Monday, November 7, 2011

Christmas Cheer

The Christmas festivities have begun! A 65 foot tall white fur, aged at 118 yrs old, was removed from the Stanislaus National Forest last week. It has now been loaded on a massive custom trailer and is being shipped across the country to become the White House Christmas tree! The tree is being toted to various communities around the country on its way to D.C. At the first stop, Sonora Ca., everyone interviewed was elated to watch this now 65 foot long tree roll by, except for a few grumpy atheists who couldn’t even vow to a unified retort. The tree’s journey is sponsored entirely by donations, including those of the Me-Wuk tribe who donated profits from their Black Oak Casino.

In a similar, but opposite, story at the antipode of Washington D.C., not really but very close, Buddhist monks are ordaining trees. In North West Thailand deforestation has become so destructive that communities are no longer valuing the financial benefits of lumber/crop production over environmental degradation. To help stop the unholy drive of black market logging local monks have taken to ordaining the trees as monks in their own right. Since Buddhism is the national religion of Thailand this status has serious weight and resulted in strict protection of these forests by the Thai government.

Gar Swaffar, “Capital Christmas tree begins journey to Washington D.C.” Digital Journal, November 5, 2011.

Lucky Severson, “Forest Monks”, PBS Religion and News weekly, January 15, 2010.

Watch how the “Rockefeller tree is recycled” at the bottom of this page (I know it’s a different tree, but similar concept). The number of ways we can use this tree is astounding; mulch, paper, lumber oh my! So glad it is being used by “Habitat for Humanity” instead of habitat for owl.

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