October 2013 Publisher Letter
Anyone that has visited California’s old growth redwood forests can attest to the magical power of these ancient majestic trees. When I read this month’s interview with Julia Butterfly Hill, who lived for 738 days in the canopy of a 1,000-yearold redwood tree to raise awareness of threats to our ancient forests, I recalled a recent conversation with my father as we meandered through Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, California.
This special man, Allen, who will soon celebrate 80 years, strikes me as a walking encyclopedia. He speaks six languages and can recall an astonishing amount of information on a vast number of subjects. He loves telling stories and sharing what he’s learned, and as we stood admiring the magnificent giants, he asked, “Do you know why redwood trees grow in clusters? It’s because, although they are the tallest trees in the world, redwoods have very shallow root systems, and so they grow together in groups intermingling their roots to support each other. Otherwise, they would fall over.” I loved learning how the redwoods need and depend upon one another for their survival; I think that humanity could learn a great deal from these noble trees.
This month, Natural Awakenings focuses even more than usual on the health of our environment and the devastating damage that global warming and climate change, with their dramatic effects on weather patterns, is wreaking on Planet Earth. This past March, in a presentation at the Sustainability Summit, in Milwaukee, Penn State University Climatologist Michael Mann, Ph.D., remarked that while global warming did not create Hurricane Sandy, rising temperatures contributed to its intensity and the atypical direction it took towards the Northeast Coast. He added that we can expect a continued increase in storm intensity as the planet warms.
It can feel overwhelming to consider the myriad factors with which we are contending that are now harming our home planet, but as I contemplated Christine MacDonald’s feature article, “Easing Earth’s Rising Fever,” I was encouraged. I feel empowered when I am reminded how people are coming together and diligently working to bring about effective changes—including 3.8 million Natural Awakenings readers; we are all doing our part to go green and raise our voices in support of sustainability and conservation.
We are not individuals facing this struggle alone. We are part of a larger global community with shared roots, supporting each other and working together to create a better future for life everywhere.
To our roots and our reach,
Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher
“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes; no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” ~ John Steinbeck