University of British Columbia Professor of Forest Ecology, Dr. Suzanne Simard, is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence. Her decades of in-the-field-experimental research have revolutionized our scientific understanding of forests, elucidating how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved, how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors and remember the past; how they have agency about the future; elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication, characteristics ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies–and at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.
Suzanne Simard’s book, FINDING THE MOTHER TREE: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, was published by Knopf on May 4, 2021.
We spoke together on April 27th.
We end the program with a recent piece commissioned by the Intermountain Opera Company composed by Eric Funk, Requiem for a Forest, Op. 168. It is performed by Roots in the Sky. A video adaptation by Thomas Thomas is available on https://bozemanarts-live.com/event/requiem-for-a-forest/
Requiem for a Forest
In summer heat
And warming world
Storms whip up,
Sparks run to earth.
The wind turns
Through the mountains,
Yet fire begins.
As mountains die,
Now we must learn
How to live here,
Where fire season
Burns all year.
With green renew,
May the fires
wake us too.
Fungi Fear http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/fungi-fear
Friendly fungi help forests fight climate changehttps://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-61787248
This Is What It Sounds Like When Plants Cry https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/30/science/plant-sounds-stress.html
USING SCIENCE & CELTIC WISDOM TO SAVE TREES (and SOULS) https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/climate/celtic-wisdom-trees-climate.html
Plants Feel Pain & Might Even See https://nautil.us/issue/104/harmony/plants-feel-pain-and-might-even-see?utm_source=pocket-newtab
Biden’s Climate Chops Face A Big Test On Old-Growth Forests https://www.huffpost.com/entry/biden-climate-old-growth-forests_n_60a41b78e4b03e1dd38fc528
‘Forests are not renewable’: the felling of Sweden’s ancient trees https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2021/apr/16/forests-felling-swedens-ancient-trees-biodiversity-sami-environment
USDA May Allow Genetically Modified Trees to Be Released Into the Wild https://truthout.org/articles/usda-may-allow-genetically-modified-trees-to-be-released-into-the-wild/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=da19aa22-8134-413f-a72f-01b72dfd5bb1
‘War in the woods’: activists blockade Vancouver Island in bid to save ancient trees https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/09/canada-logging-old-growth-trees-vancouver-island
Pacheedaht First Nation chiefs in Canada tell anti-logging protesters to leave their lands https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/14/canada-logging-blockade-first-nations-pacheedaht
It’s only natural: the push to give rivers, mountains and forests legal rights https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/01/its-only-natural-the-push-to-give-rivers-mountains-and-forests-legal-rights