- She is beautiful
- No, it is not always about looks, but she really is beautiful
- About 700 students each year live with her on the field and pass her everyday, removing her presence would be detrimental
- Burt and Ernie the squirrel lovers live there, would not want to tear the family apart, she is shelter to many animals, small and large, and she provides shade for other
- She is the embodiment of community — people climb her, play frisbee around her
- She is not a tree that has super special purpose after being cut down, so let her live
- Students would need to go to the counseling center to cope with the loss
- She does a fantastic job of pollination during the spring seasons, helping to conduct everyday important aspects of natural processes
- Her name is Rosie, but she has no roses, so it is funny…
- She is beautiful and she really is mine, I would be very sad
My perspective: is that we now have a relationship, I can look at Morgan Field and feel connected to something in nature and it is not forced at all, the relationship developed over time.
When I was having a terrible day it would be really nice to go outside for even 5 minutes and sit with my tree, something that I made a name and character for, something that cannot say anything to me, but I imagine what it would be saying if it could speak.
Local Environment: she provides shade for students during hot summer months, she brings a beautiful dynamic to the Quad and incorporating surrounding trees.
She provides a home for many squirrels and birds and she has large branches for young children to climb on.
Campus: to the campus she is just another tree, but when people take the time to appreciate nature and look into why things are beautiful and how pieces of nature all play together, they will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
Global Ecosystem: she is a Shumard Oak and although there is no specific use for her once torn down, she is everywhere across America, I have one down the street from me in my neighbor’s yard.
The World: there needs to be no other explanation to how a tree affects the world besides the fact that it is a tree, it supports us living and gives us oxygen so we can survive. Unfortunately the human want is lumber and paper and objects that require tearing my tree down, but these are not worth taking away the life of my beautiful tree.
Human exceptionalism paradigm vs new ecological paradigm. The new ecological paradigm makes more sense when thinking about Rosie, my tree. The human exceptionalism paradigm is interesting to think about in regards to my tree though because I am looking at myself and removing myself from any negative repercussions or any consequences that I may have caused as a human because I am making an exception of myself. This blog falls into the HEP because I am claiming something in nature as “my own” and “my tree” when really I have no bearings to it besides that Mark Scott the Dickinson College Arborist assigned me the tree.
But the new ecological paradigm discusses how ecological laws cannot be repealed even while analyzing the inventiveness of human beings as a species. These paradigms are two ways to look at the interactions of human and nature in society as a whole.
The featured image shows the direct interaction of human beings and the environment, that we can coexist so closely with one another but the question is, can we really? Most activists and environmentalists are leaning towards “no, not with the way humans act”, we will not have a planet much longer.
Today I am video chatting my mom while sitting next to Rosie, telling mom about the tree and what I have been doing this semester with this class. She has been asking me questions that I cannot really seem to answer, like “why are you feeling attached to a tree?”. This is a good question, I feel as though its more the idea of having something constant and steady in life. I look forward to watching the squirrels who live there, although again today there are not many as the temperature is dropping and I am wearing a sweatshirt. All the leaves have fallen and are brown on the ground next to where they came from. And I show my mom the tree and Burt and Ernie, the squirrels who have decided to call Rosie home and she thinks it is funny that I sit with a tree, and sometimes I think, maybe it is!
The Importance of Being Earnest:
Hot, sweaty, and tired was when we first met
A bond was formed I’ll never forget
We shared our stories both good and bad
Like that crazy summer storm you once had
You have taught me so much I never knew
Like how to remove toxins and still get a good view
You have sheltered me from the rain
You have even given my t-shirt a stain.
That one day I found you crying all alone
I sat beside you and reciprocated the love you have shown
As I sit here defending your right to stay
‘This is bullshit’, is all I can say.
Who would dare cut you down
The most toxic reducing bachelor in town
KD is the most important tree at Dickinson, that is for sure. I didn’t know it either at the beginning of the semester, but she is for sure a crucial part of this campus and needs to be saved
She needs to be saved for more reasons than just our personal connection. As I enter and exit Stern every Tuesday and Thursday morning, I am greeted by this small but important tree and reminded constantly of how closely she is connected with the beautiful scenery that makes Stern so special, and all of the small animals that depend on her. Although she isn’t the youngest tree out there, she is still in the middle of her life and deserves to live the rest of it to the fullest. Her historic value is important to Dickinson because she has been around longer than other trees on the Quad, and therefore has more sentimental value than others do. More people are likely to connect to KD because of the amount of time she has been around.
