Nestled along 500 miles of Alaska’s verdant Inside Passage there are spellbinding skyscraper Sitka spruce, giant western hemlocks, colossal western redcedars and weathered 1,800-year-old yellow cedars. The hallowed old-growth temperate rainforest is ruled by the monarchs of nature, three-quarter ton grizzly bears. Altogether, some 17 million dripping, breathing, climate-making Mother Earth forested acres are guarding a whopping eight percent of all the carbon held in the United States. The Tongass National Forest is America’s Amazon rainforest. It contains about one-third of the sanctified old-growth temperate forests left on our man-besieged planet. That priceless rainforest is every American (and planetary) Gen Zs birthright, and Donald J. Trump, the chief promoter of extinction, has just signed off on the death warrants for more than half of it, some 9 million acres.
The breathtaking old-growth temperate rainforests along the West Coast, that once upon a time graced Alaska, fjord-endowed British Columbia and as far south as California’s Monterey Bay, are the Guinness World Record champions for inhaling atmospheric carbon dioxide and storing it in gigantic trees that live for thousands of years. They are Earth’s finest oxygen-making, carbon dioxide warehouses and unrivaled freshwater bastions. In addition, these stupendous cathedrals are vital homes for the Indigenous Peoples and our brethren and sistren, the animals, including all five Pacific species of salmon that nourish both the rainforest and the second largest brained species (2.5 times larger than humans), the countershaded orcas.
Unashamedly, Alaskan forestry receives $30 million in annual taxpayer subsidies, or, $172,800 per forestry worker. What-the-frack! Forestry is a smug, politically-groveling, corporate machine based on a monumental lie that flattening and burning finite old-growth forests and wildlife are ecologically sustainable. It isn’t. Rather, it’s holus-bolus impoverishment, or, ‘ecocide’, the willful killing of planet Earth.
Man-made global heating from burning subsidized fossil fuels and wooden pellets has thrust the planet into the Age of Fire. The evidence from the ecological holocaust over the previous 12 months can be found in Siberia, Washington, Oregon, California, Australia, the Amazon, the Congolese and the Arctic peat climate fires. A record high summer (2020) temperature in the northern hemisphere of 1.52C (2.74F) is the brink of survivability.
Fossil fuel emissions are fricasseeing the planet while oligarchs and Wall Street bankers profiteer. The greatest fight in the history of humankind is brewing with a couple billion Gen Zs demanding a zero combustion global economy by 2030. We must honor the Gen Zs by protecting all the remaining old-growth forests globally as well as all Earth’s magnificent terrestrial and marine biodiversity, their ticket to survival.
On November 3, vote for the planet by ridding the U.S. Congress of scourge, the planet-killing Republican kleptocrats. Without fail, it’s time to prepare all communities for what’s ahead because it’s going to take everything that the Gen Zs have to hang onto their only habitable home, Earth.