by Nico, who grew up in a hamlet in the south of France and grew up thinking about trees, the sea, romance and other intricate things.
Unfortunately the pine forest next to my mom's house has burnt last summer. This happens regularly here as the forest is dried by the scorching sun and winds from the sea, as the land turns to tinder. It has been found that old pine trees release chemicals that increase the chances of a fire to start and spread, with the heat of the fire allowing the the pine cones to explode and pollination to occur. While this is part of a healthy cycle for the forest to regenerate after a fire, increasingly, these fires are caused less by natural causes and mostly affected and aggravated by human disruption of the ecosystem. Often, the soil is eroded by the rain after fires. I am not sure about the exact relation between global warming and these fires, but the gradual desertification of the erstwhile forested lands is apparent, and it makes me sad that nobody really cares about this. Every summer the forest burns, every summer everybody says it is dramatic and congratulates the firefighters for their good job, but nobody really wants to face it- we are the problem.