Although her leaves have fallen, and she looks quite bare and cold, it is important to remember how beautiful and lively she is when in full bloom. She adds hope and fresh air to an area of the Dickinson academic quad that needs it the most. When in full bloom, she is the positivity that this campus needs. When in full bloom, she looks snow-capped, making her one of Dickinson’s most unique trees. As spring turns to summer, she is as green as can be. She is truly the best of both worlds, as she represents all different types of beauty that a tree could possibly offer.
KD, a Kousa Dogwood tree, is native to Asian countries. Therefore it is important that she stays where she is, left unharmed, because she is located right in front of Stern, which is home to the East Asian Studies department. Thus, KD further educates the students that walk into the building ona daily basis, creating an environment that mimics that of an Asian country. She creates a more authentic environment at Stern and supports an educational environment.
Mariposa is a lot like a service puppy in training. She is young (only about ten years old- just about the age of a puppy if you compare the lifespan of a tree to the lifespan of a dog), and she has a lot of growing left to do. Her fuzzy bud coverings are as soft as a puppy’s fur, and Mother Nature must nourish her so she can grow, much like a puppy needs nourishment from its mother.
She is important to the environment around her. She provides food, life, and color to the world. Service dogs touch the lives of many: their raisers, trainers, and eventually their partner. They changes lives.
Mari is far too young to die now. She has so much growing to still do, and she has a lot to offer the world. Save Mari, because you wouldn’t kill a puppy, would you?
My tree should be saved because it is an integral part of the food chain. Squirrels and black bears rely on the Bur Oak’s massive acorns, and without them the squirrels and bears would not get fat before the winter. If the squirrels and bears can’t stock up on acorns before the winter, they will die. So cutting down my Bur Oak means you kill a bunch of squirrels and black bears as well. Deer and porcupines also rely on Bur Oaks for their twigs and leaves. We all know porcupines are an integral part of Dickinson’s campus, so don’t be a jerk and starve the baby deer and porcupines.
Bur Oaks live to be 200-300 years old! My Bur Oak is only a couple decades old, so therefore he is just a baby and no one likes baby killers. Bur Oaks are also fire resistant. I bet no one else’s tree is fire resistant! Bur Oaks are also very drought resistant and considering the fact that we are running out of water, we need as many Bur Oaks around as possible so when all the other wimpier trees start dying, we will still have Bur Oaks to filter our polluted air. Humans can also eat acorns if they are roasted (raw acorns can tear up a human’s stomach), so when humans start running out of food, we can also eat from the Bur Oak. So pretty much Bur Oaks will solve all of our problems.
The moral of the story is that if you cut down my Bur Oak, you will be forever haunted by starving squirrels, black bears, porcupines, and deer, and we will run out of trees as we run out of water. If you cut down Bur Oaks, all the other trees will die and therefore our air will get more and more polluted, which will eventually lead to the deaths of almost all the species on this planet.
SAVE MR. BUR!!!!!!
At the individual level this tree has had an extremely positive affect on me. Not only in my attitude towards Earnest in particular, but rather towards nature as a whole. When you begin to spend an extended amount of time with a single object, whether it be natural or not, you are more than likely to spark a relationship. Through our relationship I was able to gain a much greater appreciation for all of the work nature does behind closed curtains. As I recently heard in a movie I was watching “beautiful things never ask for attention”. This resounded with me because I instantly thought of Earnest. Even though he may not be the tallest, strongest, or even the most beautiful tree on campus, he is mine and I will never forget his completely selfless nature.
In terms of the local environment, Earnest has a huge part to play. As we already have discussed he is a Londonplane tree mixed with a Sycamore, these hereditary traits allow him to be extremely efficient at reducing surrounding air pollutants. In a place like Carlisle, where the average ambient air quality is worse than most of the US, it is vital to incorporate species such as the London Plain into our designs. If we are to attempt to remedy our environmentally-degrading behavior we must begin to look at more ground-up solutions. These are solutions that stem directly from local sources or the affected persons, allowing for a more personal and direct resolution to the actual problem.
