Dear Fellow Oxygen Users,

The makers of the recently released film, The Anthropocene Project, and many others are calling for a moratorium on logging old-growth forests in BC. Here are two facts on deforestation and climate change: BC’s rainforests store more than 13 times our annual greenhouse gas emissions and yet Vancouver Island’s temperate rainforests are being cut down at three times the rate of tropical rainforests worldwide. As I write this, BC Timber Sales has authorized the imminent logging of the Schmidt Valley, an old-growth forest in the Lower Tsitika area, with no consultation with local hereditary indigenous peoples and no studies completed for the Marbled Murrelet or Northern Goshawks, two red-listed species, found in old-growth forests.

From 1955 until 1959, my formative years, I lived as a feral rainforest nymph and now, 60 odd years later I am once again living within the coastal rainforest. We lived at the foot of Hollyburn Mountain and I spent most of my time alone, in the rainforest (forests are for resting in) daydreaming in quiet mossy spaces; listening to the wind, watching the trees, birds, animals and smelling the flowers. Apparently, I had to be dragged inside at night. I told my birth family long vivid stories during dinner, about my days spent with my true family, the Capilano Peoples and about their earth-based skills, organizations and spirituality. For a wild child, there was no linear time,  no ego, no boundaries, no separation from the whole of nature, from other cultures. For me, climate change and global warming point to a collapse of earth-based cultural and spiritual worldviews and practices that have kept a fine balance between human impact and natural systems that we depend on.

As William Blake wrote: “To the eyes of the Human Being of Imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.” Revisiting non-dualist/animist  states of mind is what the Buddhists call engaging beginners mind; i.e. I am the forest and the forest is me. Many children and adults today have or are missing out on developing their ecological minds. No wonder we have arrived at the brink of a global catastrophe; now is the time to pull together and do all we can, at all levels to heal the rift between humans and nature. My magical inner child, my grandchildren and yours, have inspired me to try to save the last remaining 10-25% of original stands of ancient forests of Vancouver Island; one of our best solutions to global warming.

I am holding a vigil called Lungs of the Earth, from 11- 5 every day at the Ministry of Forests office at 501 Bellevue Ave., in Victoria, from Nov.3-9th to help expose corrupt logging practices on Vancouver Island. Together, we must demand the protection of our last remaining old-growth forests to slow down climate change and carbon emissions. I am looking for performers for a spoof/pantomime and musicians/jesters/artists to attract undue attention.

Please spread the word and join in.

Esther Muirhead