‘Once upon a world without water and trees and good soil…’
We don’t need to read that story to know there is no happy ending. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased; and not impaired in value.”
So with the wise words of Roosevelt ringing in the back of our minds we shall continue with our tale. We can start by painting the scenery of what this kind of world would look like;
An agro-based economy would have nowhere to lean on. The rural areas that rely on nature’s water sources would have nowhere to turn. The reality is this tale is far from being a myth and inching much too close to our realities. The continued droughts have seen a drop in Zimbabwe’s annual rainfall. Effectively, the rain no longer suffices in topping up nature’s water sources.
The shortages of water have already begun to impact the generation of electricity where some of the plants that generate electricity have had to shut down.
A world with less trees, well this one unfortunately, is much too easy to imagine. With the increased veld fires, chopping of wood- some to sell or use and others to create room to build, this world is a reality knocking down our doors. Shelters for the animals will be a thing of the past, the feel of rain and the sight of grey clouds will soon be forgotten.
The truth is we could never live in a world with no trees. For one, our climate is hot and dry as it is and with no water to retain moisture we would be exposed to constant heat with no reprieve of a rainfall. We would be living in a desert and this would not support our agriculture at all.
The roots from trees hold together the soil, which keeps the soil from eroding. Trees also act as a filter for dangerous chemicals and pollutants that are carried in the soil. Plants are the establishment of all natural ways of life, the beginning of the food chain and hence play a big role in the eco-system.