Richard Powers on the Standing of Trees

“Takes a lot of work to write a huge article discussing nonhuman personhood and the interconnecteness of trees without ever mentioning indigenous ppl

Takes even more to write a book about American trees through history without any Native people in it”

Been a while since I listened to the audiobook but IIRC chapter one was about…a white Nordic pioneer moving chestnuts to a place they weren’t native, no mention of the people whose land he was stealing, and he was presented in an admiring light

You want a book on plants being cool, read Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and PhD and professor in Environmental and Forest Biology. You don’t need a white guy who had a revelation that trees are nice when he saw a redwood

Oh ffs [screenshot]

Indigenous ppl around the world have been saying this shit for centuries, & some have been killed for saying it just last week in the Amazon

Some white guy: trees are nice and life is connected. Maybe we should be nice to trees

Western media: omg so deep, write a profile on him

Yuuuuppppp [responding to ]

So y’all I read the overstory and I gotta say: what the fuck?

The American chestnut forests were an agroforestry system managed over millennia. No mention? Wow.

Serious Native erasure and i’m pretty sure biotech propaganda too.

That was 12 hours I could have used planting chestnuts.

Yes he’s a talented writer. Talented writing crafts nationalist origin stories and fake histories all the time.

Just on a practical level. Not realizing that landscapes like the e. forests or the Amazon were there because of indiganous people’s is directly connected to people feeling like there are no solutions. Of course landscapes degrade when you remove their managers and designers.

Imagine if a settler Brazilian wrote a book about the Amazon with literally no mention of indigenous people, who were and are its primary stewards since forever, and played and play an immense role in fostering its incredible biodiversity in spite of ongoing genocide. That’s this

“Wow! Look at that!” Richard Powers exclaims, pointing to a tree rising from the slope above us. Branches arch outward from its stout trunk, bark marbled in a greenish cast. The tree, which he identifies as a tulip poplar, looms over the slender young beeches that surround it.