This past summer, a friend of mine went with Engineers Without Borders to Uganda to help build a rainwater harvesting system for the community of Bugonzi. Although this system was not made strictly with wood, I remembered her telling me about an extremely proud farmer that she met during her trip. He was working on his very own tree farm in one of the utmost dry, and rain ridden areas in Africa. When this week’s topic of discussion was related to climate change and how we will deal in our future with adjusting to it, I felt that this story would be appropriate to share.
In class we discussed the different methods of working with climate change and continuing to use natural abundant resources. We are fortunate that wood is such an easy material to obtain in the United States. Others cities, like that of Bugonzi, can not make the same claim. Wood is an extremely expensive material in some other areas of the world because they simply cannot grow strong enough trees. “He wanted to use Pine because of its strength,” my friend Delaney explained to me. She also described how different the trees looked if successfully grown; some were only a thin trunk with needles growing off of it where some had branches with pines that are more similar to what we picture. However, she said that not one tree was nearly as full of needles as they are in Minnesota.
What I am getting at with this post is that as the world continues to develop, we are trying to work with the climate rather than against it. I give a lot of credit to this man in Uganda who planted trees from all over the world to gain knowledge of their capabilities in growing in a climate other than their own. If we learn from this and continue to experiment with other natural resources, we may be successful in that regard.