Climate Change Is Killing the Cedars of Lebanon
July 19, 2018 7:01 PM   Subscribe

The ancient cedars of Lebanon have outlived empires and survived modern wars. Clinging to shrinking patches of territory, these trees stand for Lebanon’s resilience. Now, global warming could finish them off.
posted by standardasparagus (8 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, this makes me so sad! If you study the Bible, you spend a lot of time on the Cedars of Lebanon, since they have so very many implications for travel and architecture and nation-building.

I know they're not super-important as a resource today when boats are built of metal, but they defined Lebanon's independence and income for millennia, and they grew in such inhospitable climes -- they're hard to lose.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:42 PM on July 19, 2018 [20 favorites]

Many thousands of square kilometers of forest once spread across most of Lebanon’s highlands. Only 17 square kilometers of cedars remain, in scattered groves.

That's about 6.5 square miles.

It doesn't even matter about timber. That's not why we preserve the sequoias or the ancient bristlecones.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:30 PM on July 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

This makes me really sad. Lebanon is a beautiful country. I’ve had Lebanese Friends.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:55 PM on July 19, 2018

Same is happening to the baobabs in Africa
posted by infini at 12:21 AM on July 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

A cabinet I built in woodworking school has two small drawer bottoms of Lebanon cedar from a chunk given to me almost 20 years ago by the school's elderly head instructor. Even then he already regarded it as a precious material. At least at first it made for a nice smell when the drawers were opened, but now I'm not sure I can discern its aroma from those of the other woods, oil, shellac and wax.

I think I still have the rest of that piece in a tote in my basement. Can't decide whether I should feel guilty.
posted by jon1270 at 8:06 AM on July 20, 2018

I saw the headline. Couldn't bring myself to read it. I also can't force myself to read about the polar bears.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 9:49 AM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

all trees are my friends, but the cedar is the most beautiful tree.
posted by wibari at 10:58 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Can't decide whether I should feel guilty.

As long as you try to do it the justice it deserves...

But yeah, I totally get you; I feel similar with ivory - if it was already harvested... burning it feels disrespectful to the elephant who it was poached from. But I also totally get the ethical argument on the other side (deterrence, non-reward, blood history).
posted by porpoise at 5:46 PM on July 21, 2018

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