What’s wrong with being a tree hugger?

Some people think the Green Party is full of tree huggers who put the environment before humanity.

I take issue with this statement, because I believe we have forgotten just how important trees have been, and still are, for our survival. We have used them in so many ways – building our homes and crafting furniture with them, burning them to keep us warm and to cook our food for us, pulping them to make paper, eating their fruits, making boats and ships with them to conquer the seas and catch fish from. Humankind’s development over the millennia would have been very different without trees. Look at Easter Island, where the community died out after they had made use of every last tree.

And, even more fundamentally, we cannot exist without trees. Their leaves convert the C02 humans breathe out into oxygen so we can live in Earth’s atmosphere.

As for prioritising the environment over people, I don’t go that far, but I do believe that every decision we make – political and economic – needs to take into account the impact on our natural world.

So yes, call me a tree hugger, it’s a title I’m happy to embrace.

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