I hate to sound dramatic. Maybe it's this relatively weak cold snap that has me in a somber mood, but more likely it's the sound of logging equipment working over 48 hours straight now, all day and night Sunday and today. As I mentioned before, a parcel of land nearly adjoining mine is being logged. Not only that, the last remnant standing trees on tax forfeited land two miles south of here are also being logged. The clearcutting can now be seen from the road in the latter logging.
The incessant whine of the cutters and chippers and shredders penetrated my dreams last night. Yes, they're that close, I can hear them inside the house. I dreamed over and over that I looked out and the view I knew and loved was completely gone. I even double checked when I woke up for real, just to make sure the trees across the swamp were still there. Now, strictly following property lines, they should not log anything directly across the swamp from the new house, and there should be a thin buffer protecting the view where the logged land adjoins the neighbor's land to the south. But how can logging machines see property lines in the dark? I am still concerned.
But I don't think my dreams last night were entirely about my pretty view; Nature, after all, has a way of taking care of those things in swift and unpredicatable ways (remember the Boundary Waters blowdown of 1999) and I should not be selfish enough to demand that my particular view remain intact. Rather, I think my dream represented my fears about the bigger picture: losing the natural world that I love. Whether it is lost bit by bit to development, or in a bigger way by human-induced climate change, or by extraction-based practices such as clearcut logging, I am scared that the landscape I love is disappearing. In the case of logging, they say it is a renewable resource, that it will grow back. But when they shred every little bit of wood and leave nothing to the soil but tread marks, will it?
I told The Hermit tonight, if I didn't have kids that depended on me, I just might go out and confront the monster and tell it what I think of its greedy, short-sighted practices. But what I would do might be classified as "eco terrorism", which carries with it harsher sentences than would the assault and murder of a fellow human being. Even if I didn't harm a single human soul. Is it wrong to protect, or protest against the destruction of something I love if that something is not human?
I hear more than the whine of the machines. I hear the cries of a thousand trees as they die a violent death. Excuse me for being dramatic.