The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

I'm currently reading this eloquent book by Thom Hartman. Published in 1998, it is highly relevant, as it simply and lucidly paints the global environmental catastrophes we have collectively created. It is also truly informative; I'll be posting excerpts here from time to time.

(p 47) So trees, as it turns out, are the major source of recycled oxygen for the atmosphere. They are our planet's lungs. ... A fully grown pine or hardwood tree has a leaf surface area that can run from a quarter-acre to over three acres, depending on the species. Rainforest trees have leaf surface areas that run as high as forty acres per tree. [My note: that's the equivalent surface area of a forty acre lake!] ... A rainforest tree will draw three million [emphasis added] gallons of water up through its roots and release it into the atmosphere as water vapor during its lifetime. While it may seem this would deplete the soil of water, actually the reverse is true: trees draw water into the soil, the first step in a complex cycle which prevents land from becoming desert...

(p 49) The total amount of rainforest left on the planet [My note: in 1998] is about the size of the continental United States, and, every year, as area the size of Florida is cut down and permanently destroyed...

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