Friday, April 20, 2012

What is Jim Robbins reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Jim Robbins, author of The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet.

His entry begins:
I’ve been reading a tiny book, just 128 pages, called The Creation of Consciousness, by Dr. Edward Edinger, who was a leading Jungian until his death in 1998. In spite of its pint size it’s endlessly fascinating and I keep picking it up and re-reading parts of it. This book talks about how the real crisis these days is in human awareness – essentially that we are cut off from our true source of spirituality, our larger selves, and operating instead based solely on our ego. When we heal this split, and become aware of our true selves, things will change for the better. It might sound a little woo-woo, but...[read on]
About The Man Who Planted Trees, from the publisher:

“When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. The second best time? Today.”—Chinese proverb

Twenty years ago, David Milarch, a northern Michigan nurseryman with a penchant for hard living, had a vision: angels came to tell him that the earth was in trouble. Its trees were dying, and without them, human life was in jeopardy. The solution, they told him, was to clone the champion trees of the world—the largest, the hardiest, the ones that had survived millennia and were most resilient to climate change—and create a kind of Noah’s ark of tree genetics. Without knowing if the message had any basis in science, or why he’d been chosen for this task, Milarch began his mission of cloning the world’s great trees. Many scientists and tree experts told him it couldn’t be done, but, twenty years later, his team has successfully cloned some of the world’s oldest trees—among them giant redwoods and sequoias. They have also grown seedlings from the oldest tree in the world, the bristlecone pine Methuselah.

When New York Times journalist Jim Robbins came upon Milarch’s story, he was fascinated but had his doubts. Yet over several years, listening to Milarch and talking to scientists, he came to realize that there is so much we do not yet know about trees: how they die, how they communicate, the myriad crucial ways they filter water and air and otherwise support life on Earth. It became clear that as the planet changes, trees and forest are essential to assuring its survival. The Man Who Planted Trees is both a fascinating investigation into the world of trees and the inspiring story of one man’s quest to help save the planet. This book’s hopeful message of what one man can accomplish against all odds is also a lesson about how each of us has the ability to make a difference.
Visit Jim Robbins's website.

Writers Read: Jim Robbins.

--Marshal Zeringue