Earnest serves the campus of Dickinson College 7 days a week 52 weeks a year. Aside from its environmental benefits, the Londonplane Tree offers a variety of benefits for local communities both human and non-human. Ranging from a slight acknowledgement “that tree looks beautiful right now” to the squirrel family that nests in the upper branches, this tree selflessly serves the communities of Dickinson College. Its use-value could therefore be determined by; its aesthetic appeal to people, or its ability to remove air toxins, or for its integral role in the local ecosystem that does not include humans.
I wonder what the majority of people on campus would chose out of these three options?
At this level of interpretation it is necessary to move from talking about Earnest as an individual and rather about trees, and therefore the natural environment, in general and their importance and impact to the world. Every single day we lose a gargantuan amount of natural rainforests to deforestation and the greed that plagues our so-called ‘civilized’ nations. The single purpose of evolution is survival, and the way Mother Nature protects her survival is through biodiversity. It is nature’s defense mechanism to sudden change in the local environment. Unfortunately for natural ecosystems that inherently promote biodiversity, the industrial civilization that the world has adopted relies on the destruction of biodiversity. We use monoculture crops throughout the United States, especially corn, we require cleared land in order to continue to gain maximum surplus that correlates to the rising population levels. At every step of the way humans destroy biodiversity and the survival of nature that comes with it.
The HEP theory claims that humans are such a uniquely superior species that they are exempt from environmental forces. Shaped by the leading Western worldview of the time, this was the popular societal paradigm from the industrial revolution until the second half of the 20th century. Human dominance was justified by the uniqueness of our culture, which is far more adaptable over a shorter period than an ecosystem or biological process. Culture also has the capacity to accumulate and innovate, making it an unbounded resource capable of solving all natural problems. As humans are not governed by natural conditions, they have complete control of their own destiny. Any potential limitations posed by the natural world, are surpassable using human intellect and ingenuity.
In the 1970’s, scholars began to see limitations emerging with regards to our natural resources. This coined the term ‘New Ecological Theory (NEP)’. This theory was one of the first of its kind that took environmental variables into account and it completely contradicted the HEP theory. While HEP sees humans as separate/above the natural environment, NEP suggests that human beings are an integral part of the ecosystem and as much a part of it as any other species, we are still ecologically interdependent. The NEP notes the power of social and cultural forces, however it does not set us above these forces. Instead, humans are impacted by the cause, effect, and feedback loops of ecosystems. The earth has a finite level of natural resources and waste repositories. Thus the biosphere/physical environment can impose restrictions on human activity.
My conceptualization of these theories, with regards to my tree, is much more strongly directed towards the NEP theory than the HEP. The reason for my stance is simple, without the cycles of the natural world human beings would not, and could not exist. My tree is a London Plane tree hybrid, among its many uses is its unique ability to reduce the ambient air pollution more than most other tree species. This skill enables this species to be very advantageous in a wide variety of locations that have poor air quality.
Lucky enough for Earnest and his cousins, there are plenty of human-inhabited landscapes that are in desperate need of trees with such skills. Unfortunately for Earnest and his cousins, there are plenty of human-inhabited landscapes that are in desperate need of trees to remedy the consequences of their activities and only once they realize the severity of their actions do they seek out trees such as Earnest.
I find the NEP paradigm more relevant because it is the paradigm in which we must trust if we are to move forward. For far too long we have allowed HEP principles to be the underlying infrastructure of our economy, basing our current and future energy, social, environmental problems on the idea that; whatever issue we face we can overcome given enough time and money.
There are also other theories that are similar to the ideas brought up in the HEP and NEP argument. One of these seeks to determine sustainability, however they do so by splitting sustainability into two sections; weak and strong sustainability. Weak sustainability is comparable with the HEP side of the debate, it implies that human capital (produced) and natural capital are interchangeable. In very weak sustainability, as long as total capital is consistent and at a certain level then it does not matter whether that capital be natural or produced. While in strong sustainability the future generations are of utmost importance, due mainly to their inherent right to receive a planet with the same natural resources that were present in generations before. Weak sustainability says that we do not know what future generations will or won’t need/want, so we are best to serve ourselves however we please as long as we maintain total capital.