Forests as Redemption

by Grant A. Mincy

Photo by Dick Conrad, used under Creative Commons License

Photo by Dick Conrad, used under Creative Commons License

Forests offer human civilization a chance at redemption. It is amazing what natural systems can teach us. When we consider natural systems, we see the simple turn to the complex in a great bottom up diversification of life. The wild functions under the fixed laws of nature. It is competition in a world of scarcity, mutualism among species of different kingdoms, cooperation among the three great domains of life and selection pressures that order the natural world. Looking to the complex order of the forest, a world free of archism is revealed.

So let’s study the forest, then look back to civilization. Let’s craft the commons and a society worthy of wilderness.

Common institutions will allow bottom up governance to develop. From the natural rules of scarcity, a grand conservationist ethic will emerge. No longer will there be islands of forest in a vast sea of industrialism, but just the opposite. The forest will be part of civilization and vast, pristine wilderness areas will rarely, if ever, be occupied by our bodies.

This is radical freedom, the nature of liberty — true, self organized, sustainable progress.