Bad news on all sides on our human propensity for taking without thinking. A new study finds researchers have "grossly underestimated" the impact on the Amazon rainforest of human activity, specifically carbon loss from logging and surface forest fires, even as California park rangers try to combat a surge of nightime bandits - aka "midnight burlers" - poaching the burl from old-growth redwoods, which are then illegally sold for coffee tables, bar counters, bowls and other trinkets we could all buy made from sustainable wood and still survive quite well, which may not be true of the singular redwoods once huge chunks of them are, in the words of one ranger, "hacked like a church." In 1850, old-growth redwoods, the tallest trees on earth, spanned almost 2,000,000 acres of the California coast; today, thanks to logging and other human activity, less than 5% of that majesty remains. National and state park officials attribute the growing theft of redwood burls, which the trees need to survive, to a sluggish economy and the need of local addicts to feed meth habits. Or it could just be money habits: see above on taking without etc.
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