Around 400 years ago there were plenty of virgin forests that covered much of the United States. As the centuries rolled on, much of these precious forests have been cleared away. Even though it is said that most of our oxygen comes from the oceans surrounding us, the lack of interaction between trees and humans affects our health in many ways.
Today, about 90% of the original forests in the United States are gone. For this reason, some Taoist masters have pointed out that there is less chi or quality of energy in the air than there was in the past. This can be quite a daunting discovery. Yet, with the mindset of a true yogin we will not be totally affected by all the destruction that is going on in our modern-day world
It is often said that: the lotus grows out of the mud. Since the lotus flower becomes even more beautiful, despite its immediate surroundings, we can use these troubling times to our advantage. In the same way, as we progress in meditation and thoughts become less… grasping to an illusory self decreases… interests in politics and samsara become a faint memory; NOTHING can affect our innermost being as compassion blossoms.
Results of deforestation over the centuries:
However, we are now reaching critical mass as population rates rise at an alarming rate, crime is out of control, and our resources are shrinking. In addition, there are more people experiencing health problems far earlier in their years than ever before. Despite all these experiences of sickness or suffering, it could really be a blessing in disguise if we learn from our mistakes. A U.S. Forest Service study shows that:
Large trees located in urban areas are associated with lower crime rates. Therefore, it would make sense to rehabilitate our society by planting more trees in our communities.
If we look on bright side, these problems that are happening now are helpful for us to determine correct from incorrect living much faster than any other time in history. In terms of helping sentient beings who continue to suffer, there are some beneficial remedies that everyone can utilize to alleviate their pain.
From The science of Oxygen website:
The increase in such components as carbon dioxide could well be a major factor in degenerate health today. With the studies done over the years, from the year 1000 AD to 1830 AD the carbon dioxide levels were 175 PPM (parts per million).
“If his ‘breathing in’ process includes roughly double the amount of carbon dioxide as our ancestors (or only 200 years ago) did, that could explain a great deal of the change in degenerative diseases that exist now, in great abundance compared to their almost complete non-existence 200 years ago.” — Karl Loren
For thousands of years, 170 PPM of carbon dioxide was sufficient and necessary to keep the cycle of life going on the planet. There was enough carbon dioxide in the air to keep millions of square miles of green stuff growing. It is alarming when we realize that the amount of carbon dioxide has now increased to more than 300 PPM!
The massive increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is what we call the greenhouse effect. It may very well be the negative condition resulting in global warming that some scientists have warned us about.
UPDATE: As of May of 2013 CO2 levels have reached 400 PPM.
FACT: Ice core samples show that carbon dioxide levels have always been between 170-300 ppm for 650,000 years.