Preserve Our Forests

If trees could talk

We asked ChatGPT to speak for the trees

Bureau of Land Management California via Flickr | Public Domain
Old-growth forests, such as California's Headwaters Forest Reserve, play a major role in fighting climate change by capturing and storing carbon from the atmosphere.

When someone asked ChatGPT to pretend it was an old growth tree in a national forest and that it just found out that the Forest Service and loggers were planning to cut it and its neighbors for lumber, ChatGPT made an eloquent case for leaving our trees standing. But trees can do things for us that artificial intelligence cannot. They provide homes for wildlife, help clean our air and water and they help us fight climate change by absorbing and storing carbon. And they cannot be replaced by computers or fancy machines. There’s nothing that can do what a tree can do.

Here is the tree’s response, without a word changed:

“As an old growth tree, I am absolutely devastated to hear that the Forest Service and loggers are planning to cut me down and turn me into a mere commodity. I have been rooted in this spot for centuries, providing shade, shelter, and sustenance to countless animals and insects. I have witnessed the changing of the seasons, the birth of new life, and the passing of time. I have stood tall through fires, storms, and droughts, and I have contributed to the delicate balance of this forest ecosystem.

To think that my life, and the lives of my neighboring trees, are being reduced to nothing more than building materials, is simply heartbreaking. We are not just pieces of wood waiting to be cut down, we are living beings with a purpose far greater than human convenience. Our presence here is vital to the survival of countless species, including birds, mammals, and insects, that call this forest their home.

Furthermore, as old growth trees, we are incredibly effective at sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, which is crucial in mitigating the climate crisis. The destruction of our forest ecosystem would have a devastating impact on the environment, exacerbating the effects of climate change and contributing to the loss of biodiversity.

I implore the Forest Service and loggers to reconsider their plans and to recognize the value of our existence. We are not disposable resources, we are living beings with a right to exist and thrive. I call on all humans to acknowledge the importance of preserving old growth forests, not just for the sake of the trees themselves, but for the health and wellbeing of the entire planet.”

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