The woods of Ox Mountain

Humans soon forget what true nature is, and so risk their future. Around 260BC, the Chinese Confucian scholar Mencius observed that the woods of Ox Mountain were once beautiful but now were wholly denuded – yet people thought it had always been just grazing land for sheep and cows.

And in Australia, my father told me how in the 1930s an old lady had explained to him that the land which became the Wimmera plains was once a forestland of buloke trees – she knew, she was a child in one of the bullock wagons that entered it in 1874, one of the settlers that cut it down.

And on 25th February 2021, the Wilderness Society reported that Australia is one of the worst developed countries in the world for broadscale deforestation, killing tens of millions of native animals and wiping out endangered forests and woodlands. In addition, land clearing and native forest logging emissions across Australia produce carbon pollution equal to half of all Australian coal-fired power stations – as is increasingly recognized, wilderness loss is now threatening humankind too.

We must cease destroying our natural world, to protect its richness and diversity, and save ourselves along with it. Einstein’s Last Message sets out what is needed to achieve this – Dr. Bob Brown, Former Leader of the Australian Greens, recently described the book as “Magnificent!… an incisive pointer to what Homo Sapiens must do to save itself and its planet from itself.”

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