, but that phenomenon shows some fundamental problems with the ecosystem: we lack Co2 compensation and eligible biomass for photosynthesis.

Because what happens to the leaves on the tree is also happening to other plants like algae in the sea.

My beloved trees do some special magic, which is mid-school biology basics but for some reason, many people lack that basic fundamental knowledge, so I call photosynthesis “magic” and completely oversimplify the short description of it:

Trees and all other plants need Carbon to grow. They get carbon from Carbon dioxide (Co2), which is in the air. They take the Co2 using their leaves, with some water, sunlight, and other magical stuff they do their trick, “capture” the C from the Co2 and let go of the o2. With the C they grow, and the o2 gets exported in the air, which we need to breathe and live.

But the leaves are not so dense anymore. So there is a lack of biomass, that can do the trick. And the problem is, as I said before: this is not only happening to some trees in some forests, where I would like to build a fort and play with my stick sword.

This is happening to algae, in the ocean, which is doing that great magical magic trick “photosynthesis”, just like the trees, but like all trees in the world by the factor of 20. Algae, in the ocean, is the photosynthesis mega-industry in the world. And it is dying, or “getting smaller” to not be using “left-wing populism”.

And that is, what I am concerned about. Go to the forest. Look up. And compare the leaves with what you can recall from your childhood. I am pretty damn sure, you can observe this “super complex scientific” fact about global warming. And I am pretty damn sure: now you probably can relate to a problem with algae, which you maybe never heard of and maybe you have never seen algae in the ocean.

But now, you know.

environment #umwelt #society

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